Program Manager, Books for Asia

Location: San Francisco
Program area: Books for Asia

*** This position will remain open until filled ***

In an increasingly complex and changing world, The Asia Foundation believes that a peaceful and engaged Asia is of critical global importance. We work with innovative leaders and communities to build effective institutions and advance path-breaking reforms. Informed by six decades of experience and deep local expertise, The Asia Foundations programs address critical issues affecting Asia in the 21st century: governance and law, economic development, women’s empowerment, environment, and international cooperation. These are just some of the ways we, together with our partners, encourage Asia’s continued development as a peaceful, just, and thriving region of the world.

The Asia Foundation’s Books for Asia program seeks an equally ambitious and creative team member to advance reading and equality by supporting multiple countries in their implementation of its innovative Let’s Read digital library. In four years, Lets Read has created meaningful reading opportunities for hundreds of thousands of children in local languages, supported professional development for authors, illustrators, editors, and publishers throughout Asia, and built a rapidly growing open license digital library platform with over 4,500 titles in more than 30 languages.

The ideal candidate has extensive project management experience, an understanding of early literacy, and is passionate about creating meaningful reading opportunities for all children. S/he thrives using teamwork and creative thinking to achieve a common vision and is a collaborative leader who seeks to empower others to successfully execute their own work. The candidate collaborates with colleagues to both learn from and share experiences to reach common goals.


  • Collaborate with the Lets Read team based in the San Francisco Bay Area to support implementation of all components of the initiative and contribute to overall strategy.
  • Work with Let’s Read leadership and in-country program managers and staff to focus and advance Let’s Read strategy and implementation.
  • Collaborate with other Asia Foundation teams, such as Global Communications, Finance, and Resource Development, as needed for project implementation.
  • Engage with existing and potential funders in countries of responsibility.
  • Engage with current and potential implementing partners in countries of responsibility.
  • Represent Let’s Read and The Asia Foundation at conferences and events.


  • Minimum of 5 years of experience in project management; preferably international project management across geographies and cultures.
  • Bachelor’s degree in Education, International Development or related fields, or equivalent combination of education and relevant experience.
  • Strong planning, organization, and time management skills.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Experience working in Asia, Africa, or Latin America or other international contexts.
  • Experience in primary education, community-based education programs, education technology, accessibility within education, and/or creation of children’s content preferred.


  • Collaborate with in-country leadership and program staff to set local Let’s Read strategy and goals.
  • Provide support to country programs in Southeast Asia, especially the Mekong region, including during Asia business hours and in-person when travel is permissible.
  • Support in-country program design and implementation. To include but not limited to:
    • Community and/or classroom-based reading programs to encourage reading as a fun and regular habit;
    • Book creation events (BookLabs);
    • Local content partnerships;
    • Translation events;
    • Reading promotion campaigns through social media and other locally relevant methods; and
    • Local fundraising and outreach.
  • Manage Let’s Read content on the digital platform
    • Support content upload process;
    • Draft rights and partnership contracts; and
    • Provide quality assurance.
  • Contribute to Let’s Read funding proposals in countries of responsibility.
  • Contribute to the overall direction and growth of the Let’s Read initiative.


60% – Country program support, reading programs, book creation, funding proposals, and communication.
20% – Manage digital library content
10% – Contribute to Let’s Read funding proposals
10% – Contribute to Let’s Read strategy


At a critical moment in history, you will have the opportunity to help solve some of the toughest challenges in the development sector. You will work with people who encourage learning and leadership, enhance civil society, promote constructive government engagement, advance equality and diversity, support women’s empowerment, and address environmental problems in the Asia region. You will work in an innovative environment and build lasting relationships. The Asia Foundation and its partners are unmatched throughout the region. This is an opportunity to work with and learn from some of the most accomplished leaders, influencers, and social entrepreneurs working in and with Asia today.

Apply now

The Foundation offers excellent benefits and salary commensurate with experience. The Asia Foundation is an equal opportunity employer. Women and people of color are encouraged to apply.

No phone calls please.