The Ford Foundation, created in 1936, is a US-based philanthropic organization and private international donor focusing on combating inequality in all its forms. It has eleven offices across the world in the US, Africa, Asia and Latin America. The Regional Director for China oversees the Foundation’s activities in that country – providing overall leadership for the Foundation’s strategy and grant making programs, representing the Foundation to government, business, nonprofit leaders, the media and the donor community, and managing the office and team in Beijing. The Director reports to the Office of the Vice President for International Programs.
Strategy and Grantmaking:
The China office strategy aims to increase understanding regarding China’s growth and global influence, and how they can be leveraged to reduce inequality in accordance with international standards rooted in values of transparency, accountability, expression and participation. The strategy is implemented through grantmaking focused on accountable overseas finance and investment, building analytical capacity about China in the Global South, and supporting evidence-based research to inform and advance US-China relations through the creation of global governance systems that address inequality and promote human dignity. The China office also focuses on strengthening domestic philanthropy and impact investing ecosystems in China in order to mobilize more private capital for the public good at a time of increasing wealth creation in China.
The Director’s role is to lead the team to assess local social, cultural and economic developments, identify priorities and shape the Foundation’s strategy in the country. The Director facilitates development of an integrated office vision and innovative grant-making strategy and synthesizes learning that enhances the quality and impact of programming. The Director manages, coaches, galvanizes and works closely with a small team of program staff in developing, monitoring and evaluating integrated grant programs and projects in support of the Foundation’s programmatic goals. Priority is placed on promoting a collaborative working environment that maximizes the diverse backgrounds, perspectives and skills of staff to accomplish Foundation goals. Given China’s global impact, the Director also plays a role in identifying and enabling cross-team and cross-office programmatic alignment, learning, and collaboration as it relates to China.
The office annual grant making budget is approximately $15.5 million.
The Ford Foundation’s engagement with China has spanned more than 50 years. Throughout this time, we have built a relationship based on trust and mutually agreed upon goals. We have supported people-to-people exchanges, worked to promote social, economic and legal development in China, and supported open channels of communication between the United States and China as well as among Chinese and global stakeholders. The Director is the Foundation’s ambassador in China to many important constituencies and maintains effective ties and promotes strategic partnerships with local leaders, governmental agencies and non-governmental organizations, and other donors to leverage new resources, scale impact, and advance the goals of the office. Specifically, the Director maintains key relationships related to oversight under the Overseas NGO Management Law. The Director also oversees a robust strategic communications strategy that aims to elevate the Foundation to key stakeholders in China and to strengthen the Foundation’s overall positioning. This includes overseeing an active WeChat presence, strategic media placements, media monitoring, and supporting the program team to engage in strategic thought leadership through writing and speaking.
Managing the Office and Team:
Currently, the China office has eleven staff, including the Director. The Director directly manages eight of those staff and plays a role in building and leading a cohesive team that works together to achieve shared goals and objectives. The Director collaborates with staff in the Foundation’s New York headquarters to oversee all workforce needs and legal matters, ensures that the Foundation complies with all relevant local laws and statutory obligations in a timely manner, and maintains constructive working relations with government. Additionally, the Director manages an administrative budget and staff with responsibilities for accounting, grants administration and general services functions. The Director also works closely with senior management staff from around the world, including Regional and Program Directors from Ford’s offices in 11 countries in helping shape and integrate Foundation-wide initiatives regionally and globally.
Specifically, the Director will:
CRITERIA FOR SUCCESS:
The successful candidate will have the following minimum qualifications and experience:
LOCATION: Beijing, China
This position is primarily a sedentary role. However, the person in this position may need to occasionally move about inside the office to liaise with internal staff, access files, office machinery and a copy machine/printer. Additionally, domestic/international travel will be expected, approximately 25%; some travel is directly related to grantmaking, but also to attend team conferences, retreats and meetings— and may occasionally include travel to rural or remote places with difficult conditions.
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