Regional Director - Asia Pacific

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

About International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)

SRI Executive has been entrusted by International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), to support the executive search of an exceptional leader for the position of Regional Director, Asia Pacific.
The IFRC is the world’s largest humanitarian organisation, comprising 190-member National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and nearly 14 million volunteers. It assists those impacted by natural disasters and health emergencies by providing disaster response, relief services and vital health services while promoting human dignity and peace.
Since 1919, IFRC has assisted over 160 million people each year through its member societies. Their work is guided by seven fundamental principles: humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity, and universality. Through improving humanitarian standards, working as partners in development, responding to disasters, supporting healthier and safer communities, IFRC helps reduce vulnerabilities, strengthen resilience, and foster a culture of peace around the world.
A member of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, IFRC is joined by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to protect life and health while ensuring respect for all human beings. The largest humanitarian network in the world, the Movement promotes mutual understanding, friendship, cooperation, and lasting peace amongst all peoples. Key to this approach is that the Movement works in cooperation with governments, investors, and other organisations to help vulnerable communities. Since 1994, the IFRC has held Observer status with the UN General Assembly which provides the organisation with the opportunity to participate in international debates at the highest level, and access to negotiations and deliberations within the structures of almost all international organisations. 

Headquartered in Geneva, IFRC has five (5) regional offices that coordinate and provide financial, technical, and logistical support to the National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies for disaster operations and development programmes throughout their regions.
You can find further details on their website https://media.ifrc.org/ifrc/.


Regional Director, Asia Pacific Role Profile

The Regional Director Asia Pacific leads the IFRC’s work in the region and is a member of the Secretary General’s Global Leadership Team (GLT) and reports to the Under-Secretary General, National Society Development and Operations Coordination.  The Regional Director Asia Pacific also coordinates activities closely with the Under-Secretary General, Global Relations, Humanitarian Diplomacy and Digitalization (GRHDD), and the Under-Secretary General, Management Policy, Strategy & Corporate Services MPSCS), to ensure effective coordination across the IFRC Secretariat.

The following roles report directly to the Regional Director Asia Pacific: The Deputy Regional Director, the Heads of Country Delegations and Heads of Country Cluster Delegations in the region as well as the IFRC leads for different thematic, operational and technical areas in the region.

This position is based in the IFRC Asia Regional office in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


Job Purpose

Under the overall leadership of the Secretary General and the direct line management of the USG-NSDOC, the Regional Director Asia Pacific provides vision, leadership, strategic guidance and effective management of the IFRC Secretariat’s work and resources in the particular region of assignment, including in the relevant strategic areas of National Society development, operations coordination, partnerships and humanitarian diplomacy, and management.
The Regional Director Asia Pacific will ensure that the member National Societies are at the centre of the IFRC’s work in the region and is responsible for providing organizational and operational excellence in support of National Societies, guiding the adaptation of the global agenda to the local context and the vulnerable people and communities that the Federation serves. The Regional Director Asia Pacific is also responsible for the regional communication strategy and for ensuring that staff, stakeholders and communities are engaged and promptly informed of developments.

Duties and Responsibilities

Within the framework of the IFRC Strategy 2030, and under the guidance of the Under-Secretary General, National Society Development and Operations Coordination (USG-NSDOC), the Regional Director, Asia Pacific has the following responsibilities:

National Society Development and Operations Coordination

  • Translates the overall IFRC vision and strategy to the regional context and provide leadership and strategic direction to build strong National Societies in the region, including through the development of a holistic regional plan for National Society development.
  • Leads the development and adaptation of regional strategies that facilitate research, learning and knowledge sharing in support of evidence-based decision-making by National Societies.
  • Shares pertinent information and analyses of internal and external trends with National Societies in the region, including through the IFRC’s global information collection tools, for better harmonisation of strategic objectives, implementation strategies and approaches across the region.
  • Guides support to National Societies on approaches to strengthen their capacities for volunteer development and youth engagement and ensure that lessons learned are shared between National Societies in the region and are available globally. 
  • Provides leadership, strategic direction, effective management and operational coordination in the region in the areas of disaster risk reduction and crisis prevention, preparedness, response and recovery, in support of the National Societies in the region and in close collaboration with the Under Secretary General, NSDOC. This includes facilitating timely deployment of quality surge capacity through effective coordination mechanisms in support of National Societies.
  • Helps to build stronger National Society capacities in the areas of disaster risk reduction, crisis prevention, climate change, resilience and preparedness, response and recovery and any other areas as required by Strategy 2030.
  • Provides leadership, strategic direction, effective management and coordination in support of National Society efforts to strengthen the resilience of communities and address the needs of vulnerable people in the region covering the full range of programme areas (e.g., health and other social and economic sectors) consistent with the priorities established by the Governance Bodies and the Secretary General and in close collaboration with the USG-NSDOC.
  • Maintain oversight of, and manage, resources, logistics services, tools and commodities, resources and overall organizational preparedness for all programmatic and operational activities of the IFRC, including disaster and crisis response and tools of the Movement to enable effective and appropriate resource mobilization.
  • Provides regional oversight for staff safety and security in the region and, in close collaboration with the USG-NSDOC and the IFRC Security Unit, ensures that effective systems, mechanisms, programmes and tools are in place to protect the safety and security of staff and volunteers in operational settings and to strengthen National Society capacities to ensure the safety and security of their staff and volunteers.

Partnerships, Membership and Movement Coordination and Humanitarian Diplomacy

  • Works continuously to bring the Secretariat closer to National Societies and to foster coordination and cooperation in related areas of work and harness resources.
  • Maximises the collective IFRC footprint by fostering and promoting membership coordination, and by further advancing shared leadership approaches, including Federation-wide joint response plans for early recovery as well as Federation-wide reporting for all disasters of a certain scale.
  • Maximises Movement coordination by respecting and promoting the sovereignty of the member National Societies and strengthens cooperation with the ICRC in a mutually respectful way. This includes ensuring that National Society collective interests are reflected and represented in key Movement processes such as the Strengthening Movement Coordination and Cooperation (SMCC) initiative.
  • Provides leadership and direction to Country Cluster offices and Country offices to ensure that strategic partnerships are established, maintained and strengthened (including with and among National Societies), to build stronger National Societies, and to engage in humanitarian diplomacy and resource mobilization, consistent with the priorities established by the Governance Bodies and the Secretary General.
  • Through regional forums, facilitates or nurtures enabling environments to encourage and leverage the full networking, knowledge sharing and support capacities of the member National Societies to one another.
  • Provides strategic direction in the region and advocates for an increased understanding of and respect for the fundamental and humanitarian principles and ensures that Federation-wide standards and guidance are disseminated and integrated. This includes proactive efforts to tackle stigma, discrimination, social exclusion and violence. It also encompasses efforts to promote peace and harmony by working proactively with the National Societies in the region.
  • Represents the IFRC in high-level internal, Movement and external forums, and plays an active role in contributing to policy development along the continuum of the Federation’s humanitarian work.
  • Guides and oversees the implementation of strategies in the region to heighten Red Cross/ Red Crescent influence on decision-makers, opinion leaders, governments, other humanitarian actors including the UN, private sector partners, and other key stakeholders to better grasp the needs of vulnerable people, the primacy of community resilience and local actors as well as the central role of the IFRC and the Movement and to facilitate the availability of humanitarian access, space, and resources.
  • Leads the mobilisation of resources at the necessary scale to support regional activities along the continuum of IFRC engagement, working in close coordination with the member National Societies and ensuring support to National Societies in the region to build up their own resource mobilisation capacity and to diversify their resource base. This includes exploring innovative ways of collective financing with National Societies.


  • Provides line management of team managers and other senior officers in the regional office as well as heads of country cluster delegations and country delegations in the region.
  • Works to ensure overall institutional coherence and coordination in the organization’s results-based management systems, and ensures effective human resources management, financial management, and management of plans and budgets.
  • Ensures that IFRC Secretariat strategies, plans, regulations, procedures and standards are in place and implemented in compliance with IFRC policies.
  • Ensures compliance with all applicable laws and status agreements to minimise the risk of harm to the IFRC and Secretariat personnel, property and resources.
  • Fosters and contributes to an overall organizational ethos of respect, learning, accountability and transparency within the region. Handle with the utmost discretion and confidentiality conduct issues in the region, guiding managers and involving relevant Geneva offices at the appropriate time. 
  • Supports the substantive and strategic agenda of IFRC governance bodies in the region, facilitating critical linkages and exchanges with National Societies.
  • Nurtures and ensures effective matrix management and cohesion in regional teams and between the region and Geneva, including effectively putting in place systems of shared accountabilities with regional and central leadership structures.
  • Ensures staff growth, motivation, satisfaction and team building, contributing to effective organizational talent management and overall institutional discipline.
  • Performs as an effective member of the Federation’s senior management teams.
  • Performs any other work-related duties and responsibilities that may be assigned by the Secretary General, or the USG-NSDOC, including representing him/her upon request.

Duties applicable to all staff

  • Work actively work towards the achievement of the Federation’s goals.
  • Abide by and work in accordance with the Red Cross and Red Crescent principles.
  • Perform any other work-related duties and responsibilities that may be assigned by the line manager.

Required Competencies

  • Core Competencies: Communication; Collaboration and Teamwork; Judgement and Decision Making; National Society and Customer Relations; Creativity and Innovation; Building Trust.
  • Managerial Competencies: Managing Staff Performance; Managing Staff Development.
  • Functional Competencies: Strategic Orientation; Building Alliances; Leadership; Empowering Others.

Qualifications and Experience

  • Post-graduate degree in the area of management, humanitarian or development issues, or other relevant area; or a first level university degree combined with extensive relevant experience.
  • At least 15 years of professional experience in National Society Development, disaster and crisis prevention, response and recovery, humanitarian operations, social or economic development, membership services, international organization partnerships, or other relevant field, 5 of which must be at regional or country field level.
  • At least 10 years of experience in effectively managing and motivating teams and direct supervision of staff.
  • Proven leadership and management experience, including in the areas of human resources management, financial management, administration, and organisational risk management.
  • Experience in developing strategy, developing tools and guidance, providing technical assistance and in establishing and maintaining networks.
  • Demonstrated success in project/programme planning, budgeting, management, reporting and evaluation.
  • Professional experience in a National Society.
  • Good understanding of IFRC policies and strategies as well as a demonstrated ability to translate these into an operational context.
  • Fluent spoken and written English. Good command of another IFRC language (French, Spanish or Arabic) or language relevant in the region.

Knowledge and Skills

  • Sound knowledge and practical understanding of the Federation.
  • Capacity to work with sensitivity in a multi-cultural environment and in virtual or/and dispersed teams.
  • Outstanding written and oral communication skills, including in public speaking.
  • Ability to conceptualize strategic approaches and translate them into practice and results.
  • Ability to network effectively and influence and inspire others, including the membership, governments, other agencies, and own peers, staff, volunteers, and partners
  • Focus on quality and standards, results, and accountability.
  • Capacity to multi-task, set priorities, and meet deadlines.
  • Capacity for teamwork and trust-building, including in National Society relations.
  • Management style that inspires, builds confidence as well as finds creative and constructive solutions to difficult issues.
  • Ability to manage and coach people, including distance management.
  • Budgeting and financial skills.
  • Ability to work in a cross-cultural and cross-functional environment.
  • Ability to drive for change and improvements and ability to deliver strategies in a challenging environment.

Terms of Appointment

This is a full-time position. Salary is competitive and commensurate with qualifications and experience.

How to Apply

If you wish to be considered for this position, please forward a copy of your CV in EnglishMicrosoft Word format, along with any relevant documentation to Ms. Apoorva Tyagi, at [email protected] OR use the Application Form below. Applications for this role are now closedAll information will be treated in the strictest confidence as we pride ourselves on our professional service. We will revert to you as soon as feasible when we have reviewed your application.

SRI Executive is exclusively retained by IFRC to undertake this role along with the following ongoing IFRC assignments: 
  • Under Secretary General, National Society Development and Operations Coordination.
  • Under Secretary General, Management Policy, Strategy and Corporate Services.
  • Under Secretary General, Global Relations, Humanitarian Diplomacy and Digitalization.
  • Regional Directors (5 positions): Africa Region (Nairobi, Kenya); Asia Pacific Region (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia); Middle East and North Africa Region (Beirut, Lebanon); Europe Region (Budapest, Hungary); along with Americas Region (Panama City, Panama).
  • Director, Office of the Secretary General.

Application form