Deputy Chief of Party – Technical, USAID Mekong Safeguards

  • Posted on 22 January 2021

Job Description

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 international 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’s Thailand Office is seeking qualified, talented Thai applicants for deputy chief of party, technical for the USAID Mekong Safeguards Project. USAID Mekong Safeguards is a five-year $8.6 million project working with major banks, governments, and developers in China, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and Myanmar on large energy and transportation infrastructure investments to strengthen environmental and social standards and adopt clean technologies in Southeast Asia’s Lower Mekong subregion. The program is an exciting opportunity to support new and improved ways governments, financiers, developers, and CSO’s can invest and build sustainable energy and transportation infrastructure.

The deputy chief of party, technical (DCOP) should be a vibrant individual who can manage technical, operational, and administrative deliverables for a large, distributed program set to bring rapid change in the sector. The DCOP works in tandem with the chief of party (COP) to oversee the development and implementation of high-quality policy adoption and capacity building activities across several program areas to transform infrastructure investments across the Lower Mekong sub-Region. S/he will support the COP in representing the program in donor, ministry, and partner meetings (at the national and subnational levels) and will regularly engage with subawardees, contractors, local partners, and staff. S/he will lead technical projects, discussions, and collaborations with governments, utilities, developers, and financiers to improve infrastructure investment environmental and social safeguards in the region and adopt cleaner, alternative technologies in government infrastructure planning. Likely program areas will include:

  • Directly engaging government ministries, energy and transportation authorities, and conducting technical cooperation results in regulatory and policy change.
  • Organizing policy dialogues that bring together researchers, policy-makers, civil society, and private sector on regional architecture, water, energy, infrastructure, and safeguards.
  • Design, manage, and/or lead research efforts on these and related issues.
  • Ongoing engagement with leaders in the Lower Mekong sub-Region and the international community.
  • Provide advice or technical support for government leaders and government agencies, as needed.
  • Analysis of key international trends and impacts on Thailand and the Mekong subregion.
  • S/he will be based in Bangkok, Thailand, and will report to the COP to lead the technical program planning for the timely development of products and delivery of services, including annual work planning and progress reporting.
  • The DCOP will report directly to the COP, and will supervise certain program technical staff.


  • Work under the leadership of the COP to support the technical teams in the design and delivery of programs to improve and incentivize the adoption of environmental and social safeguards in large energy and transportation infrastructure projects in the Lower Mekong subregion.
  • Lead capacity building and policy recommendation development, supported by staff and subawardees, to stakeholders including government, financiers, developers, civil society organizations, and standards-making bodies. Provide technical direction and guidance to core technical team members.
  • Support development of implementation strategies and work plans, and coordinate the day-to-day management of technical staff and technical management of the program in field offices across Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, and Cambodia.
  • Facilitate knowledge management, communications, and information flow for program implementation;
  • Support timely report preparation, including quarterly and annual reports, and ensure compliance in reporting to USAID, The Asia Foundation, and government counterparts.
  • Maintain a working knowledge of workplan budgets and expenditures, and assist the technical teams to set up and implement appropriate systems for program implementation.
  • Build a strong technical team management structure that enables teams to function productively with program partners and stakeholders.
  • Represent the project in local, national, and international meetings and events, in the absence or cooperation with the COP.


  • Extensive knowledge of Mekong subregional issues, particularly water governance, energy, infrastructure development, and regional architecture.
  • Advanced university degree (master’s or doctoral) in a relevant technical field from an accredited university preferred.
  • Experience working for or engaging with government ministries involved in the Lower Mekong sub-region, particularly energy and transportation and line ministries.
  • Demonstrated familiarization with integrated resource planning concepts, and power sector reform.
  • Experience in managing programs or initiatives to support regional cooperation or regional policy agendas.
  • Experience conducting research and publishing research outputs.
  • Excellent written and spoken English.
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced team environment.
  • Entrepreneurial, with a track-record of building new programs or initiatives.
  • Thai citizen (required)
  • Minimum 12-15 years of experience in relevant management, supervisory, and technical experience working with similar scope and scale programs is required.
  • Minimum 8 years’ experience in the energy or transportation sector related to financing and/or safeguards in Southeast is required.
  • Experience working in the Lower Mekong subregion is preferred.
  • Technical program/project management experience working government and financing environmental and social safeguards in Asia is required, as is demonstrated experience and knowledge of capacity building, government engagement and policy analysis.
  • Previous experience with USAID-funded programs is preferred.
  • Demonstrated communications and interpersonal skills.
  • Proficiency in English required, fluency in Thai, and another Mekong language is desirable.
  • Women are highly encouraged to apply.


Intellectual Leadership: The person in this role will shape program direction, lead intellectual and policy discussions, and strengthen partnerships with research organizations, civil society, government, and the international community. The position will also play a key role in raising the Foundation’s influence and profile, through contact with the media, influential stakeholders, and the international community.

Flexible, Response Program Management: This position will play an important role in managing flexible programs that respond to opportunities and requests. The successful candidate should have experience in managing policy reform programs, including coordination with an experienced team of staff and consultants. The person should also be comfortable in engaging with senior government officials.

Relationship Building: This position will play an important role in building relations with experts, and officials around the region. The person in this role will be the projects key person in maintaining relations with officials and experts in Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Myanmar, and Cambodia, and across the region who are involved in Mekong infrastructure issues and architecture. This relationship-building must be done in close collaboration with key partner embassies/donors, in a way that is complementary and supportive to the diplomatic efforts.


Interested applicants should submit a cover letter and CV by February 19, 2021 to with the position title listed in the subject line. The Asia Foundation is an equal opportunity employer, EOE/M/F/D/V. No phone calls, please.

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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