Vice President, Asia Pacific

Helen Keller International
  • Location
    Phnom Penh, Cambodia
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
  • Posted
    Jun 21

Position description

The Vice President (VP), Asia Pacific position serves as both a geographic and global leader for HKI. As a member of HKI’s Executive Management Team (EMT), s/he is a key contributor to strategic global development initiatives, and organization-wide planning and decision making.

As HKI’s top position in the region, the VP, Asia Pacific will drive the future direction and growth of HKI’s Asia portfolio, providing the leadership needed to both deepen and broaden the organization’s work regionally and in the 7 countries where HKI has a presence. S/he will nurture, oversee and expand HKI’s rich mix of partnerships and initiatives and will be ultimately responsible for the quality of HKI’s technical programs and operational research as well as administrative and financial support systems, compliance and risk management across the entirety of HKI’s program in Asia. The VP, Asia will provide highlevel regional leadership and represent HKI in policy fora and relevant conferences and meetings both within Asia Pacific and internationally.

The VP, Asia Pacific will be expected to promote an integrated approach, identifying crosscutting themes and synergies across the three pillars of our activities (i.e., eye health, nutrition and NTDs). Emphasis also will be placed on undertaking operational research, often with renowned research partners, to establish the evidence base whenever needed, and to leverage evidence into policy changes. The VP, Asia Pacific will be instrumental in continuous efforts to mobilize resources – bothrestricted and unrestricted – and to this end will nurture existing donor relationships, proactively identify new opportunities and spearhead proposal submissions. At the same time, s/he will ensure that necessary attention is also given to strengthening the technical and operational dimensions, including human resources, in order to ensure quality programs at the country and regional levels. The VP, Asia Pacific will be supported in these efforts by a senior regional management team of operational, programmatic and technical experts whom s/he will lead and directly supervise. The position is based in HKI’s Asia Pacific Regional Office in Phnom Penh, with considerable regional and international travel.

Functional Relationships

Reporting to the Senior Vice President, Programs, the VP, Asia Pacific serves on the Executive Management Team for the global organization and leads the Regional Management Team (RMT) for Asia Pacific. The position directly supervises a Regional Director, Operations and a Regional Director, Programs who in turn supervise the Country Directors and regional technical specialists.

HKI has a matrixed reporting structure that respects both the line management and authority within country office and regional hierarchies; and the accountability and oversight duties of subject matter experts and multi-country program managers at the regional and headquarters level. Strong communication skills and a spirit of teamwork among colleagues, both hierarchically and laterally, are essential to thrive within this structure.

HKI’s programs require close relations with governments, partner NGOs, private industry, donors and UN agencies. The Vice President plays a key role in nurturing and overseeing many of these cooperative relationships and representing HKI to donors and the international community, as needed.

Key Responsibilities

Strategic Planning and Vision:

  • Contribute to organization-wide planning and decision making in support of HKI’s new 2017-2021 strategic plan;
  • Provide leadership and direction to the short-, medium- and long-term planning processes of HKI’s programs in Asia and globally;
  • Identify trends in the region and their programmatic consequences (such as increasing overweight, rising urbanization, climate change, etc) strategic opportunities and potential partnerships to maintain and expand HKI’s leadership in nutrition, NTD and eye health programs both regionally and globally.

Management and Operations:

  • Provide leadership and oversight of all regional and country programs in Asia, including overseeing critical partnerships;
  • Directly supervise the Regional Directors for Programs and Operations;
  • Provide guidance and oversight to the highly-skilled APRO team to ensure:
    • High-quality financial planning, management, reporting and auditing of all Asia;
    • offices and programs, including thorough budget oversight;
    • Sound planning, implementation and evaluation of all Asia programs and operations;
    • Compliance with HKI standards, policies and procedures, and processes across Asia region, including for all aspects of human resource planning and performance management;
    • Compliance with donor requirements, including timely and accurate reporting of results and expenditures, and required interim and final reports;
    • Collaborate in the development and implementation of infrastructure improvements to enhance efficiency, risk management, communications and consistency of program operations worldwide.

Program Management and Quality Assurance:

  • Provide guidance and oversight to the highly-skilled APRO team to ensure:
    • High quality, optimal impact, sustainability, scalability and cost-effectiveness of all Asia programs;
    • 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 including regular highlights from country and regional programs;
    • HKI’s work and results from Asia are presented in peer reviewed or industry journals, and at presentations at key international meetings.

Research, Advocacy and Policy:

  • Provide guidance and oversight to the highly-skilled APRO team to identify operational research needs and opportunities for partnerships and funding;
  • Engage with key regional bodies and fora to foster a supportive policy, planning and funding climate, including the Asian offices of bi- and multilateral donor groups such as FAO, UNICEF, USAID, WFP, WHO and the World Bank; Vision 2020/International Agency for Prevention of Blindness (IAPB); ASEAN; regional elements of the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) movement; among others.


  • Nurture existing donor relationships and actively scope and identify new partnerships and collaborative opportunities that enhance the quality, depth and reach of HKI’s work in Asia;
  • Grow and diversify the organization’s funding base, including looking for new donors within Asia. Focus on expansion of our flagship ChildSight®, EHFP and Inclusive Education programs, as well as funds to fine-tune and expand the DR and RoP programs and implement new research that fills identified program gap;
  • Proactively identify and pursue program funding opportunities, including spearheading proposal preparation;
  • Maintain a list of qualified consultants to call on for proposal preparation;
  • Work with EMT to develop and implement strategies to meet long-term restricted and unrestricted funding needs both in Asia and globally, including meeting with key donors during travel.


  • Leverage public health and development expertise to ensure HKI maintains a position of technical excellence and prominence both in Asia and globally;
  • Attend or ensure HKI representation at key regional events and maintain visibility and leadership of HKI in the region;
  • Establish and maintain a network of key institutions, country government officials, local donors, national civil society groups and other colleagues that support HKI programs.

Staff Management and Development:

  • Lead a team of senior regional staff across professional disciplines to ensure the strategic and annual goals for HKI’s activities in Asia are achieved;
  • Plan and convene periodic meetings and events to promote Asia staff development, disseminate best practices, launch new initiatives, etc.;
  • Carry out supervisory responsibilities in accordance with the organization's policies and applicable laws. Responsibilities include interviewing, hiring and training employees; planning, assigning and directing work; appraising performance; rewarding and disciplining employees; addressing complaints and resolving problems;
  • Collaborate with relevant staff to identify and develop opportunities for HKI staff training, orientation and development within the context of available resources.


Seeking a recognized public health professional with a proven track record of leadership and multifaceted expertise, and a weight of experience as demonstrated by a:

  • Minimum of 15 years progressively responsible management positions in public health, especially in areas relevant to HKI’s mission, plus PhD in Public Health, or equivalent combination of education and experience;
  • Prior senior level management experience with a non-governmental organization highly preferred;
  • Direct field experience in public health programming, including significant experience in Asia, preferably in nutrition and/or eye health. Experience and knowledge related to programming for emerging trends such as urbanization, climate change, and overweight will be considered a plus;
  • Deep understanding of working with relevant institutions and partners in Asia – candidates are expected to bring their own network of relevant partners;
  • Demonstrated ability to forge productive relationships with donors and partners across sectors, industries and borders based on mutual credibility and trust and to successfully negotiate policy changes, memoranda of understanding, partner commitments, etc.;
  • Strong background in the management of complex international and regional programming and operations;
  • Current knowledge of the funding landscape in Asia in areas aligned with HKI’s mission;
  • Proven track record leading successful public health business development and proposal efforts that have secured substantial funding from government, nongovernment band private donors;
  • Ability to resourcefully adapt and plan within circumstances of limited unrestricted resources;
  • Ability to foster a creative, professional, “open door” management culture; to empower senior staff, managers and staff members to fulfill their potential; and to encourage staff to challenge assumptions;
  • Ability to undertake international and field travel (approximately 40-50%);
  • Demonstrated ability to write articles and make effective, persuasive speeches and presentations on controversial or complex topics to top management, public groups, and/or boards of directors;
  • High level of fluency in English, reading, speaking and writing;
  • Strong scientific and research skills, as evidenced by peer-reviewed publications and presentations at international conferences (preferred).

Application instructions

Qualified candidates should submit a cover letter and resume noting the job title in the subject line. 

Please be sure to indicate that you saw this position on

follow us on Twitter