Country Representative, Malaysia

  • Posted on 16 November 2020

Job Description

The Asia Foundation is seeking a new Country Representative for its Malaysia Office in Kuala Lumpur. This is the senior-most Asia Foundation (Foundation) employee in Malaysia and leads all programs, external relations, and operations in accordance with Foundation strategies and policy guidelines. The Foundation’s work across the Asia Pacific region supports local initiatives to address some of the most critical issues affecting Asia in the 21st century: governance and law, economic development, conflict mitigation, impact of technology, women’s empowerment, environment, and regional cooperation. In Malaysia, the Foundation concentrates primarily on areas of reform and development essential for a successful transition to an advanced economy and society. The Malaysia program also serves as an emerging model for Foundation work in other countries of the region as they move into a more advanced development phase. The Country Representative in Malaysia oversees all aspects of this work in the country, including new program development; design, implementation, monitoring, evaluation, and reporting of program activities; fundraising; and the development and cultivation of effective working relationships with the host government, donors, partner agencies, diplomatic missions, national and international institutions, and the media. This position also oversees fundraising and the diversification of donor support; financial and grant management, administration, and security; along with recruitment, supervision, and appraisal of staff. The Country Representative is based in Kuala Lumpur and reports to the Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer in San Francisco.



• 15 (or more) years of experience in Asia working on international development, international policy, international business, or a related field. Strong and comprehensive understanding of Malaysian history and its current reforms, highly desired.

• Demonstrated personal capacity to work effectively at a policy level (locally and regionally), including a demonstrated capacity for building trust and influence in Malaysian government, industry, and policy analysis circles.

• Successful record of fundraising from bilateral, multilateral, foundation, and/or private sector donors, including experience in proposal writing, managing proposal teams, and building and maintaining relationships with donors.

• Must possess the ability to strategically assess important challenges and opportunities that contribute to the Foundation’s core areas of work.

• Strong representational and diplomatic skills along with intercultural competence.

• Demonstrated ability to evaluate and summarize complex information into simple concepts for broad communication to multiple types of audiences and stakeholders.

• Skilled at leading, motivating, and managing teams, as well as running effective meetings and demonstrated outstanding verbal and written communication skills

• Strong program management skills and experience in designing new programs, establishing monitoring, evaluation, and reporting systems, ensuring compliance with donor regulations, coordinating efforts across multiple programs, and identifying solutions to implementation challenges.

• Substantive knowledge in at least one of the office’s key programming areas: education, technology, economic reform, regional relations, political economy, and the role of ASEAN.

• Excellent written communication skills, including proposal writing and report editing.,


• A Master’s degree or higher is required - in a relevant field, such as: international development; international relations; government; business; public policy; foreign affairs; political science, law, public policy, international development, economics.

• Highly Preferred: Significant experience working and/or living in Malaysia; knowledge of key institutions and government stakeholders and an understanding of policy reform processes in the country; knowledge of the donor landscape. Knowledge of Australian DFAT would be especially helpful.

Who are we looking for?

The ideal candidate is passionate about leading people and programs in a collaborative, innovative, culturally sensitive way that advances the impact of the Foundation’s work. You are adept at harnessing the talents and ideas of teams and Foundation partners and excel at fostering a culture of mutual respect and learning. The successful candidate is a strategic thinker, an excellent manager, and a clear communicator who establishes shared goals and ensures accountability in carrying out programs to the highest standards. You have a strong ability to build trust-based relationships and networks with host country representatives in government, academia, and the private sector. You are adept at analyzing and solving problems, managing multiple responsibilities, prioritizing issues, and maintaining relationships while addressing competing demands.

Why work at The Asia Foundation?

You will have the opportunity to work with a team of leading professionals who contribute to 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 Malaysia, other Asian countries, 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 professional.


Applications should be submitted by visiting our website: and selecting “Employment Opportunities.” The application deadline is December 15, 2020 and the position will remain open until filled.

About the Organization

About The Asia Foundation

The Asia Foundation is a nonprofit international development organization committed to improving lives across a dynamic and developing Asia. Informed by six decades of experience and deep local expertise, our work across the region addresses five overarching goals—strengthen governance, empower women, expand economic opportunity, increase environmental resilience, and promote regional cooperation.

Headquartered in San Francisco, The Asia Foundation works through a network of offices in 18 Asian countries and in Washington, DC. Working with public and private partners, the Foundation receives funding from a diverse group of bilateral and multilateral development agencies, foundations, corporations, and individuals. In 2016, we provided $87.8 million in direct program support and distributed textbooks and other educational materials valued at $9.5 million.

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