Program Director, Asia

  • Anywhere
Organization: Freedom House
Closing date: 7 Oct 2022

About Freedom House

Freedom House is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that works to create a world where all are free. We inform the world about threats to freedom, mobilize global action, and support democracy’s defenders, especially those working in closed authoritarian societies. We are founded on the core conviction that freedom flourishes in democratic nations where governments are accountable to their people; the rule of law prevails; and freedoms are guaranteed. Established 80 years ago to respond to the threats posed by fascism, we know there is no more powerful force for the development of human society than democracy. As the world experiences the 15th year of consecutive democratic decline, our work—and our partners carrying it out around the world—have never mattered more.


Freedom House seeks a Program Director for its Asia Program. This full-time senior role is responsible for providing strategic leadership, management, and vision for Freedom House’s programmatic activities in and related to East, Southeast and South Asia. Many of these programs focus on supporting civil society networks and actors in often conflict-affected, closing and closed space. Additionally, the Program Director will work closely with other unit leads within Freedom House to ensure and promote partnership – for example, the Director will work closely with policy research and advocacy leads, in line with Freedom House’s mission and strategic framework and related to the region. The Program Director will contribute at a senior level to program planning, oversight of program implementation including budget development and oversight, and ensuring quality control of programs and written products. Reporting to the Vice President for International Programs, and supported by a Deputy Director, the Program Director will manage a growing team of US and non-US -based senior and junior staff and consultants.

Essential Duties, Responsibilities and Expectations

  • Leads day-to-day management of all programs and multiple grants.
  • Leads team in conceptualizing and drafting proposals, together with US- and Non-US based staff, and Business Development Director.
  • Develops and maintains collaborative external relationships with partners, funders, donors, consultants, implementers, US congressional staffers, US government agencies, US legislators, regional or multilateral bodies, human rights, and civil society organizations.
  • Responsible for the development and oversight of budgets under all grants, working with program, finance, and operations staff to provide a full, accurate and timely accounting of all funds.
  • Provides guidance to US- and Non-US based staff on Freedom House and donor policies and procedures.
  • Proactively promotes Freedom House’s strategic plan and its thematic and country priorities, to facilitate close collaboration and leverage research, advocacy, and programming interventions in support of democracy and human rights in Asia.
  • Serves as senior-level Freedom House representative at local and international conferences and meetings and assists with Freedom House’s public outreach and communications and advocacy strategy.
  • Recruits, supervises and mentors direct-report staff, including communicating clear expectations, setting performance objectives, providing regular and timely performance feedback, and leading documented semi-annual performance reviews.
  • Travels domestically and internationally as needed to implement awards and develop new programs.
  • Effectively manages culturally diverse staff and ensure the holistic implementation of organization’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) strategy.
  • Cultivates a safe and protective working environment for all staff.
  • Strengthens the Asia programs team’s readiness to respond to new emergencies in line with Freedom House strategic plan priorities, policies, and guidelines.
  • Engages in on-going context analysis to ensure Freedom House programs are continually adapted to the evolving contexts across the region.
  • Ensures integrated security of program personnel at the home office and in Asia, including physical, digital and wellness.
  • Participates in cross-functional initiatives as needed.
  • Actively seeks and engages in professional development opportunities to enhance knowledge in project/program management.
  • Maintains a general working knowledge of relevant program trends and issues occurring external to Freedom House.

Required Qualifications

Supervisory Responsibility

  • This position manages direct reports in both US- and Non-US based.


  • Advanced degree in political science, international relations, or a related field strongly preferred.

Experience and Competencies

  • A minimum of twelve (12) or more years of directly related experience including design and implementation of donor-funded international democratic governance, civil society and/or human rights programs; with a minimum of six years at managerial level.
  • Substantial experience managing USG-funded projects and projects with field offices in South or Southeast Asia strongly preferred.
  • Three or more years of experience living and/or working in Asia preferred.
  • Extensive relationships with or knowledge of Asian HRDs, NGOs, journalists and academics required.
  • Solid knowledge of human rights principles and governing international/regional institutions/organizations, instruments, and processes.
  • Broad knowledge of politics, governance and human rights in Asia required; in-depth knowledge of East, South or Southeast Asia preferred.
  • Expertise in management of international donor funded programming including work planning; monitoring, evaluation, and learning; budget management; and donor relations.
  • Proven knowledge of USG donor rules and regulations.
  • Superior fundraising skills with demonstrable ability to successfully cultivate donors and foundations; outstanding proposal development and writing skills preferred.
  • Experience managing staff to achieve programmatic results; ability to coach and mentor staff and provide visionary leadership.
  • Strong ability to communicate effectively in English, both verbally and in writing.
  • Outstanding writing and presentation skills.

Skills and Abilities

  • Astute political judgment and strategic thinking and vision for developing and implementing programs to support human rights and democracy in Asia.

  • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to persuade people with divergent views.

  • Strong ability to initiate, foster, interact, and maintain relationships with contacts and stakeholders in diverse and cross-cultural environments, with sensitivity and a high degree of courtesy, discretion, tact, and professionalism.

  • Ability to always maintain the highest degree of confidentiality regarding all aspects of work.

  • Previous advocacy or government experience a plus.

  • MS Office, specifically Excel, PowerPoint, and Word, as well as advanced knowledge of all other standard workplace software.

  • Candidates must be legally eligible to work in the U.S. Freedom House does not provide sponsorship.

  • Freedom House is an equal opportunity employer (EOE). As such, Freedom House makes employment decisions and provides equal employment opportunity without regard to an applicant’s or employee’s race, religion, color, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, or gender identity), national origin, age, disability, veteran status, or any other basis protected by federal, state, and local laws. If you need reasonable accommodation in the application or hiring process, please notify Freedom House’s Human Resources department.

  • Applicants are required to complete our online application form and to submit a resume and a cover letter that outlines interests and qualifications for this position.

  • To apply please visit our website at

Additional Information

  • Diversity makes our work stronger. We actively seek a diverse applicant pool and encourage candidates of all backgrounds—particularly Black, Indigenous, and people of color, individuals from the LGBTI+ community, and people living with disabilities—to apply.
  • Candidates must possess authorization to work in the United States.
  • Freedom House provides a competitive benefits package, including a 403(b)-retirement account with generous matching, commuter benefits, flexible hours, floating holidays, high employer contributions to medical, dental, and vision programs, basic and voluntary life and AD&D insurance, short- and long-term disability, flexible spending account, and more.
  • Salaries are commensurate with experience and based on pay grades that prioritize equity across the organization. We offer a competitive salary range depending on experience, the salary for this position starts at around $140,000.

Freedom House is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate in its selection and employment practices. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, disability, or protected veteran status, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, or other non-merit factors, In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), if you have a disability and would like to request an accommodation to apply for a position with Freedom House, please call 202-227-4308 or email

Applicants are required to complete our online application form and to submit a resume and a cover letter that outlines interests and qualifications for this position.

Physical Requirements: Sedentary, regularly required to sit for extended periods of time. Constantly talk, hear, and understand speech at normal levels using a telephone. Occasionally required to stand, walk, and bend over; reach overhead; use hands, wrists, and fingers to grasp, push, pull, move, handle, feel, and type. Constantly required to use close vision and distance vision for regular computer work. Occasionally required to lift and/or move up to 25 lbs. to waist height.

General Working Conditions: General working office environment. Some long hours, including evenings and/or weekends as reasonable, to complete essential tasks or attend important events and to be responsive in a timely manner to emergency assistance requests. Travel to event and meeting sites. Exposed to outside weather conditions when required to attend event venues or travel.

Freedom House is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate in its selection and employment practices. Read more about the application process and search for answers to common questions here. Freedom House offers competitive compensation and a comprehensive benefits package including health and wellness benefits, retirement, and professional development.

Interested in learning more about our current work?

Keep up with us on social media: Twitter @FreedomHouse, Facebook at FreedomHouseDC.

How to apply



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