Asia-Pacific Programs Director

Volunteers in Asia (VIA)
  • Location
    San Francisco, California
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    Feb 21

Position description

VIA seeks a program director with vision, extensive networks in the Asia-Pacific Region, and training experience to lead programming for students and professionals. Reporting to the Director of Programs, the Program Director is responsible for driving the development of VIA’s initiatives and participant experiences in Asia and the US through short experiential programs, a long-term fellowship program, and ongoing community engagement. The goal of the position is to provide programmatic content leadership, coordination of participant engagement, and oversight in developing new programs in line with strategic initiatives.

The ideal candidate will have a background in international education, experience with international exchange programs, demonstrated experience living and working in Asia, and professional contacts across the region.

Core Responsibilities

Partnership Development & Communication (10%)

  • Work to identify and approach appropriate potential partners and build relationships, with support from the Director of Programs.
  • Maintain communication with partner organizations sending participants and with partners hosting program-related activities to share program/recruitment timeline, marketing materials, and arrange logistics as needed in coordination with the Director of Operations and Director of Programs.

Program Design & Implementation (35%)

  • Maintain a program portfolio, including short-term and exposure programs, workshops, virtual courses, and other forms of engagement. The scope of each director’s portfolio will be determined through organizational strategic planning.
  • Develop program content and timeline, short term and long term program strategies, and objectives for program portfolio that are in line with VIA’s strategic plan and overall mission.
  • Analyze past program designs and assessments to evolve the program; maintain a record of the programs’ evolution.
  • Scaffold programming to maximize participants’ learning outcomes.
  • Work with the Director of Operations to evaluate each program according to VIA’s core curriculum objectives, success indicators, content-specific programmatic goals and objectives, and grant/internal reporting requirements.

Program Logistics (20%)

  • Work with the Director of Programs to create/update budgets and set benchmarks for program funding mix, including grants, fees, scholarship allocation, etc.
  • Identify program staffing needs and work with the Director of Operations to recruit, onboard, and train seasonal staff and volunteers.
  • Spend 8-12 weeks per fiscal year actively on programs in Asia and the US (including on-site pre-program training) and travel to partner institutions and other locations for relationship building and program development.
  • Arrange (or supervise the arrangement of) program logistics, including activities, organization/company visits, transportation, lodging, and meals.
  • Manage program budget and submit financial reports within set deadlines.

Participant Recruitment & Enrollment (15%)

  • Provide content to the Director of Operations to update promotional materials, website, application, and other platforms.
  • Review applications, conduct applicant interviews, and send out acceptance/rejection notices.
  • Coordinate with Director of Operations to collect pre-arrival information and documents from participants.
  • Design and implement pre-arrival orientation content and activities.

Additional Responsibilities

Organizational Development (10%)

  • Provide opportunities for partner representatives, donors, and alumni to engage with programs, e.g., panel discussions, program observations, social events, etc.
  • Provide quantitative/qualitative data and narrative content to support grant reports and external publications, e.g., VIAlogue, annual report, etc.
  • Contribute time, expertise, and perspective as a member of working committees focusing on specific projects.
  • Dedicate time to assisting other program directors in a supporting/advisory capacity.

Alumni Engagement (10%)

  • Maintain communication with program alumni through social media and email.
  • Encourage alumni to share program opportunities to support recruitment.
  • Collaborate with other program directors, Director of Programs, and Director of Operations on increasing and supporting alumni engagement activities.
  • Assist in the development of a strategic plan for sustaining the “VIA Experience” for alumni after the program.


  • Commitment to VIA’s mission to provide innovative experiential learning programs that promote cross-cultural understanding, build partnerships, and offer transformative experiences for our participants.
  • Excellent detail-oriented, multi-tasking, logistical skills in planning programs and travel.
  • Effective cross-cultural communicator with excellent verbal communications skills and writing skills for professional correspondence.
  • Experience leading international education programs.
  • Experience working with university students and young professionals.
  • Work or education experience in Asia, especially East and Southeast Asia.
  • Excels as a trainer, facilitator, teacher, or mentor.
  • Ability to work evenings and weekends during programs and other travel periods.
  • Legal right to work in the United States, residing in or willing to relocate to California.
  • Valid passport and ability to travel frequently to Asia, occasionally to remote areas.
  • Demonstrated experience working effectively with business and technology applications, including, but not limited to, Microsoft Office, Salesforce, SurveyGizmo, Slack, Airtable, and Concur.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience leading or managing a team.
  • Experience with risk management, emergency response coordination, and travel due diligence.
  • Indonesian, Burmese, Vietnamese, or Chinese language skills. Indonesian and Burmese language skills are highly desirable.
  • Formal program design and monitoring and evaluation training.
  • Coaching or counseling experience and demonstrated experience handling sensitive or confidential information.
  • Graduate degree in a relevant field such as international relations, international development, education, international education management, Asia Studies, etc.

Compensation & Benefits

  • Competitive salary commensurate with experience
  • Generous benefits package


  • Priority deadline: March 5, 2019 (position open until filled)
  • Position start date: mid-April/early May
  • Flexible in-office schedule, with option to work from home / telecommute some days

Ability to communicate in Indonesian, Burmese, Vietnamese, or Chinese in formal (business-level) and informal settings. Indonesian and Burmese language skills in particular are highly desirable.

Application instructions

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