Chief of Party, USAID Mekong Safeguards Activity
at The Asia Foundation
Location: Bangkok, Thailand
Deadline: September 10, 2020 (position will remain open until filled)
In an increasingly complex and interconnected world, Asia plays a crucial global role. Would you be excited at the prospect of employing your knowledge and skills to improve lives, expand opportunities, and help societies flourish across this dynamic region?
You could have this opportunity at The Asia Foundation. Informed by six decades of experience and deep local expertise, we address critical issues affecting Asia in the 21st century: governance and law, economic development, women's empowerment, environment, and regional cooperation. We work with innovative leaders and communities to build effective institutions and advance path-breaking reforms. Together with our partners, we are committed to Asia’s continued development as a peaceful, just, and thriving region of the world.
The Asia Foundation (TAF) seeks an experienced Chief of Party (COP) for the Mekong Safeguards Activity (MSA) project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for the five-year (2019-2023). Based in Bangkok, Thailand, the COP will lead program activities in China, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam.
The MAS program is led by The Asia Foundation in consortium with the Global Environment Institute and the Stimson Center, and funded by USAID. Mekong Safeguards promotes more sustainable infrastructure development, especially in transportation and power generation, to prevent environmental damage and depletion of natural resources in the Lower Mekong region. Mekong Safeguards supports policy makers, government regulators, major financiers, developers, and contractors with information and tools to foster consistent application of environmental, social, and governance standards, and helps operationalize the vision of sustainable infrastructure development that Lower Mekong countries have put forward in their respective national green-growth strategies and regional platforms.
The COP’s responsibilities include providing overall vision, leadership, and guidance for the project. Based in Bangkok, the COP must have a proven experience managing multi-country environmental governance, public sector, and private sector-related governance reform. The focus of the program is on promoting environmental and social safeguards on infrastructure development, financing, and regulations. The ideal candidate will have considerable experience and networks in China and/or the Mekong region. Experience implementing complex and multifaceted projects is required, with knowledge of or experience in adaptive management approaches a strong plus. The COP is expected to have the strategic vision, leadership qualities, depth and breadth of technical expertise and experience, a solid professional reputation, management experience, interpersonal skills, and written and oral presentation skills to fulfill the diverse technical and managerial requirements of the program. S/he will have exceptional communication and collaboration skills and a proven track record of working effectively with diverse groups of senior level government counterparts, business leaders, multilateral development banks, regulators, financial institutions, developers, think tanks, and civil society organizations. Given the complexity and scope of this project, it is critical that the COP exhibit effective management of project consortium, personnel management, workplans, and monitoring and evaluation.
Team Leadership and Supervision
Provide overall vision, leadership, and guidance for the MSA;
Provide technical leadership for all program activities including conceptualizing, designing, implementing and monitoring innovative, cutting-edge programming activities;
2. Operations and Management
Serve as the primary point of contact with USAID for procedural and substantive matters, and be responsible for quality control of the technical aspects of performance, procurement, personnel, reporting, and other management-related requirements of the cooperative agreement;
Ensure efficient management and coordination of multiple consortium partners and TAF offices across several countries;
Supervise a team of internal staff and external consultants across various technical and functional areas.
3. Communication & Donor Stewardship
Build and manage relationships with USAID and other USG counterparts in Bangkok, including meeting and consulting regularly with USAID regarding the program’s performance and direction
Relevant degree in international development, environment/social science, public policy, business/finance, or a related field of study.
At least eight years of senior managerial-level experience ideally in China and/or the lower Mekong region;
Proven track record managing multi-country and high-profile projects ideally in environmental governance, public sector, and private sector-related governance reform;
Demonstrated leadership/managerial, technical, and administrative skills in project management for USAID projects of similar size and scope, including work planning, managing budgets and personnel, motivating and supervising team efforts, monitoring & evaluation, integration of gender equality and social inclusion, communications, and achieving success in complex activities, preferably in China or the Mekong region;
Proven track record of working effectively with diverse groups of senior level government counterparts, business leaders, multilateral development banks, regulators, financial institutions, developers, think tanks, and civil society organizations;
Demonstrated leadership capabilities in strategic planning, and experience working effectively with senior government officials/agencies, government and private sector leaders, USAID, Department of State, and other development partners and donors, multilateral development banks, regional platforms, regulators, financial institutions, developers, and civil society ideally in China and the lower Mekong.
Strong understanding of the infrastructure project development cycle and the integration of environmental and social factors (e.g. public consultation, country-level strategic environmental assessments, and environmental and social impact assessments) into the project development decision making process ideally in the Mekong region and the Mekong ecosystem;
Exposure to or demonstrated knowledge of integrated resource planning in the energy and/or transportation sectors, and the integration of environmental, social, and governance risk into the infrastructure project development, financing, and investment decision making process.
Solid understanding of the value systems, traditions, and social norms and practices of different cultures, particularly in China and the Mekong region, strongly preferred; and
Excellent oral presentation and written communication skills in English. Excellent oral and written communication skills in Chinese or one of the lower Mekong country languages a strong plus.
Why work at The Asia Foundation?
You will have the opportunity to support policy makers, government regulators, major financiers, developers, and contractors with the information and tools to foster consistent application of environmental, social, and governance standards, particularly for power generation and transportation in China and the lower Mekong region and, more broadly, to the development, stability, and growth of the dynamic Asian region. You will help promote a more effective and constructive engagement between government and citizens, strengthen the role of women and minorities, and advance learning and awareness about the country. In China, Cambodia, Lao, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam, , and with headquarters, you will work with and learn from dedicated, smart, and accomplished colleagues, program partners, and local leaders. In the process, you will improve your skills and grow as a development professional.
TO APPLY: Submit your cover letter and resume to with the subject line "The Asia Foundation - COP"