Job Location: Atlantic Council Headquarters – Washington, DC
Employment Type: Full-Time
Seniority Level: Senior Director
Job Category: Staff


The Atlantic Council seeks a dynamic, policy-oriented, intellectual entrepreneur to serve as Senior Director of its South Asia Center. A combination of U.S. government and private sector experience would serve the new Senior Director well, along with business development skills, proven talent management, and advanced written and verbal communication skills.

The Senior Director will lead the South Asia Center’s strategy, business development, and manage the Center’s staff and network of non-resident senior fellows. This individual will enhance the Center’s impact on the most important challenges and opportunities in the greater South Asia region, with a key focus on India, through the launch of a new, ambitious Global India Hub.

In addition to managing the day-to-day operations of the Center, the Senior Director will strengthen the Council’s presence throughout the region with key stakeholders while strengthening our programming in Washington as we seek to become the “go-to” organization on India and South Asia. The Senior Director will leverage key partnerships in Washington, throughout the region, and globally to enhance the Atlantic Council’s work on India’s growing role in the world, particularly on matters of trade, economic relations, and digital cooperation.

Most importantly, the Senior Director will have an entrepreneurial spirit to build new work as the key driver of business development for the South Asia Center to broaden the resources of the Center through innovative programming. Working with the Council’s executive office and development team, the Senior Director will be responsible for creating a compelling strategy for the Center’s next phase of growth.

Experience living and working in the region is required as is knowledge of at least one regional language, in addition to English. Outstanding written and verbal communication skills are crucial. The position is based in Washington, DC, and will require domestic and international travel. Pay is commensurate with experience, education, and organizational equity, with offers starting at $180,000.

Job responsibilities

The Director will be specifically responsible for:

  • Intellectual Leadership: Play the leading role in developing the substantive framework for advancing the South Asia Center’s mission through strategic planning and innovative programming to support that mission. Represent the Center and Council in external policy debates through publications, speaking/media engagements, and other thought leadership.
  • Business Development: Working with the Council leadership and Development team, the senior director should build the Center’s financial base by pursuing opportunities with foundations, corporations, high-net-worth individuals, government agencies, and international organizations. The Senior Director should be a relentlessly creative, entrepreneurial manager prepared to drive growth within the Center.
  • Programmatic Operations: Develop programming and new initiatives designed to shape policy and the public discussion about South Asia, including its relations with North America and Europe. Manage multiple projects simultaneously, often involving senior experts and policy leaders in government, the private sector, and civil society.
  • Center Management: Recruit, manage, and develop a robust bench of talent consisting of full-time staff, Young Global Professionals (paid interns), and resident/nonresident senior fellows. Integrate board members, members of the Council’s networks, and supporting partners into the Center’s programming, while leveraging the expertise of the Council’s 16 programs and centers to enhance the Center’s global network. Maintain strong oversight of Center finances and administrative obligations, working with the Council’s finance and operations staff.


The successful candidate should possess:

  • A minimum of 10 years relevant work experience in South Asian affairs—especially India—and/or other relevant areas within government service, private sector, and/or academia.
  • A Master’s degree in a relevant field, and doctorate is highly desirable.
  • Deep understanding of the US-India bilateral relationship and extensive contacts in India and companies that do business there.
  • Significant expertise in South Asia with a strong and current network in Washington, South Asia, and Europe among government, business, and civil society.
  • Experience in governmental/private sector decision-making processes and policy development.
  • Extensive management experience coupled with strong business development skills and interpersonal skills to lead a network of staff, fellows, and Young Global Professionals.
  • Superior writing and communication skills.
  • A track record of significant leadership in government or private sector positions.
  • Experience living and working in South Asia and at least one regional language, beyond English.

The South Asia Center is the hub for the Atlantic Council’s analysis of the political, social, geographical, and cultural diversity of the region. ​At the intersection of South Asia and its geopolitics, SAC cultivates dialogue to shape policy and forge ties between the region and the global community.

All Atlantic Council employees are required to adhere to the Atlantic Council’s vaccination policy. All Atlantic Council employees must be fully vaccinated and boosted, and they must submit proof of both vaccination and COVID-19 booster shot on their first day of employment. Prospective or new employees may seek an exemption to the vaccination requirement through human resources and must have an approved exemption prior to the start of their employment.

Please note: The Atlantic Council is an Equal Opportunity Employer. In accordance with Federal civil rights law and District of Columbia civil rights regulations and policies, the Atlantic Council does not discriminate based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity (including gender expression), sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, income derived from a public assistance program, political beliefs, protected veteran status, or any other legally protected characteristics covered by applicable law. The Atlantic Council provides reasonable accommodation for all qualified applicants needing assistance, employees whose disability, sincere religious belief, or other protected characteristics are protected by law, and bases all employment decisions on qualifications, merit, and business need. The Atlantic Council believes that equity and inclusion amongst our team members are critical to our success as a global organization, and seeks to recruit, develop, and advance the most talented people from a diverse candidate pool. Eligibility to work in the United Stated is confirmed with E-Verify; employment at the Atlantic Council is eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF).