Associate Director


Position:                      Associate Director

Managing:                   Associates and Lead Consultants

Reporting to:               Executive Director

Location:                     Home-based in Asia, with international travel

Asian nationals are strongly preferred for this position

Overview - What is Embode?

Embode is an international human rights consulting agency focusing on social protection and responsible business, with a particular specialisation in issues of child labour, human trafficking and labour and migration. Since its inception over 6 years ago, Embode has undertaken and published seminal work on issues such as child labour in cocoa, migrant labour in palm oil as well as forced labour in the garment sector. We also lead numerous projects and assessments looking into formal and informal responses to human trafficking and exploitation, from negative social norms to the specialised need of children who are abused.  Our work continues to be at the cutting edge of corporate accountability and labour protection, where we work as an independent expert voice between industry, governments and civil society.

See for more details about our work.

Who are we?

Based across Asia, with a small international team, Embode prides itself in being on the ground in locations where many of our projects are focused. Our clients include organisations across the UN, NGO and corporate sector, and our work consists of research, field assessments, training, strategy and policy development, workshops and more. We are a growing virtual team of Associates and Consultants based in over 12 countries in Asia and Africa working either on a full-time or project basis. Within our team, we have a collaborative, supportive culture, based on a fundamental commitment to accountability, both as an organisation as well as in our roles. Our accountability in role is expressed not only through fostering collegiate trust, communication, respect and reliability. In supporting this endeavour, Embode holds regular spaces for systemic work, both on the internal and external aspects of our tasks and deliverables.

What are we looking for?

Personal Qualities

You must be highly motivated with an established level of self-discipline, excellent time management and capacity to work independently in responding to the needs of the organisation. You should be energetically driven to promote and protect human rights, and see your contribution towards this through your leadership and management of a multi-cultural, international team of associates and consultants delivering their work. You must be adept at working virtually, negotiating balanced boundaries across time, space, task and systems. You should also have an aptitude for professional growth, both technically in the areas of human rights, as well as adaptively, in terms of working systemically and responsively to organisational dynamics. You must have a highly evolved sense of accountability, which skillfully recognises both one’s own responsibility as well as being able to hold others to account where required.

Job Profile

The ‘Associate Director’ will be a member of the Senior Leadership team, reporting to the Executive Director, and will be responsible for overseeing Embode’s technical consultancy portfolio.  This will include the management of the Associate and Senior Consultant teams, across diverse projects on issues of labour, migration and social protection. These projects extend across Asia and Africa and are commissioned by clients from corporates, UN and NGO sectors. The Associate Director will be working closely with the Executive Director, in co-creating and leading business strategy and organisational development. The incumbent must possess a proven capacity for managing and navigating complex environments, whilst anticipating and mitigating risks in a timely fashion. S/he will have the capability of maintaining and strengthening relationships across clients, collaborators as well as contractors. In the particular, the follow skills will be required at minimum:

  1. Organisational Strategy: Commitment to supporting the organisational purpose to promote and protect human rights through systemic accountability. This will explicitly involve working in the Senior Leadership team with the Executive Director, building Embode’s organisational plan and strategy and then driving this forward.
  2. Team Management:  Prior and proven success in establishing rhythms and routines of work that harness the passion and performance of a smart, diverse and dedicated team. The Associate Director must be adept at creating conditions for supporting the teams to self organise and deliver on their work in line with agreed deliverables and organisational strategy.
  3. Project Management: Excellent ability to manage project timelines and deliverables to ensure Embode remains a reliable service provider to its clients. This will include the sharp capacity to foresee and mitigate risks through reasonable and timely reporting, client liaison and effective collaborative relationships with all actors. This will also involve the skillful use of online project management tools as well as communicating and navigating targets, deadlines and changing circumstances.
  4. Client and partner relations: Exceptional ability and experience in maintaining strong relationships with clients and partners. This will involve efficient communications, diplomatically firm management of expectations, sharp negotiating on agreements from budgets to timelines, as well as adeptly navigating issues to solve problems in a professional and adaptive manner.
  5. Business Development: Driven focus on developing business leads, designing and submitting proposals, as well as generating income earning projects that align with the purpose, technical expertise and goals of Embode. This will involve continued business development through existing clients, as well as proficiently building and maintaining strong networks across sectors and areas which would benefit from Embode’s services.
  6. Technical Expertise in Research: Providing sharp, timely and expert technical input into projects. This capacity should come from accomplished experience in designing research methodology, both qualitative and quantitative, conducting field work, gathering, analysing data, and drafting of findings.
  7. Drafting and Writing: Proven experience in writing research to publication standard. Adeptness in drafting, editing and reviewing a variety of documents for different target audiences, such as research reports, project proposals, policy documents, training curricula, as well as public communications.

Required Competencies and Selection Criteria

  • Working with Senior leadership: Possess a highly developed level of leadership skills, built and strengthened through years of experience and training. As part of the Senior Leadership team, the incumbent must be able to work in close alignment with the Executive Director, pre-empt and support leadership needs, and carry out the organisational vision and purpose.
  • Management experience: A minimum of 10 years’ experience managing teams, including both national and international teams. The incumbent’s managerial style should be accountable, enabling, responsive whilst being able to confidently hold authority and diffuse tension in a purposeful way.
  • Technical experience: A minimum of 10 years’ experience in a relevant social field of human rights, labour rights, social protection (or child protection) and/or business and human rights. This should include technical experience in understanding local, national and regional social situations, and being able to bring that to strategic strategy and approaches.
  • Field experience: Of the technical experience, at least 2 years’ of it working in communities, programme implementation, in direct service provision or case work. Capacity in monitoring and evaluation is an advantage.
  • Language skills: Excellent level of fluency in spoken and written English and an ability to communicate in articulate and culturally-adaptive ways. Being fluent in any other languages is a distinct advantage.
  • Communication: Excellent ability and willingness in communicating appropriately and purposefully with each actor, such as team members, clients, partners, or other collaborators. This includes communicating through email, online platforms and meetings.
  • Adaptive skills: Being skilled in, and continuing to learn, adaptive ways of working. This involves the capacity to comprehend the situation in the moment, be responsive to what is required and adapt boundaries in a purposeful way. High level of self-awareness and reflective capacity, both as an individual as well as in groups. Regularly engages in opportunities for learning and development.
  • Relevant qualifications: In the area of social sustainability, human rights, political science and/or international development, etc. Post graduate qualifications are an advantage.
  • Highly organised: Strong capacity in managing one’s work, efficient at working remotely and across online platforms. Also, the capacity to work to task within agreed timeframes, maturity to communicate risks and negotiate boundaries. The incumbent should also be able to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
  • Creative and innovative: Confidence in advocating for innovative ways of working (both internally and externally), as well as ability to take constructive feedback in order to work creatively to purpose.
  • Problem-solving: Resilience in navigating high pressure situations and capacity to confront challenges with maturity, strategic thinking and patience.

Please do note the full application process as follow:

Qualified applicants must submit applications to [email protected] by Friday, December 24th, 2021. The application should include:

  1. A 3 to 5 minute video presenting your suitability for the role. No need for a cover letter! We prefer to see and hear from you.
  2. A tailored CV, no longer than 3 pages, including at least 3 referees. (Please be assured that referees will not be contacted without your prior approval.)
  3. Submission of an application form. This one!
  4. At least two samples of an unedited piece of writing. Examples include a report, a brief or a proposal. We will not use these documents for any other purpose but to assess your drafting skills.

We wish you all the best and are looking forward to receiving your application!

Job Details
Organisation Name: 
Application Deadline: 
Fri, 2021-12-24