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Director of Partnerships and Communications

Organization : USAID Southeast Asia’s Smart Power Program (“SE Asia Smart Power”)

USAID Southeast Asia’s Smart Power Program (“SE Asia Smart Power”)

Director of Partnerships and Communications – Job Description


Organization Overview


Abt Associates’ International Development Division (IDD) manages projects that are pioneering new approaches in governance, energy, health, agriculture, food security, climate change, and economic growth—as well as monitoring and evaluating projects within these sectors. We work throughout Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East for chiefly governmental clients, including the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the Millennium Challenge Corporation, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.


Project Description


The anticipated five-year, USAID Southeast Asia’s Smart Power Program (“SE Asia Smart Power”) will be a task order under the Energy II IDIQ designed to support and assist USAID and SE Asian partner countries achieve sustainable economic growth through targeted energy sector reforms. These reforms will promote energy security in the SE Asia region by improving reliability, increasing access, and providing affordable electricity as well as supporting countries and their utilities achieve financial stability and avoid adverse health impacts from the energy sector by accelerating clean energy solutions. Toward these ends, the project will be structured to include the following six tasks:


  • Task 1: Southeast Asia Power Utility Modernization
  • Task 2: Southeast Asia Cooling Efficiency
  • Task 3: Southeast Asia Energy Innovation and Emerging Trends
  • Task 4: Southeast Asia Center for Competitive Procurement
  • Task 5: Southeast Asia Power Trade and Grid Integration
  • Task 6: Support to the Asia Gas Partnership


Job Summary


Abt Associates seeks a qualified Director of Partnerships and Communications to lead program communications, partnership coordination and oversee Gender, Equality, and Social Inclusion (GESI) activities for USAID SE Asia Smart Power program activities. The Director of Partnerships and Communication will manage a team to expand USAID SE Asia Smart Power’s impact by building strong partnerships with global, regional, and national partners in order to ensure close coordination of activities, leverage resources for expanded impact, and identify opportunities for collaboration. In this role and under the direction of the COP and DCOP-Operations, the Director of Partnerships and Communications will develop a communications strategy that includes both internal program communications as well as external communications to key stakeholders, partners, donor institutions, NGOs, the private sector and civil society to amplify and expand program messaging. The Director of Partnerships and Communications will also manage staff to train and coordinate with the broader activity team to increase the participation and employment of women in the power sector including leadership roles. Building on existing work in the region, the Director will work to increase women’s empowerment and identify and mitigate the challenges around recruiting, hiring, and retaining women in power sector public agencies. The position will be based in Abt’s Bangkok office and is contingent upon program award and USAID approval.


Key Roles and Responsibilities


  • Reports to the Deputy Chief of Party-Operations (DCOP).
  • Oversees partnerships and communication efforts including development of communication, marketing, and partner engagement plans.
  • Oversees all internal program communications including contractual reporting requirements (quarterly and annual reports, work plans, branding and marking plan, etc.), ad hoc USAID requests, program deliverables as well as external program communications targeting key stakeholder groups.
  • Leads the development of informational and promotional materials for partners and other audiences such as fact sheets, brochures posters, infographics, website content, social media strategies, e-newsletters, social media content, marketing plans, and videos.
  • Oversees training of project staff on GESI interventions and a GESI advisor responsible for ensuring all GESI interventions and implementation of these activities aligned with the program’s overall vision and cross-cutting deliverables and reporting.
  • Provides oversight on the development of a GESI Strategy informed by conducting an assessment to identify and mitigate the gender challenges in the power sector across SE Asia.
  • Develops a partnership outreach strategy with other members of the team that will increase opportunities to collaborate, coordinate, and align program activities with key partners throughout Southeast Asia with the goal to increase programmatic impact and achieve targets.
  • Leads and contributes to communication strategies.
  • Provides leadership and management for direct reports and supports strategic direction for the program.




  • A Master’s degree in communications, international development, energy/environmental policy, or a related field.
  • 5-10 years of experience leading, managing, or implementing USG or donor-funded development initiatives in the energy, climate, and environment sectors, preferably in SE Asian countries and aimed at public sector entities.
  • Advanced knowledge of existing NGOs, donor institutions, MDBs, national institutions, or private sector groups currently promoting clean energy, cooling efficiency, power sector resilience, gender and workforce equity or private sector engagement programming in the energy sector across SE Asia.
  • Experience writing, editing, and developing program communications targeting USG and external stakeholders required, USAID experience preferred.
  • Previous experience building partnerships with private sector developers, investors, and other relevant stakeholders to increase deployment of clean energy solutions.
  • Previous experience supporting gender empowerment projects/activities for USAID is preferred.
  • Demonstrated track record of partnerships development and management.
  • Demonstrated technical knowledge of the energy sector in Southeast Asia with an ability to quickly learn and communicate technical activities, approaches, and outcomes.
  • Demonstrated experience in translating energy, climate, or environmental issues into persuasive copy for consumers and professionals.
  • Ability to work independently as well as part of a team, prioritize, and competently manage a variety of activities with multiple deadlines.
  • Exceptional communication and interpersonal skills. Ability to build and maintain relationships with development agencies, NGOs, and relevant private sector players.
  • Demonstrated capacity in facilitating in-depth and effective dialogues with internal team as well as with external stakeholders.
  • Experience managing teams, consultants and sub-contractors to ensure high-quality, timely submission of technical work and deliverables.
  • Highly self-motivated and adaptable to learning and understanding new concepts.
  • Ability to work both independently and in a team-oriented, collaborative environment.
  • Strong oral and written skills are required; and
  • Fluency in English is required; experience in a regionally relevant second language is preferred (Thai, Vietnamese, Tagalog/Filipino, Bahasa Indonesia, etc.).                    

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