Country Director, the Philippines

Helen Keller Intl
  • Location
    Manila, Philippines
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career / Advanced
  • Posted
    Apr 30

Position description

Guided by the remarkable legacy of its co-founder, Helen Keller, Helen Keller Intl partners with communities that are striving to overcome longstanding cycles of poverty. By delivering the essential building blocks of good health, sound nutrition, and clear vision, we help millions of people create lasting change in their own lives. Working in 20 countries – across Africa, Asia, Europe, and the United States – and together with a global community of supporters, we ensure every person has the opportunity – as Helen did – to reach their true potential.


We are currently seeking a Country Director (CD) in the Philippines to represent Helen Keller, develop new programs, expand our programming and scale, and lead the country office and its programs in a manner that reflects our mission and values and ensures technical excellence in the delivery of all activities.


Country Program Overview

Helen Keller’s mission in the Philippines is to help improve the lives and resiliency of families in need by forging partnerships that bridge gaps in health and food systems; delivering evidence- based interventions; and ensuring institutionalization of holistic and sustainable strategies at a national level. Helen Keller has longstanding experience working with the Philippine Government, various local government units, private sector, and international development institutions in delivering critical nutrition interventions linked to improved health outcomes. Since 1987, our multi-sectoral and evidence-based approaches have focused on strengthening local capacities at the community and institutional level to deliver effective and sustainable interventions for a healthier and more resilient Filipinos.


Functional Relationships

The CD reports directly to the Regional Director, Asia, and leads the Country Management Team (CMT). The position directly supervises a team of professional level staff, works closely with colleagues at all levels of Helen Keller’s global management structure and may be called upon to participate in global working groups or steering committees. Helen Keller has a matrixed reporting structure. Regular communication and a spirit of teamwork among colleagues, both hierarchically and laterally are essential to make this structure thrive.


Helen Keller’s programs require close relations with governments, partner universities and NGOs, civil society organizations, private industry, donors, and UN agencies. The CD will represent Helen Keller at relevant external meetings.


Scope of the Position

The CD provides strategic leadership and develops action plans that further the mission of Helen Keller and are locally appropriate in the Philippines context. They have overall responsibility for ensuring technical and operational excellence in the delivery of all activities to achieve the objectives established in grants and strategic plans, and actively working to expand funding for activities in line with Helen Keller’s mission and local needs. This position is based in Manila with regular travel to project sites, security conditions permitting.


Key Responsibilities

Overall Management and Leadership

Provide strategic vision and direction for overall program design, implementation, and proposal development; work closely with the country team to accomplish the strategic goals.

  • Lead and oversee all aspects of the implementation of country programs and the management of the country
  • Represent Helen Keller in formal and informal meetings with government officials, international donor agencies, and national technical advisory groups pertinent to Helen Keller project
  • Identify opportunities and generate funding from international and bilateral agencies, and donor
  • Develop and nurture in-country donor relationships and identify potential partners to participate in joint
  • Lead and prepare concept papers and proposals and provide other information as needed for submission to donors and others for fundraising and marketing
  • Model collaboration for your matrixed team: effectively consult and inform colleagues to maximize efficiency and knowledge sharing and integrate guidance and direction from subject matter experts in your office and elsewhere in the global organization to maximize
  • Build a highly effective Country Management Team, recruiting, supervising, mentoring, and evaluating staff, and engaging in frequent performance conversations with team
  • Delegate authority, consult with, and guide staff to achieve goals and contribute to an atmosphere conducive to professional growth and development.
  • Ensure accountability to beneficiaries, partners, colleagues, and donors by providing ongoing feedback in a context of mutual
  • As a senior leader in the organization, participate in global working groups, the recruitment process of global colleagues and other activities, as requested.



Oversee and coordinate the program portfolio to ensure the highest level of project quality and accountability, while fostering continuity through building local capacity.

  • Provide technical input to the government, international donors, and technical advisory groups pertinent to Helen Keller project
  • Ensure implementation of strong program monitoring, evaluation and learning functions.
  • Oversee research design, methodology and dissemination of information needed to monitor and evaluate project activities and/or advance programmatic and policy
  • Disseminate findings from Helen Keller projects that are of importance to decision-makers in a position to fund or implement projects in the Philippines and internationally.
  • Keep the national partners and others informed about progress of the projects, plans for the development of new programs/projects/activities and donor involvement in the overall


  • Ensure safeguarding measures are integrated into program design and implementation at all levels.

Operations and Finance

Provide oversight to finance and administrative services including procurement, property management, human resources management, vehicle and facilities management, and staff safety and security.

  • Supervise all aspects of people management in the country office; including hiring and managing staff, leading initiatives to develop staff capacity, and cultivating a positive culture to promote team morale and
  • Work with global colleagues to manage the development and implementation of annual country
  • Authorize expenditures for grant or contract allocations and ensure compliance with procedures required by grant or contract
  • Ensure the accurate and timely submission of financial and narrative reports that comply with grant or contract agreements and ensure compliance with all aspects of donor funding and Helen Keller


Required Qualifications and Competencies

  • Minimum ten years of field experience in global/public health and/or nutrition programs including demonstrated experience in program management, including design, implementation, and evaluation, plus a minimum master’s degree in public health, nutrition, development or related field, or equivalent combination of education and
  • Technical knowledge in an area related to Helen Keller’s mission and
  • Experience managing all aspects of program and operations management with demonstrated experience and ability to:
    • lead program development and management, and strategic planning;
    • supervise key administrative, procurement, and logistics functions;
    • supervise financial management, develop and create budgets monitor financial status, and hold budget owners accountable;
    • manage compliance with diverse donor requirements;
    • integrate safeguarding measures;
    • supervise safety and security in a challenging operating environment; and
    • lead and manage
  • Demonstrated ability to:
    • undertake high-level representation and advocacy; and
    • mobilize program funding including donor cultivation and write
  • Experience working in the Philippines and/or elsewhere in Asia, with Ministries, international and local NGOs, and donors based locally, is a substantial
  • Familiarity with and experience promoting health systems strengthening and ensuring the sustainability of program activities in developing contexts is strongly desired.
  • Experience in designing and implementing workshops, seminars, surveys, monitoring systems, and evaluations. Experience in research design, data analysis, and interpretation.


  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, including an ability to effectively lead a team, communicate a vision, make timely and transparent decisions, and manage conflict.
  • Very good oral and written English language skills, including the ability to quickly synthesize complex technical and programmatic issues into concise communications.
  • Well-established and practiced organizational and planning skills;
  • Computer literate in use of word-processing, spreadsheet and statistical
  • Collaborative, flexible and solution-oriented. An ability to maintain balance when under
  • Ability and willingness to:
    • flex work hours to accommodate multiple time zones, as
    • travel within the Philippines and, periodically,
    • NOTE: All staff must be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to travel internationally.
  • Demonstrable respect for all persons regardless of religion, ethnicity, class or gender, with a high comfort level working in a diverse environment with a demonstrated commitment to high professional ethical
  • Personal commitment to Helen Keller’s mission and goals and the values embodied by our namesake and co-founder: courage, integrity, rigor, and


The initial employment period is for two years with the possibility of renewal.

Application instructions

Qualified candidates should submit a cover letter and resume. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

In the spirit of our founder and namesake, Helen Keller is dedicated to building an inclusive workforce where diversity in all its forms is fully valued.

Please be sure to indicate you saw this position on