Program Associate Ford Foundation China Office




The FORD FOUNDATION is an independent, nonprofit grant-making organization. For more than 80 years it has worked with visionary people worldwide, guided by its mission to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement. With headquarters in New York, the foundation has ten regional offices in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, including the People’s Republic of China.




The Program Associate works as part of a team of program staff (Program Officers, Grants Managers, and Program Assistants) who are implementing the China office strategy from the office in Beijing. The Program Associate holds a variety of responsibilities related to managing relationships and projects, collating and sharing knowledge from the field, analyzing trends, and assisting in planning in support of the team’s strategy. Reporting to the Regional Director of the China office, the Program Associate will support program-related coordination among the China team and between China and other regional offices and thematic areas.


The work of the China office has two broad themes.  First, recognizing China’s growing global role, we aim to understand the nature of Chinese development finance and to encourage transparency and high environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards in the delivery of Chinese aid and investment overseas, particularly in the global south. Given the global nature of development finance, this area of work includes both support for Chinese institutions and individuals inside China and for regional and global actors, sometimes through programmatic activities developed and implemented in collaboration with other Ford offices. The second theme focuses on strengthening the domestic ecosystem for Chinese philanthropy and impact investing. Our main areas of focus currently include:


  • Increasing the field’s understanding of the nature of Chinese development finance
  • Building the capacity of Chinese development finance institutions (banks, funds, aid agencies, policy-making bodies) to increase transparency, to understand the role that communities and civil society actors play in recipient countries, and to develop and implement effectively internationally-recognized ESG and other standards
  • Increasing understanding of the impact of Chinese development finance practices on existing global development norms and promoting learning and sharing of best practice among actors in the field
  • Strengthening the philanthropy and impact investing ecosystems in China with a focus on human capital, institutional strengthening, and the legal and regulatory environment




  • Bachelor’s degree in a relevant social science field and minimum 3 years’ experience working in a program-related support capacity and/or research and writing capacity
  • Fluency in Mandarin Chinese and English, including strong reading skills (additional ability to speak and/or read Spanish or French a plus)
  • Strong proficiency with research, data collection, review, analysis, and reporting
  • Strong communication skills with proven ability to build and maintain rapport with stakeholders
  • Strong analytical skills and strategic thinking mind-set
  • Ability to express complex ideas clearly and logically
  • Exceptional organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Demonstrated ability to work successfully in a multi-faceted, multitasking environment
  • Strong proficiency with the use of software platforms and high degree of comfort with multiple technology applications, including Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Google platforms, and databases
  • 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


Alignment to the mission and culture of the Ford Foundation:


  • 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


Salary:  Salary is based on experience and on the Foundation’s commitment to internal equity.  A generous local benefits package is provided.


The appointment is available immediately. The closing date for applications is May 10, 2019.  Suitable candidates will be contacted by May 17, 2019.  Please do not call us. Applicants who haven’t received a response by June 1, 2019 should regard their application as unsuccessful.


TO APPLY: Please send a cover letter and resume to


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.


March 2019