Regional Director - India
Ford Foundation
India, Nepal and Sri Lanka - New Delhi
2d ago

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Everyone new to the team, along with our current staff, will temporarily work from home until it is safe to return to our offices.

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Title : Regional Director

Location : New Delhi


The Ford Foundation seeks a dynamic, creative and innovative leader to serve as its Regional Director for the India Branch Office.

Building on Ford’s rich legacy in and longstanding commitment to promoting social justice and reducing inequality in the region, the Director will oversee and lead the Foundation’s program development and implementation and manage the Foundation’s team, external relations and administrative operations in India.


The Regional Director oversees the Foundation’s activities in India, Nepal and Sri Lanka providing overall leadership to the Foundation’s strategy and grant making programs, managing the office and team in New Delhi, and representing the Foundation to government, business, non-profit leaders, the media and the donor community.

Act as the ambassador for the Foundation in the region to many important constituencies.

The Director assesses local policy, social, cultural and economic developments, identifies regional priorities and helps shape the Foundation’s strategy in the region and guide its programming and grant-making priorities in alignment with the Foundation’s mission, values and the goals.

  • Facilitate the development of an integrated office vision and innovative grant-making strategy; synthesize learning and enhance the quality and impact of programming;
  • and promote a collaborative working environment in the office and across areas of expertise that maximize the diverse backgrounds, perspectives and skills of staff to accomplish the Foundation goals.

    The Director manages, coaches, galvanizes and works closely with a small team of program, administrative and operations staff in developing, monitoring and evaluating integrated grant programs and projects in support of regional goals.

    The Director will ensure the grants and activities supported under its GREJ and CEG programs in India contribute to the overall strategy.

    The Director also partners with Ford’s International Program Directors for GREJ and CEG to ensure the grant making in India and the region is aligned with the larger global vision for these two areas.

    S / he 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.

    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, maintains constructive working relations with government.

    Additionally, s / he manages the office’s $14.5 million annual grant budget. They also prepare and manage 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 various aspects of the Foundation’s work regionally and globally.


    Be accountable to Ford Foundation senior leadership and through them to the Foundation’s Board of Trustees to implement the India office strategy and communicate progress to them.

    Assess local social, cultural, and economic developments and help shape the Foundation’s strategy in the region and guide its programming and grant-making priorities in alignment with the Foundation’s mission, values and the goals of the International GREJ and CEG programs.

    Provide intellectual leadership inside and outside the Foundation.

    Represent the Foundation externally and initiate / foster strategic partnerships collaborating broadly with international scholars and practitioners, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, and other donors on issues of common program concern.

    Lead / conduct annual reviews of strategy and propose changes to ensure the greatest impact

    Uphold social justice values and incorporate a gender focus in the work and advance initiatives focused on people with disabilities.

  • Oversee and manage, mentor, and coach a small team of professional, administrative, and support staff, including developing grant making plans by Program Officers;
  • establishing annual performance delivery goals for the team and direct reports; and planning and implementing talent management strategies.

    Prepare and manage the India office annual grant and administrative budget.

    Establish learning goals for the India office team, including working with Ford strategy and learning colleagues to build a monitoring framework to assess the impact and synthesize learning.

    Communicate with the team, senior Foundation leadership, and external partners clearly and consistently in a transparent, timely, and respectful manner, enabling them to be strategic and achieve impact.

    Monitor local compliance requirements in coordination with local counsel and the foundation’s Office of Legal Services.


    A Graduate level degree in a relevant field of study or BA and equivalent experience. Master’s Degree is preferred.

    10+ years of experience leading strategies, people and teams.

    Creativity, energy, and non-traditional thinking capacity

    Written and oral fluency in English

    Ability to travel extensively on behalf of the Foundation


  • Proven record of leadership, strategic design, planning, and management success;
  • Substantial previous experience in and deep knowledge of the history, culture, and social justice context of India as well as the region’s broader engagement with the Asian continent and global developments;
  • Exceptional leadership presence internally and externally;
  • Demonstrated exceptional people management and team management skills, including the ability to motivate and build teams, constructively lead, coach, mentor, develop and evaluate staff;
  • Proven skills to diplomatically manage complex relationships with private and public sector stakeholders in the region;
  • An understanding of the development and social change processes and a proven track record of achieving change;
  • In-depth knowledge of the philanthropic sector and grant-making capabilities in the social development sector;
  • Substantive expertise in and experience with applying gender analysis to work;
  • A proven ability to think analytically, independently, and critically with agility to translate ideas and insights into action through coherent and viable program work;
  • An action-oriented, entrepreneurial person who is a self-starter than can work independently, as well as in teams;
  • Ability to effectively lead a regional office within a larger global organization with headquarters in New York and strategize / solve problems through solicitation of relevant internal expertise (Human Resources, Finance, Legal Services);
  • Knowledge and understanding of the geopolitical context of South Asia;
  • Administrative skills, in particular, an appreciation for the importance of strong fiscal management;
  • Strong facilitation skills the ability to listen and learn from diverse perspectives;
  • Exemplary communications skills strong, active listening skills and public presentation skills;
  • Demonstrated ability to be a productive member of a community of people at work, respecting differences while working toward shared goals;
  • comfort with periods of ambiguity; constructive participation in ongoing organizational development;
  • Demonstrated organizational skills and the ability to manage multiple tasks simultaneously;
  • Strong time management proficiency;
  • Sound, mature judgment and integrity;
  • Personal qualities of humility and capacity for self-reflection;
  • A passion for social justice and reducing inequality and commitment to Ford’s mission and core values of equity and fairness, diversity, voice and participation, knowledge and creativity, humility and respect, and honesty and integrity.


    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 grant-making, but also to attend team conferences, retreats and meetings and may occasionally include travel to rural or remote places with difficult conditions.

    Alignment to Culture and Values

    Commitment to the Foundation’s mission and core values of equity, openness, collaboration, trust, accountability and urgency

    Personal qualities of humility, capacity for self-reflection, and a sense of humor

    Discretion and ability to handle confidential issues

    Action-orientated and entrepreneurial self-starter who can work well independently and in teams

    Equal employment opportunity and having a diverse staff are fundamental principles at The Ford Foundation, where employment and promotional opportunities are based upon individual capabilities and qualifications without regard to race, color, religion, gender, pregnancy, sexual orientation / affectional preference, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status or any other protected characteristic as established under law.

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