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, CNZM, 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
Hongyu (Carol) Cheng

Carol Cheng is an experienced business adviser and chartered accountant with more than 20 years of accounting, auditing and advisory experience.

BoardofTrustees
Mitchell Pham, ONZM

Mitchell Pham is a Vietnamese-Kiwi technology business and social entrepreneur.

BoardofTrustees
Pulotu Tupe Solomon-Tanoa'i

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

BoardofTrustees
Ziena Jalil

Ziena is an award-winning business and public sector leader, focused on deepening New Zealand’s engagement with the Asia Pacific, and improving outcomes for those with diverse cultures, abilities and experiences. 

BoardofTrustees
Tina Porou,
Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāi Tāmanuhiri), MNZM

Tina is the founder of Poipoia, a kaupapa Māori company committed to providing environmental services to iwi, hapu, the public and private sector

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
Adaljiza Magno,
Asia Honorary Adviser, Timor Leste

From 2020-2023, Adaljiza Magno served as Timor Leste's Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation and had previously served as Timor Leste's ambassador to Singapore and Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs.

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
Amane Nakashima,
Asia Honorary Adviser, Japan

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

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 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
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
Prof. Supachai Panitchpakdi,
Asia Honorary Adviser, Thailand

Proffessor 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
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
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
Professor Pavida Pananond,
Asia Honorary Adviser, Thailand

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

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
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
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
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
Hu Shuli,
Asia Honorary Adviser, China

Hu Shuli is the founder and publisher of Caixin Media, professor of the School of Journalism and Communication at Sun Yat-sen University.

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
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.

NZHonoraryAdvisers
Simon Watt

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

NZHonoraryAdvisers
Danny Chan

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

NZHonoraryAdvisers
Tania Te Whenua

Tania Te Whenua (Tūhoe, Whakatōhea) BA LLB AGNZ is principal of Te Whenua Law and Consulting, supporting organisations and the Crown to uphold the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi.

NZHonoraryAdvisers
Sachie Nomura

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

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 CNZM

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.

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
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, CNZM

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

NZHonoraryAdvisers
Paula Tesoriero, MNZM

Paula Tesoriero is chief executive at Whaikaha - The Ministry of Disabled People.

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.

NZHonoraryAdvisers
Lyn Lim, MNZM

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

Staff
Suzannah Jessep,
Chief Executive (CEO)

Suzannah Jessep was appointed chief executive at the Asia New Zealand Foundation in January 2024.

Staff
Adele Mason,
Deputy Chief Executive

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 Chair. 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
Veronica Thompson,
Kaitohutohu Matanga Māori | Chief Adviser, Māori

Veronica (Ronnie) (Morehu, Ngati Kahungunu ki Wairoa, Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa, Gua Leng) brings a broad range of skills and experience to her role from central and local government and the community sectors.

Staff
Nick Siu,
Director Business

Nick has over 20 years’ experience in businesses and commercial entities and has founded a number of successful businesses.

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
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
Ruby Dalmer,
Project Coordinator (Leadership)

Ruby Dalmer joined the Foundation in July 2023 after graduating from the University of Auckland. She completed a Bachelor of Global Studies, majoring in Global Politics and Human Rights, Asian Studies, and Chinese.

Staff
Lingy Au,
Senior Adviser (Entrepreneurship)

Lingy brings a wealth of knowledge from the startup and innovation scene having spent several years working with startup companies in New Zealand and internationally.

Staff
Joyce Bonde,
Project Officer (Internships)

Joyce joined the Foundation's business programme in 2023 after a stint working at a recruitment firm where she helped guide people in their career and professional development.

Staff
James To,
Senior Adviser (Research and Engagement) and South Island Manager

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

Staff
Caleb Hoyle,
Adviser (Research and Engagement)

Caleb has a B.A. degree from Te Herenga Waka Victoria University (Chinese studies) and master’s degrees from Peking University (management) and Te Herenga Waka Victoria University of Wellington (political science).

Staff
Alex Smith,
Senior Advisor (Research)

Alex has a Master of Arts in East Asian Regional Studies from Columbia University and a BA (hons) from Victoria University. She has studied Mandarin Chinese in Shanghai and Taiwan.

Staff
Craig Cooper,
Director Arts, Director Auckland

Craig Cooper has worked in the Australian and New Zealand arts sectors for over twenty-five years in a variety of roles

Staff
Kirsty Sharp,
Programme Manager (Sports)

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
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 Adviser (Digital)

Phoebe joined the Foundation in 2020 after graduating from Massey University. She completed a Bachelor of Communications, majoring in Public Relations and minoring in Expressive Arts/Media Studies.

Staff
Subasita Borkakoty,
Communications Adviser

Hailing from India, Subasita's upbringing instilled in her a deep love for language, literature, and the power of storytelling.

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
Carla Teng,
Media Adviser, Asia Media Centre

Carla Teng joined the Foundation in 2023. She has over 15 years of experience in broadcast journalism and public relations.

LeadershipNetworkAdvisoryBoard
Jenny Cheng,
Advisory Board Chair

Jenny is passionate about the intersection of business, technology and mission-driven entities.

LeadershipNetworkAdvisoryBoard
Arina Aizal

Arina connects diverse multicultural communities and young people through podcasts and radio shows at Otago Access Radio.

LeadershipNetworkAdvisoryBoard
Mat Logan

Mat Logan is an arts and information professional based in Ōtautahi Christchurch, where he is the Culture, Content, and Learning Manager for Selwyn District Council, based at Te Ara Ātea in Rolleston.

LeadershipNetworkAdvisoryBoard
Toby Jordan

Toby is a logistics planner for the New Zealand Defence Force. He ensures that the right people have the right equipment and right supplies at the right time.

LeadershipNetworkAdvisoryBoard
Kauri Tearaura

Kauri (they, he, she) descends from the Māori peoples of Ngāti Mahuta, Ngāti Āmaru, Ngāti Tamaoho, Avarau, and Tongareva.

LeadershipNetworkAdvisoryBoard
Justine Roberts

Justine works as a Principal Policy Advisor at the New Zealand Space Agency, based within the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

LeadershipNetworkAdvisoryBoard
Kaleb Uri-ke

Kaleb is a Tokyo based Te Whītau Tūhono Leadership Network member originally from Ōtautahi Christchurch.