Regional Director, Asia

Regional Director, Asia

HKI - Helen Keller International


We are seeking a Regional Director (RD) to lead program operations and drive business development in our Asia country offices while ensuring the full integration of program technical and management expertise from across our matrixed organization.

Functional Relationships

Reporting to the Chief Operating Officer, the RD serves as chair of the Regional Management Team (RMT) in her/his region, and as a regular advisor to the organization-wide Executive Management Team (EMT). As a member of the global Operations Unit, and as a senior leader, the RD may be asked to lead and/or participate in special task forces or working groups on strategic and operational matters, and will often be asked to take decisions in conjunction with the EMT.

The RD provides supportive supervision to an assigned portfolio of Country Directors and Chiefs of Party and works in close collaboration with subject matter experts (both programmatic and operational) from all departments across the global organization. The position serves as the focal point for crisis management for the countries they cover and is the “go to” person in the event an urgent decision is needed.

Helen Keller is structured in such a way that the work of each department supports and reinforces the work of every other department. Our matrixed reporting structure is intended to balance the need for consistent global standards and compliance with the ability to adapt those standards to be most effective in the many contexts where we work. Regular communication and a spirit of teamwork among colleagues are essential to make this structure thrive. The RD plays a critical role in ensuring effective coordination vertically and horizontally across the organization, and in fostering the spirit of teamwork and the sense of “one Helen Keller.”

Helen Keller’s programs require close relations with governments, partner NGOs, food industries, and donors, including UN agencies. The RD plays a key role in nurturing and overseeing some of these cooperative relationships, and representing Helen Keller to donors and the international community, as needed.

Scope of the Position

As a senior leader, the RD is a key contributor to strategic global initiatives, and organizationwide planning and decision making. The RD acts as a communications bridge to assigned country programs and projects, sharing information and reviewing discussions held at EMT and RMT levels to build buy-in, create feedback loops, and identify issues that require attention. 

The RD provides oversight and guidance to Country Directors and Chiefs of Party to ensure the efficient implementation of program objectives and activities through sound management across all areas of administration including, but not limited to, project implementation, human resource management, knowledge management, safety and security, office management, and information technology, while calling upon the expertise and respecting the authority of other subject matter experts.

The RD ensures all aspects of operations are fully integrated with the work of program teams and global technical experts to ensure high quality programs in assigned portfolios. Additionally, the RD supports multi-country project managers and teams to facilitate coordination among CDs and multi-country project teams, as well as horizontal learning across country offices.

The RD likewise facilitates the effective integration of relevant stakeholders in pro-active business development and cultivates effective coordination and teamwork among Helen Keller’s functional units, whether part of global management or field offices, to maximize efficiency, productivity and impact.

The position is based in the assigned region with periodic travel to field sites, as well as international travel for internal and external meetings.

Specific Responsibilities


  • Meet regularly with the EMT to advise on key topics and ensure a diverse perspective in decision-making; will often be asked to take decisions in conjunction with the EMT;
  • Chair and manage operations of the RMT including soliciting agenda items and compiling agendas, task management, and review, approval and distribution of meeting minutes. (This assignment may rotate depending on the size of the region.);
  • Guide direct reports to make effective use of their Country Management Teams/Project Leadership teams for both global and local concerns and to ensure that field voices are heard at all levels of the organization;
  • Lead and/or participate in international work groups assigned to develop globalpolicies and/or optimize systems and procedures;
  • Use each of these platforms to share out information from the EMT and to gather perspectives to share back with the EMT;
  • Model collaboration for your matrixed team: effectively consult and inform colleagues to maximize efficiency and knowledge sharing and integrate guidance and direction from subject matter experts in your department and elsewhere in the global organization to maximize performance.

Management and Operations

  • Supervise assigned portfolio to ensure program and operational deliverables are met from start-up to close out, keeping an eye on progress against goals, budgets, burn rates, timelines, and challenges, assisting with troubleshooting and creative problem-solving as needed;
  • Recruit, supervise, mentor, and evaluate Country Directors and Chiefs of Party (utilizing the organization’s methodology of frequent performance conversations with team members). Delegate authority, consult with, and guide staff to achieve goals;
  • Approve and/or participate in recruitment of new members of Country Management Teams and senior staff on large projects;
  • Provide leadership, guidance and oversight to direct reports and coordinate with relevant subject matter experts to build the capacity of direct reports and their management teams to ensure:
    • Program Managers work closely with finance and operations teams in a collaborative effort to achieve high-quality financial planning, management, reporting and auditing of all offices and programs, including thorough budget preparation and oversight;
    • Sound planning, implementation and evaluation of all program operations;
    • Regular use of business intelligence tools, such as NetSuite, PowerBi reports, etc.;
    • Compliance with donor requirements, including timely and accurate programmaticand financial reporting;
    • Compliance with host country labor and tax laws, registration and insurance requirements;
    • Compliance with Helen Keller standards, policies and procedures, and processes especially as regards:
      • Safety, security and wellbeing of all staff. Solid management and implementation of up-to-date safety and security protocols and policies and timely communication with the designated Global Management staff when events occur;
      • HR policies and practices as regards compensation, performance management, recruitment, and training & development. Effective use of RACI tools to ensure clarity of roles and responsibilities in our matrixed organization;
      • Integration of expertise of subject matter experts in daily work and especially in recruitment and performance management of staff.
    • Staff are mentored, supervised and evaluated in a way that contributes to an atmosphere conducive to professional growth and development while ensuring accountability to beneficiaries, partners, colleagues and donors by providing ongoing feedback in a context of mutual respect;
    • Preventative and corrective action is taken where necessary.
  • Collaborate in the development and implementation of infrastructure improvements, systems tools and processes to:
    • Enhance efficiency, safety and security, knowledge management, risk management, communications and consistency of program operations worldwide;
    • Facilitate decision-making and implementation/execution of cross-cutting initiatives, such as business development, communications and program implementation;
    • Partner with colleagues who lead the optimization of systems and procedures to ensure that reliable data, information, and knowledge are accessible in as close-toreal-time as possible to key decision makers at every level of the organization;
    • Leverage management structures to involve diverse voices in the development process and leads implementation and change management in her/his region once the systems and procedures have been rolled out.
  • Lead preparation of regional operation budget, as assigned, and monitor throughout the year;
  • Approve grants, sub-awards and contracts, as per organization’s policy;
  • Safety and Security: Support direct reports and his or her team on ensuring regular updating of the country office S&S plan; in higher-risk countries, approve protocols for incountry movements and external visitors; supervise country directors and support them in the event of a S&S crisis. as per Helen Keller S&S protocols; ensure prompt reporting and follow-up in the event of security incidents.

Program Quality Assurance/Research, Advocacy and Policy

  • Provide guidance and oversight to direct reports and their staff to work effectively with technical program experts to ensure:
    • High quality, optimal impact, sustainability, scalability (as appropriate) and costeffectiveness of all programs in assigned portfolio;
    • Technical and operational needs are proactively addressed to ensure quality programs that meet the highest management, scientific and ethical standards;
    • The accurate and timely reporting of program results and deliverables, including regular highlights from programs;
    • Helen Keller’s work and results are presented in peer reviewed or industry journals, and at presentations at key international meetings.
  • Support direct reports to work with CPO and his/her team to:
    • Identify operational research needs and opportunities for partnerships and funding to address these;
    • Lead or support partnerships for research in HKI program areas; and
    • Engage with key regional bodies and fora to foster a supportive policy, planning and funding climate.

Business Development, Partnerships and Representation

  • Work with EMT to develop and implement strategies to meet long-term restricted and unrestricted funding needs, including meeting with key donors during travel;
  • Work with CPO and his/her team to actively scope and identify new partnerships and collaborative opportunities that enhance the quality, depth and reach of Helen Keller’s work;
  • Support leaders of assigned portfolio to identify and implement strategies to meet longer term funding needs including identifying and pursuing funding opportunities with donors based in the region;
  • Advise on the development of proposal budgets as needed;
  • Facilitate information sharing and effective working partnerships between direct reports and the Business Development Unit to maximize efficiency and effectiveness of proposal process;
  • Work with the External Relations department and/or the Business Development unit to assist country offices with the development of proposals, briefs, and success stories to be shared with internal and external audiences;
  • Contribute to the development of annual business development targets for assigned portfolio;
  • May be asked to be a member of the global Funding Decisions Group tasked with “go/no go” decision making;
  • May be asked to actively contribute to the development of concept papers and proposals for submission to various donors;
  • Work with colleagues to ensure Helen Keller representation at key regional structures like that of the WHO, other United Nations agencies, World Bank, regional political and economic bodies (e.g., ECOWAS), etc.;
  • Meet with donors and implementing partners; represent Helen Keller in international meetings.


  • Minimum Master’s Degree in Public Health, Nutrition or related field and at least ten years international public health work experience (ideally including at least five years managing complex country programs) or equivalent combination of skills and experience;
  • Direct field experience in public health programming, especially with programs conducted in partnership with local governments, including significant experience in Asia. Experience as an NGO Country Director (Chief of Party/Mission) in multiple settings is strongly desired;
  • Demonstrated experience with INGO reporting, financial management, procurement, and project management including demonstrated ability to develop and monitor budgets and collaboratively manage operational activities of complex programs with sub-grant management;
  • Substantial experience with a variety of donors such as USAID, Global Affairs Canada, Irish Aid, DFID, and/or private foundations;
  • Strong background, experience and demonstrated success with fundraising, including supporting others (e.g. country programs and regional staff) in proposal development and directly leading proposal development and writing;
  • Excellent capacity building, team building/management, and coordination skills. An ability to delegate responsibilities effectively and coach and mentor staff;
  • An ability to work in challenging and changing environments, to find solutions to emerging challenges, and maintain balance when under stress;
  • Ability and willingness to undertake extensive field travel (approx. 30%) often under difficult conditions;
  • Communication and language skills:
    • Excellent interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence, including the ability to exercise diplomacy and tact as demonstrated through previous roles that required communication with a broad and diverse set of partners, such as government, civil society, international organizations, the local community and political leaders;
    • Excellent oral and written English skills required. Ability to read, analyze and interpret complex documents and to summarize the information succinctly – both verbally and in writing—using an engaging style;
    • Ability to make effective and persuasive speeches and presentations on controversial or complex topics to top management and the public.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of the application of information technology to Helen Keller program areas. Knowledge of software used to prepare presentations and other work documents (e.g. Microsoft Office Suite);
  • Respect for all persons regardless of religion, ethnicity, class or gender, comfortable working in a diverse environment, and with a demonstrated commitment to high professional ethical standards;
  • Ability and willingness to:
    • flex work hours to accommodate multiple time zones, as needed;
    • travel at least 15-20% within Asia and, periodically, internationally.
  • Personal commitment to Helen Keller’s mission and goals and the values embodied by Helen Keller Intl’s co-founder, Helen Keller: compassion, grit, and optimism;
  • Residence in or willingness to relocate to the region, in a country where Helen Keller has an office.

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© EuroJobsites 2022

EuroJobsites is a registered company number: 4694396 VAT number: GB 880 9055 04

Registered address: EuroJobsites Ltd, Unit 8, Kingsmill Business Park, Kingston Upon Thames, London, KT1 3GZ, United Kingdom

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