Our people


BoardofTrustees
Dame Fran Wilde,
DNZM, QSO, Foundation Chair

Hon Dame Fran has had a distinguished career in national and local politics, including as a Cabinet Minister, Mayor of Wellington, Chair of the Greater Wellington Regional Council and New Zealand representative on the APEC Business Advisory Council.

BoardofTrustees
Te Poa Karoro (Paul) Morgan, QSO,
Deputy Chair

Paul Morgan became a trustee of the Asia New Zealand Foundation Te Whītau Tūhono in October 2021 and is the board's deputy chair.

BoardofTrustees
Lyn Lim,
MNZM

Lyn Lim (Huei Min Lim) originates from Malaysia and has strong interests and involvement in commercial and community activities relating to Asia.

BoardofTrustees
Simon Watt

Simon Watt is a partner and board member in the Wellington office of the national law firm Bell Gully and leads Bell Gully' s public law and climate change practices.

BoardofTrustees
Danny Chan

Danny Chan is an experienced New Zealand director, with extensive accounting, finance and investment management and education experience.

BoardofTrustees
Chris Seed

Chris Seed has been Chief Executive and Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade since February 2019. Prior to this, he spent five years as New Zealand’s High Commissioner to Australia.

BoardofTrustees
Tupe Solomon-Tanoa'i

Tupe Solomon-Tanoa'i became a trustee of the Asia New Zealand Foundation Te Whītau Tūhono in October 2021.

BoardofTrustees
Ziena Jalil

Ziena Jalil became a trustee of the Asia New Zealand Foundation Te Whītau Tūhono in October 2021.

AsiaHonoraryAdvisers
HE Mr Amris Hassan,
Asia Honorary Adviser, Indonesia

HE Mr Amris Hassan served as Indonesian Ambassador to New Zealand from 2006 to 2010.

AsiaHonoraryAdvisers
Hirofumi Nakasone,
Asia Honorary Adviser, Japan

Mr Nakasone had a career in politics, serving as Japan's Minister of Education, Science, Sports and Culture and Minister of State for Science and Technology from 1999 to 2001.

AsiaHonoraryAdvisers
Professor Han Sung-Joo,
Asia Honorary Adviser, Republic of Korea

Professor Han Sung-Joo is professor emeritus at Korea University and founder of the Asan Institute.

AsiaHonoraryAdvisers
Dr Supachai Panitchpakdi,
Asia Honorary Adviser, Thailand

Dr Supachai served as Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) from 2005 to 2013.

AsiaHonoraryAdvisers
Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz,
Asia Honorary Adviser, Malaysia

Hon. Rafidah Aziz serves as the non-executive independent chairman of AirAsia X.

AsiaHonoraryAdvisers
Mr Guillermo M. Luz,
Asia Honorary Adviser, Philippines

Mr Guillermo M. Luz is an associate director of the Ayala Corporation, one of the biggest business conglomerates in the Philippines.

AsiaHonoraryAdvisers
Ms Heekyung Jo Min,
Asia Honorary Adviser, South Korea

Heekyung (Jo) Min is the Executive Vice President and head of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) of CJ CheilJedang in Korea.

AsiaHonoraryAdvisers
Professor Pavida Pananond,
Asia Honorary Advser, Thailand

Professor Pavida Pananond is a Professor of International Business at the Thammasat Business School at the Thammasat University.

AsiaHonoraryAdvisers
Professor Thitinan Pongsudhirak,
Asia Honorary Adviser, Thailand

Thitinan Pongsudhirak is director of the Institute of Security and International Studies (ISIS) and professor of International Relations at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok.

AsiaHonoraryAdvisers
Ms. Pham Thi My Le,
Asia Honorary Adviser, Vietnam

As a serial entrepreneur, Le has worked in the following areas: human resources, social media, software development and vocational training.

AsiaHonoraryAdvisers
Mr Stanley Tan ONZM,
Asia Honorary Adviser, Singapore

Stanley Tan is a proud and happy father of two daughters, a businessman, and a committed humanitarian.

AsiaHonoraryAdvisers
Prof Zhou Guangzhao,
Asia Honorary Adviser, China

Prof Zhou is a highly respected physicist. His life's work, including advancing the theory of spiral amplitude of particles, has earned him widespread recognition and numerous awards.

AsiaHonoraryAdvisers
Dr Victor K Fung,
Asia Honorary Adviser, Hong Kong

Dr Victor K Fung is group chairman of The Fung group and chairman of the advisory board of the Asia Global Institute at the University of Hong Kong, a multi-disciplinary think-tank co-established with the Fung Global Institute in 2015.

AsiaHonoraryAdvisers
Dr Ng Eng Hen,
Asia Honorary Adviser, Singapore

Dr Ng Eng Hen of the People's Action Party was elected into Singapore's parliament as MP for the Bishan-Toa Payoh Group Representation Constituency in 2001.

AsiaHonoraryAdvisers
Dr Raghupati Singhania,
Asia Honorary Adviser, India

Dr Raghupati Singhania is the chairman and managing director of JK Tyre & Industries Limited. He is also the chairman of JK Tornel, S.A.de C.V., Mexico and is a member of the one of India's most prominent and highly regarded business families.

AsiaHonoraryAdvisers
Dr Reuben Abraham,
Asia Honorary Adviser, India

Reuben Abraham is CEO of IDFC Foundation and IDFC Institute, a Mumbai based think/do tank focused on state capability and political economy issues.

AsiaHonoraryAdvisers
Senaka Silva,
Asia Honorary Adviser, Sri Lanka

Senaka Silva is a long-standing advocate of Sri Lanka-NZ relations, having served as New Zealand’s Honorary Consul in Sri Lanka since 2009, as Chair of the Australia New Zealand Business Council and through business and other connections.

AsiaHonoraryAdvisers
Helianti Hilman,
Asia Honorary Adviser, Indonesia

Helianti Hilman is the founder and CEO of Javara, a social enterprise focused on sustaining Indonesia’s food biodiversity heritage by introducing and bringing indigenous food products from Indonesia to the world.

AsiaHonoraryAdvisers
Adaljiza Magno,
Asia Honorary Adviser, Timor Leste

Adaljiza Magno is Timor Leste's Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation and former Ambassador to Singapore and former Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs.

AsiaHonoraryAdvisers
Annie Wu Suk-Ching,
Asia Honorary Adviser, Hong Kong

Annie Wu Suk-ching is a senior businesswoman, educational philanthropist and women’s leader.

AsiaHonoraryAdvisers
Amane Nakashima,
Asia Honorary Adviser, Japan

Amane Nakashima, is the president of Nakashimato Co. and the chairman of Kewpie Corp. Nakashimato Co.

NZHonoraryAdvisers
Melissa Lee

Melissa Lee was born in Korea and grew up in Malaysia, settling in New Zealand in 1988. She has more than 20 years' journalism experience, including a five-year stint with the Sunday News.

NZHonoraryAdvisers
Hon Philip Burdon,
Foundation Founder

Hon Philip Burdon has had a distinguished career across the fields of law, business, and politics.

NZHonoraryAdvisers
Rob Fyfe

Rob Fyfe is an experienced director, and former CEO of a global airline.

NZHonoraryAdvisers
Traci Houpapa,
MNZM

Traci Houpapa is the chair of the Federation of Māori Authorities (FoMA). She specialises in strategic and economic development.

NZHonoraryAdvisers
Professor Manying Ip,
CNZM

Manying Ip is Professor in Asian Studies at Auckland University and the author of several critically acclaimed books on Chinese in New Zealand.

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Mitchell Pham

Mitchell Pham is a Vietnamese-Kiwi technology business and social entrepreneur who originally arrived in New Zealand as a refugee at the age of 13.

NZHonoraryAdvisers
Rt Hon Sir Don McKinnon,
ONZ, GCVO, Foundation Founder

Sir Don McKinnon was first elected to parliament in 1978. He was sworn in as Deputy Prime Minister in 1990 and became the longest-serving Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade in New Zealand's history.

NZHonoraryAdvisers
Vanushi Walters

Anushi Walters was elected as the member of Parliament for Upper Harbour in 2020 and currently sits as Deputy Chair of the Justice Select Committee as well as a member of the Regulations Review Committee.

NZHonoraryAdvisers
Sir Anand Satyanand,
GNZM, QSO, KStJ

Sir Anand Satyanand has worked as a lawyer, Judge and Ombudsman and was New Zealand’s 19th Governor-General from 2006 until 2011.

NZHonoraryAdvisers
Warrick Cleine

Warrick is the managing partner of deals, tax and legal, and chairman and CEO of KPMG in Vietnam and Cambodia.

NZHonoraryAdvisers
Hon Lianne Dalziel

Lianne Dalziel’s third term as Mayor of Christchurch will be her last term after just over 30 years of public service.

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Paula Tesoriero, MNZM

Paula Tesoriero is the New Zealand Disability Rights Commissioner and a former New Zealand paralympics racing cyclist.

NZHonoraryAdvisers
Sameer Handa, MNZM

Sameer Handa is a company director and executive member of the India New Zealand Business Council (INZBC).

NZHonoraryAdvisers
Kyle Murdoch

Kyle Murdoch is a chief executive, company director and producer with 20 years of experience working in the media industry in Asia.

NZHonoraryAdvisers
Simon Murdoch, CNZ

Simon Murdoch is a former Secretary Foreign Affairs and Trade and served on the board of the Asia New Zealand Foundation.

NZHonoraryAdvisers
Nicola Ngarewa,
Ngāti Ruanui and Ngā Rauru

Nicola Ngarewa is the principal of Spotswood College and is the Chairperson of Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand.

NZHonoraryAdvisers
Josh Wharehinga

Josh Wharehinga is the Deputy Mayor of Gisborne District Council and has had a long connection with the Asia New Zealand Foundation as a former member of the Leadership Network.

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Sachie Nomura

Sachie Nomura is a chef and food writer and is the owner of cooking school Sachie’s Kitchen.

Staff
Simon Draper,
Executive Director

Simon Draper is an experienced diplomat with an extensive international background in negotiation and relationship management.

Staff
Adele Mason,
Deputy Executive Director

Adele manages the corporate and governance responsibilities of the Foundation and takes a coordinating role across programmes.

Staff
Paula McLaughlin,
Executive Assistant

Paula provides assistance to the executive director and the chairman. She has been with the Foundation since 2003.

Staff
Sunita Soma,
Accountant

Sunita joined the Foundation in 2007 in the role of accountant. She has a BCA in commerce from Victoria University of Wellington, and has previously worked in Australia and England across both the private and public sectors.

Staff
Elizabeth Basalaj,
Receptionist and Accounts

Liz covers the reception at the Foundation as well as accounts payable and receivable and general administration.

Staff
Sean O'Connor,
Director Education

Sean O'Connor joined the team in 2014 after being associated with the Foundation as a participant in the 2013 Business Studies Forum in Shanghai.

Staff
Dara Choo,
Project Officer (Education)

Dara is from Singapore. She came to New Zealand in 2019 and has come to accept wind-swept hair as the daily look.

Staff
Ethan Jones,
Senior Adviser (Business)

Ethan (Ngāi Takoto, Te Aupōuri) has recently joined the Foundation in the business programme and is based in Auckland.

Staff
BoBae Wilson,
Project Coordinator (Internships)

Before joining the Foundation, BoBae (BB) had previously worked as a programme coordinator in Korea where she managed volunteer programmes. This included sending domestic students overseas, to mainly …

Staff
Linh Le,
Project Officer (Leadership)

Linh works out of the Foundation's Auckland office as project officer for the Leadership Nework. She joined the Foundation in 2021 as a project coordinator for the Business Programme before moving to her current role in 2022.

Staff
Suzannah Jessep,
Director Research and Engagement

Suzannah Jessep joined the Foundation in March 2019, after serving as New Zealand’s Deputy High Commissioner to India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Deputy Ambassador to Nepal and as New Zealand’s Deputy …

Staff
James To,
Senior Adviser Research and Engagement

Dr James To has an academic background in Asian languages (Mandarin, Cantonese, and Japanese), political science, and commerce.

Staff
Jordan King,
Senior Research Adviser

Jordan is a Senior Research Adviser in the Foundation's research and engagement team. He has an academic and public sector background.

Staff
Craig Cooper,
Director Arts, Director Auckland

Craig Cooper has worked in the arts sector for almost 20 years in both Australia and New Zealand in a variety of roles.

Staff
Adam McConnochie,
Director Entrepreneurship and Acting Director Business

Adam McConnochie directs the Foundation’s entrepreneurship programme where he equips the next generation of Kiwi leaders and entrepreneurs to thrive in Asia. He is also acting director of the business programme.

Staff
Alexis Allen,
Project Officer (Entrepreneurship)

Alexis Allen joined the Foundation in September of 2017 and is now working as part of the Entrepreneurship team.

Staff
Kirsty Sharp,
Sports Adviser

Kirsty studied at Lincoln College (way back in the 80’s), then backpacked around the world for four years before returning to settle in Gisborne.

Staff
Rebecca Palmer,
Director Communications and Media

Rebecca Inoue-Palmer has been working on media initiatives for the Asia New Zealand Foundation since 2011 and was the first manager of the Asia Media Centre when it was established in 2017.

Staff
Edward Wotherspoon,
Website Manager

Ned Wotherspoon joined the Foundation in 2015 after working for a number of years creating website content for the government agency Careers New Zealand.

Staff
Phoebe Taylor,
Communications Coordinator

Phoebe is the Communications Coordinator at the Foundation, and a recent graduate from Massey University. She completed a Bachelor of Communications, majoring in Public Relations and minoring in Expressive Arts/Media Studies.

Staff
Shireen Shariff,
Communications Adviser

Shireen has joined the Foundation as the Communications Adviser, after spending five years working in the education sector.

Staff
Tania Te Whenua,
Māori Adviser

Tania Te Whenua (Tūhoe, Whakatōhea) is the principal of Te Whenua Law and Consulting, assisting organisations to realise a commitment to the Treaty of Waitangi and to engage confidently with Māori culture, clients and key stakeholders.

Staff
Graeme Acton,
Media Centre Manager

Graeme Acton joined the team at the Foundation in February 2020, moving from the position of Foreign News Editor with RNZ in Wellington.

Staff
Eleanor Wenman,
Media Adviser, Asia Media Centre

Eleanor joined the Asia Media Centre as a media adviser in 2020, fresh from the newsroom.

Staff
Lee Seabrook-Suckling,
Media Adviser, Asia Media Centre

Lee Seabrook-Suckling comes to the Asia Media Centre as media adviser after a decade in journalism and public relations.

LeadershipNetworkAdvisoryBoard
Hannah Duder,
Advisory Board Member

Hannah is CEO of Indigo & Iris, a beauty brand that gives a damn.

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Ajay Ravindran,
Advisory Board Member

Ajay is extremely honoured to be a part of the Asia New Zealand Foundation's Leadership Network, as well as its Advisory Board.

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Ben Matthews,
Leadership Network Advisory Board Member

Ben is a Policy Practitioner with fourteen years of work and study experience in Māori development and international-related kaupapa.

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Xavier Breed,
Advisory Board Member

Xavier is an award winning Pacific choreographer with strong ties to Asia from studying and training in modern dance in South Korea and Taiwan, as well as having performed and choreographed within dance festivals in Macau and Taiwan.

LeadershipNetworkAdvisoryBoard
Jenny Cheng

Jenny is passionate about the intersection of business, technology and mission-driven entities. Her interests have led her to pursue a MBA (Technology specialisation) at the Australian Graduate School of Business.

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Arina Aizal

Arina Aizal is the Community Connector and Youth Coordinator at Otago Access Radio.

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Crystal Tawhai

Crystal (Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāti Mahuta) is a Mana Wāhine & Kaupapa Māori researcher and PhD candidate in Waikato University's Management School.