Organization: Room to Read

Location: San Francisco, CA

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About Room to Read: 

Room to Read is a global organization transforming the lives of millions of children in low-income countries by focusing on literacy and gender equality in education. Founded in 2000 on the belief that World Change Starts with Educated Children®, their innovative model focuses on deep, systemic transformation within schools in low-income countries during two time periods which are most critical in a child’s schooling: early primary school for literacy acquisition and secondary school for girls’ education. The organization works in collaboration with local communities, partner organizations and governments to develop literacy skills and a habit of reading among primary school children and ensure girls can complete secondary school with the skills necessary to negotiate key life decisions. By focusing on the quality of education provided within the communities and ensuring these outcomes are measured, they have created a model that can be replicated, localized and sustained by governments. Room to Read has benefited 10 million children across 17,000 communities in Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Laos, Nepal, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Vietnam and Zambia, and aims to reach 15 million children by 2020.

For more information on Room to Read, please visit:

The Opportunity:

Room to Read is seeking a Development Director for Asia Pacific (“Director”) to lead their team in the region, focusing on the Hong Kong, Singapore, and Japan markets. The Director will be responsible for the overall regional fundraising strategy with regard to individuals, corporations, and foundations.

Reporting to the Chief Development Officer (“CDO”), who is located in the organization’s global headquarters in San Francisco, the Development Director, Asia Pacific, will be a member of the Development Department’s senior leadership team. S/he will lead and manage the Asia Pacific development team in Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo (three in Hong Kong, two in Tokyo and one in Singapore) and will be responsible for raising more than USD 10 million annually.

The Director will be instrumental in driving Room to Read’s future success in the Asia Pacific region including, representing the organization to key stakeholders. S/he will work closely with the Founder, John Wood, based in Hong Kong, the Asia Pacific Development Board, the Executive Team and development staff to increase brand recognition and fundraise for the organization. The Director will have demonstrated success working with both expat and local donors, and the ability to steward major donors to a higher level of giving.

Key focus areas for success in this role include:

  • Position Room to Read for long-term, sustainable programmatic success through strong and growing philanthropic support;
  • Ensure robust annual fundraising that meets/exceeds the goals for the region; and
  • Provide effective management; ensure that the Asia Pacific Development staff understands expectations and remains engaged, driven and motivated.

Candidate Profile:

The Development Director will be an experienced and charismatic leader who will take a ‘hands-on,’ strategic approach to leading a best-in-class development program in the Asia Pacific region. S/he will also bring a genuine passion for Room to Read’s mission.

The ideal candidate will have the following personal competencies and characteristics:

An Expert in Development: With a particular focus on major donors and events, the Director will have demonstrated expertise with a wide range of fundraising channels, and experience expanding and deepening new and existing donor support. S/he will demonstrate a proven ability to use metrics to drive development decisions and achieve strategic objectives.

A Relationship Builder and Communicator: The Director will be skilled at building and maintaining external and internal relationships with key supporters and stakeholders, Co-Founders, Executive Staff, Asia Pacific Development Board members and other staff. S/he will be a proactive, confident and articulate communicator with the ability to work fluidly across all levels, and take a collaborative, inspirational approach to ensure buy-in and generate support from key constituents.

Strategic Leadership and Management Acumen: In partnership with the Chief Development Officer and other Executive staff, the Director will set and articulate a vision for the region’s fundraising strategy, build and execute a development plan and evaluate outcomes with a metrics based approach. S/he will assess, direct and build, when needed, the development staff. An approachable leader, The Director will support a culture of collaboration among the development team, Executive staff, and Asia Pacific Board as well as Room to Read’s other diverse stakeholders.

A Passion for the Mission: The Director will have a passion for Room to Read’s mission and a commitment and the students and communities they serve. S/he will embrace Room to Read’s culture, while continually innovating to help expand its brand and reach. S/he will be an individual of unquestioned integrity, ethics and values; someone who can be trusted without reservation.

A Bachelor’s degree is required.


Koya Leadership Partners has been exclusively retained for this search. This search is being led by Marissa Martin and Liz Lombard.

To express your interest in this role, please submit your resume using Koya’s online link: or email Marissa or Liz directly at All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

About Koya Leadership Partners:

Koya Leadership Partners is a national retained executive search and human capital consulting firm that works exclusively with nonprofits and social enterprises. We deliver measurable results, finding exceptionally talented people who truly fit the unique culture of our client organizations and ensuring that organizations have the resources and strategies to support them. For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit