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Director, Asia Program

Rights And Resources Initiative
Washington, Dist. of Columbia, US
Closing date
Oct 14, 2021
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The Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI) is a global Coalition of more than 150 organizations dedicated to advancing the forest, land, and resource rights of Indigenous Peoples, local communities, Afro-descendant Peoples, and in particular the women within these groups. Members capitalize on each others strengths, expertise, and geographic reach to achieve solutions more effectively and efficiently. RRI leverages the power of its global Coalition to amplify the voices of local peoples and proactively engage governments, multilateral institutions, and private sector actors to adopt institutional and market reforms that support the realization of rights.

RRI is coordinated by the Rights and Resources Group (RRG), a non-profit organization based in Washington, DC.

If you are passionate about working with Indigenous Peoples, local communities, and Afro-descendant Peoples to secure their rights; supporting womens rights and governance; and combatting climate change, this could be the place for you. RRI does meaningful work to make a positive difference at the global, national, and local scale. For more information about our inclusive and purpose-driven work, check out our current openings.

People of color, people from Indigenous and local communities, women, and LGBTQ+ persons are strongly encouraged to apply.

Director, Asia Program

The Director for Asia is the key instigator in setting and guiding implementation of the RRI Coalitions strategy for the Asia Region within the dynamic realpolitik in the diverse countries of South Asia, Southeast Asia, and East Asia. The Director should possess political savvy, diplomacy, flexibility, problem solving abilities, and a proven ability to communicate effectively across multiple cultures with diverse actors ranging from civil society organizations to government agencies.

The Asia Director will have the opportunity to work with a coalition of key civil society organizations focused on RRIs mission to support local communities and Indigenous Peoples struggles against poverty and marginalization by promoting policy, market and legal reforms that secure their rights to own, control and benefit from their land, forests and other natural resources. The Asia Director proactively leads the strategy development and implementation of RRIs Asia program and ensures accelerated achievement of RRIs goals in the region. The Asia Director also leads country and regional planning processes with RRIs Partners and Collaborators to prioritize their collective goals, agree on the best strategies to reach those goals, and develop concrete plans for action and engagement. They then support the implementation of this strategy in collaboration with RRI Partners and Collaborators in Asia and RRG staff. The Asia Directors work will be supported by Regional Facilitators based in Asia to assist Partners and Collaborators to build new working relationships, and by an Asia Regional Associate (based in Washington, DC). The Asia Director is also a member of RRGs Senior Management (SMT) team and will contribute to donor engagement in-country, and at regional and global levels.

The Director also contributes to RRIs global strategies, activities, and outreach and ensures that its global knowledge informs strategic action in Asia and vice versa. These responsibilities require effective and proactive decision-making to link strategic engagement and activities in the Asian region to the coalitions broader goals and vision and thematic areas agreed to by its members. The Asia Director reports to RRG President/Sr. Director.

This is a fulltime position based in Washington, DC, USA or Montreal, Canada.

Applications will be accepted immediately and interviews conducted on a rolling basis.

Primary Responsibilities:
  • Program Direction and Technical Assistance (55%):
  • Lead and provide strategic orientation for the Asia country and regional Program, working closely with the President/ Sr. Director, RRI Partners and Collaborators, and RRG Senior Management, and making effective use of available resources.
  • Actively promote collaboration and collective action amongst Coalition members in Asia, and across the different regions and scales of work (national/regional/global).
  • Manage Asia program budget, approve disbursements, and ensure that activities are completed with the resources available.
  • Lead regional and country planning processes for identifying strategic activities that contribute to RRIs overall objectives and have direct impact on country/regional level policy reform processes, in collaboration with Partners and Collaborators active in Asia and by using processes that build capacity and ensure fluid communication.
  • Provide intellectual leadership to strategy formulation and implementation by RRI collaborators in Asia to achieve impact at country and regional levels; ensuring the strategic orientation of a coordinated suite of activities to reach RRIs tenure and poverty reduction targets; and strengthening local organizational capacity to advance RRIs agenda of tenure rights policy and market reforms.
  • Guide and contribute to the preparation of concept notes, grants, and contracts for approved activities.
  • Manage grants and consultants directly contracted by RRG, including negotiating compensation, development of terms of reference, and tracking and review deliverables.
  • Guide vision and preparations for international dialogues/convenings in Asia and supervise logistical preparations, where appropriate.
  • Prepare technical, progress and monitoring and evaluation inputs and reports in accordance with RRI and donor guidelines.
  • Strengthen networks of civil society organizations working on tenure policy reform in Asia with support from with regional facilitators, using knowledge of the technical capacities of the organizations and political contexts to build effective learning networks across the region and in priority countries.
  • Oversee and contribute to the preparation of financial reports and financial projections related to project implementation.
  • Represent RRI in multiple contexts and with a wide variety of stakeholders, including civil society organizations, governments, and multilateral institution, as a thought leader in the field of natural resource tenure and resource rights in Asia.
  • Maintain fluid communication with the President/ Sr. Director to ensure that s/he is fully aware of activities in the Asia region, and issues as they arise in the Asia region.
  • Staff Management (15%):
  • Manage and supervise the work of the Asia Regional Associate, overseeing adherence to RRG protocols in monitoring and evaluation, reporting and proper documentation of program activities, and written contributions to RRG reports.
  • Oversee the work of Asia facilitators, closely monitoring assignments and work performed, and providing orientation and feedback.
  • Contribute to the recruitment of facilitator(s) as required.
  • Contribution to organization-wide strategic thinking, and global programs (25%):
  • Serve as a member of the Senior Management Team and contribute to the organizations strategy and success.
  • Contribute to RRI global activities according to professional/personal interest and relevance for Asia regional program, and other demands of the organization.
  • Contribute to the analysis of RRIs strategic themes (climate change and conservation, livelihoods, tenure tracking, private sector engagement, and gender justice) and provide strategic and critical comments to analyses/studies produced by consultants, rights holders, and their allies under the SAGE Program.
  • Deliver presentations on behalf of RRI related to the coalitions mission and objectives and contribute text describing RRIs Asia activities and programs to publications.
  • Contribute to enhancing the effectiveness of RRIs communications outreach, in multiple languages if appropriate.
  • Oversee the development, management, and timely updating of the Asia program content on the RRI website and donor reports.
  • Participate in organization wide governance and planning meetings and periodic assessments of RRI progress and performance, present the work of Asia Program as appropriate, and lead Asia country and regional planning processes (5%)

Basic Qualifications:
  • A strong background in land tenure reforms, natural resource management or forestry, rural development policies. An advanced degree is required; PhD preferred or a strong mix of academic training and country, field level experience.
  • 10 to 15 years professional experience in the policy reform processes that deal with rights-based forest conservation, rural development, poverty alleviation, and/or human rights in the Asia region.
  • Demonstrated ability to initiate and coordinate projects without intensive supervision.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage personnel and lead teams (including remote staff), and build an inclusive and diverse team culture of trust and care.
  • Demonstrated fluency in spoken and written English and a relevant Asian language are required.
  • Strong writing and analytical skills.
  • Ability and confidence to effectively and respectfully facilitate meetings that include a range of diverse participants, from representatives of forest communities to high-ranking government ministers.
  • Respect for different cultural perspectives and approaches toward accomplishing shared goals.
  • Willingness and ability to undertake frequent international travel.

Ideal Qualifications:
  • Extensive knowledge and understanding of the technical capacities of civil society organizations, forest and land agencies in Asia, and similar experiences in other parts of the developing world.
  • Particular experience and understanding of RRI priority regions and countries in Asia: South Asia and Southeast and East Asia, particularly India, Nepal, Indonesia, China, the Pacific Islands and the Mekong Region and knowledge of land and political economy issues in other parts of Asia.
  • Strong interest in advancing the land and forest rights and improving the livelihoods of rural and forest peoples.
  • Strong interest in strengthening capacities of developing country civil society organizations and leaders
  • Openness to and familiarity with a plurality of worldviews and epistemologies that explore the diverse relationships between humans and nature.


Rights and Resources Group (RRG) recognizes the value of benefits to employees and their families. We take great pride in offering our dedicated and committed employees a competitive benefits package. Our comprehensive benefit programs provide you with a reliable, effective, and affordable array of choices that will meet your needs and those of your family.
  • Medical, dental, and vision insurance (US)/Extended health care and dental insurance (Canada); dependents and domestic partners eligible
  • 100% coverage of employee premiums for the following: short-term/long-term disability insurance, life insurance, travel insurance, and the employee assistant program
  • 401(k) retirement plan with company match for in the US-based employees
  • 25+ days of leave annually, in addition to paid holidays
  • Flextime, teleworking, and pre-tax transit/parking benefits when available
  • Tuition reimbursement up to $1,500 per year after 1 full year of employment
  • Dynamic growth opportunities with merit-based promotion philosophy

Rights and Resources Group (RRG) is committed to creating and maintaining a workplace in which all employees have an opportunity to participate and contribute to the success of the organization and are valued for their skills, experience, and unique perspectives.

As an Equal Opportunity Employer, RRG makes all employment-related decisions without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, pregnancy, disability, genetic information, political affiliation or belief, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, marital status, personal appearance, family responsibilities, matriculation or any other category protected by applicable law.
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