Our people


BoardofTrustees
Hon John Luxton,
CNZM, QSO, Chairman

Hon John Luxton is the chair of a number of businesses and organisations including Pouarua Farm, Waikato River Authority and Marire Holdings Ltd and Associated Companies.

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
Raf Manji

Raf Manji is a former Christchurch City councillor. As Chair of the Finance Committee, his main focus was the Council's financial position, as well as its post-earthquake strategic direction and risk management.

BoardofTrustees
Simon Murdoch,
CNZM, Deputy Chair

Simon Murdoch is a graduate of Canterbury University and received an Honorary Doctorate from the University in 2012.

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
Dame Fran Wilde,
DNZM, QSO

Dame Fran Wilde 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.

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.

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Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz,
Asia Honorary Adviser, Malaysia

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

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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.

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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.

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Dr Pavida Pananond,
Asia Honorary Advser, Thailand

Dr Pavida Pananond is an Associate Professor of International Business at the Thammasat Business School at the Thammasat University.

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Dr 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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Amane Nakashima,
Asia Honorary Adviser, Japan

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

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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.

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Peter Miskimmin

Peter Miskimmin has a wealth of experience as an athlete, coach and sports leader.

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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.

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Farib Sos,
MNZM

Farib Sos has had wide experience in both the private and public sectors in New Zealand, spanning some 35 years.

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Dr Alan Bollard,
CNZM

Dr Alan Bollard is Chair for Pacific Region Business at Victoria University of Wellington.

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Hon Philip Burdon

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

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Rob Fyfe

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

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Trish Carter

Trish Carter was the Asia Pacific establishment editor and bureau chief for Al Jazeera. She has held senior news and current affairs management positions in New Zealand broadcasting over a career spanning 25 years.

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Peter Chin,
CNZM

Peter Chin was born in Dunedin to Chinese parents – shopkeepers who owned and operated laundries and fish and chip shops.

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Traci Houpapa,
MNZM

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

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Professor Manying Ip,
CNZM

Emeritus professor Manying Ip 叶宋曼瑛 CNZM came to New Zealand in 1974 from Hong Kong.

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Ian Kennedy

Ian Kennedy is Chair of the Japan New Zealand Business Council. As a former career diplomat, he was posted three times to Japan, most recently as Ambassador from 2007 to July 2012.

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Richard Long,
ONZM

Richard Long ONZM is a veteran journalist who spent more than 20 years in the parliamentary press gallery and is now a life member.

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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.

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Hon Simon Power,
QSO

Simon Power is GM Commercial, Corporate and Institutional at Westpac New Zealand. He joined the company in 2012 after a 12-year career as a member of parliament in New Zealand.

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Rt Hon Sir Don McKinnon,
ONZ, GCVO

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

A Sri Lankan New Zealander, Vanushi’s family moved to New Zealand in 1987. She has a background in law and advocacy and has both national and international experience and has worked in private practice, the public sector and the community sector.

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
Yasheeka Bertram,
Education Adviser

Yasheeka Bertram is a foodie with a teaching background. She completed a Bachelor of Arts (with honours) in Education from the University of Auckland and has a post-graduate diploma in Teaching. 

Staff
BoBae Wilson,
Project Coordinator Internships

BoBae is currently away of maternity leave.

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 High Commissioner to Vanuatu. 

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
Alistair Crozier,
Director Business, Manager South Island

Alistair Crozier started working for the Foundation in January 2020, with responsibility for establishing a permanent presence for the Foundation in the South Island.

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 Leadership and Entrepreneurship

Adam McConnochie directs the Foundation’s leadership and entrepreneurship programmes where he equips the next generation of Kiwi leaders and entrepreneurs to thrive in Asia.

Staff
Alexis Allen,
Project Coordinator Leadership and Entrepreneurship

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

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Summer Qu,
Project Officer Leadership

Summer Qu joined the Foundation as Project Officer Leadership in early 2020. She was born and grew up in Dalian, and moved to New Zealand at the age of 19.

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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
Ned 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
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
Wei-Wei Ng,
Advisory Board Chair

Wei-Wei is currently based in Hong Kong, working in the Business Development team at a leading international law firm, Freshfield Bruckhaus Deringer. 

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Hannah Duder,
Advisory Board Member

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

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Michelle McCarthy,
Advisory Board Member

Michelle manages the startup incubation programme at Creative HQ where she loves helping entrepreneurs to build their knowledge and to turn their ideas into successful ventures.

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Jay Waters,
Advisory Board Member

Jay’s broad connections with Asia cross all of his professional and personal interests from culture, sport and international relations, through to film, trade, and community development.

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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 Mathews,
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.