Associate Director, Asia Security Initiative

12 Sep, 2022


Associate Director, Asia Security Initiative

Atlantic Council
Washington, D.C.


The associate director of the of the Asia Security Initiative (ASI) in the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security is a fast-paced and dynamic position. The associate director will assist in leading all programmatic priority areas for the initiative, overseeing high-level convenings and managing substantive content on key security issues related to key US allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific, including Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Australia, and more.

The associate director will be a key node of the Initiative’s team, contributing to strategic decision making in support of the director and in collaboration with other initiative staff. As part of ASI, which spearheads work core to the mission of the Scowcroft Center and the Council, the associate director will collaborate with a diverse group of colleagues in the Scowcroft Center, other centers across the Atlantic Council, and the Council’s executive office. The associate director will also help manage a vast external network of policymakers, thought leaders, donors, and media, which are integral to the initiative’s work.

The associate director should have experience and interest in both traditional and non-traditional Indo-Pacific security issues. They should demonstrate a passion for US foreign policy in the Indo0-Pacific and the mission of the Asia Security Initiative. The associate director is expected to be an entrepreneurial self-starter who is detail-oriented, nimble, innovative, and strategic in how to achieve results and impact, and able to lead in their own right while also effectively collaborating as a member of a team.

They should also exhibit a strong intellectual capability and curiosity as well a proven skillset including: management skills; experience developing, leading, and coordinating projects and events; creativity and innovation; excellent organizational and administrative skills; and superb research, writing and editing abilities. The associate director will also demonstrate and further develop skills in communications, social media, budgeting and financial management, business development, grant and proposal writing, diplomatic protocol, and digital tools such as web design and data visualization. While the main job duties are operational, the initiative will enable opportunities for the associate director to further develop as a leader and an expert, including opportunities for writing and co-authoring publications, as well as speaking at Atlantic Council and outside events, and leaning forward on strategic program development.

The ability to balance multiple tasks in a fast-paced environment under time pressure while maintaining collaboration and communication with team members and leadership is key to success in the job. Also critical is the ability to engage with senior officials and cultivate relationships across the Council and within the policy community.

This position is based in downtown Washington, DC, with the option for partially remote work, and involves some travel to the Indo-Pacific, primarily Korea, Taiwan, and Japan.

Job Responsibilities

  • Project Management: Steward, track, and implement a variety of funded projects, working closely with the director and designated ASI staff to execute activities. The associate director will lead and execute operational work such as implementing deliverables with minimal to no oversight (e.g., roundtables, public conferences, study trips, tabletop exercises, publications, digital campaigns, etc.). Liaise with donors and lead on day-to-day management of partnerships, to include developing projects, supporting the director at meetings with partners, and leading meetings and communication with certain partners to shape projects, set timelines, and keep partners up to date on project development. Keep initiative and center leadership updated on project developments or issues to ensure effective strategic oversight of ASI projects the associate director is leading on. Where feasible, provide input on strategic direction of projects and propose substantive areas of work (e.g. issue brief topics in collaboration with partners).
  • Internal Management: Work collaboratively with one other staff member on a team, with frequent and open communication to the director. Support the organization and efficiency of a close-knit team, in addition to fellows and external consultants, in a way that ensures productivity, cohesion, and a positive work environment. Support the director with initiative management to streamline workflows and keep operations moving swiftly and effectively. This includes supporting key internal processes related to publications, communications, business development, financial management, and program administration. Lead on certain cross-team administrative responsibilities to be assigned and as needed. Assist in the hiring and supervision of interns and any junior staff.
  • Business Development: Support ASI business development priorities, to include initiating and developing fundraising proposals, researching prospect organizations, developing concept notes and strategy for potential partnerships, and cultivating or supporting leadership cultivation of prospects. Collaborate with the Development Team in coordination with the director to develop new partnerships and foster renewals of ongoing partnerships. Where appropriate, collaborate with the director on the business development and strategic direction of new lines of work.
  • Financial Management: Track and manage several programmatic financial processes and administrative tasks related to project management, including developing budgets, tracking project expenses, developing financial reports in coordination with the Council Finance Team and invoice donors when payments are due. Execute projects on budget and assure reporting requirements are fulfilled in a comprehensive and timely manner.
  • Event Management: Organize and execute, independently and as a team, events such as private roundtables, public panel events, tabletop exercises, as well as study and fact-finding trips. Manage logistical and operational details such as invitation development, RSVP tracking, note-taking and other duties with close attention to detail. Draft briefing memos and talking points for use by initiative, center, and Council leadership for initiative events. Coordinate effectively with Atlantic Council Engagement Team members and travel agents, as well as other centers in the Council for co-hosted events.
  • External Relations and Communications: Foster and grow a vast network of policymakers, military officials, and industry leaders to expand the reach and visibility of the Initiative and its policy agenda. Master communications and engagement tools commonly used at the Council, including website design and social media platforms. Support the initiatives’ efforts to develop new and innovative ways to communicate with and diversify our audience, including through data analytics and visualization, and video and podcast production.
  • Intellectual Leadership and Expertise: Develop baseline knowledge and expertise of core ASI focus areas and stay up to date on pertinent policy research and news. Provide quality control of content and substantive oversight and input on ASI publications. Represent ASI, the Scowcroft Center, and the Atlantic Council in external policy debates through publications, speaking engagements, and other thought leadership. Support research efforts on publications as needed and contribute with original individual writing and research as possible to reports, issue briefs, or in op-eds. Participate in, and sometimes moderate, ASI events such as strategy sessions and public events, and engage key government officials, media, partners, and experts in substantive exchanges.
  • Support the Scowcroft Center in other activities and projects relating to the Indo-Pacific, including collaborating with others Council teams and representing ASI at internal Atlantic Council meetings when necessary.


  • Bachelor’s degree in international affairs, or a related field required. Master’s degree is highly preferred.
  • 4 or more years of combined professional experience in international public policy or politics.
  • Curiosity and demonstrated knowledge of Indo-Pacific traditional and non-traditional security issues.
  • Self-starter who can balance multiple tasks in a fast-paced environment.
  • Proven project and event management skills.
  • Excellent organizational, logistical, and administrative skills.
  • Superior English-language research, writing skills, communication skills.
  • Experience with fundraising, grant application and management, databases, budgeting, and financial management.
  • Experience with standard social media, content development, and data visualization tools preferred.
  • Demonstrated ability to work efficiently and collaboratively with both junior-level and senior-level colleagues and superior interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to represent the Atlantic Council to external constituencies, such as senior officials, diplomatic officials, board members, and donors.
  • Willingness to travel internationally on occasion and work extended hours and evenings.
  • Professional-level Chinese, Korean, or Japanese language abilities preferred, but not required.

Job posted: 2022-09-12