Staff


Staff
Simon J Draper,
Executive Director

Simon is a diplomat with extensive international background in negotiation and relationship management.

Staff
Adele Mason,
Deputy Executive Director

Adele joined the Foundation in a management role and later became deputy executive director.

Staff
Sunita Soma,
Accountant

Sunita joined the Foundation in 2007. She has worked in both the private and public sectors.

Staff
Paula McLaughlin,
Executive Assistant

Paula provides assistance to the executive director and the chairman.

Staff
James To,
Senior Adviser Research and Engagement

James has an academic background in Asian languages, political science, and commerce.

Staff
Craig Cooper,
Director Arts

Craig Cooper has worked in the arts sector for almost 20 years in Australia and NZ.

Staff
Rebecca Palmer,
Director Communications and Media

Rebecca has been working on media initiatives for the Foundation since 2011.

Staff
Yasheeka Bertram,
Education Adviser

Yasheeka is a former secondary school teacher.

Staff
Sean O'Connor,
Director Education

Sean is a former secondary school teacher who joined the Foundation in 2014.

Staff
Adam McConnochie,
Director Leadership and Entrepreneurship

Adam manages the leadership and entrepreneurship programmes where he equips the next generation of Kiwi leaders and entrepreneurs to thrive in Asia.

Staff
Felicity Roxburgh,
Director Business, Director Auckland

Felicity joined the Foundation in November 2017. She has over 10 years’ experience in diplomacy.

Staff
Elizabeth Basalaj,
Receptionist and Accounts

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

Staff
BoBae Wilson,
Project Coordinator Internships

BB is the Auckland team administrator and helps to run the business internships programme.

Staff
Ned Wotherspoon,
Website Manager

Ned joined the Foundation in 2015. He has lived and worked in Taiwan and China.

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
Karen Schwoerer,
Senior Adviser Research and Engagement

Karen has an academic background in Psychology, Statistics and Public Health.

Staff
Tania Te Whenua,
Māori Adviser

Tania Te Whenua (Tūhoe, Whakatōhea) is the principal of Te Whenua Law and Consulting.

Staff
Emma Rzepecky,
Communications Support

Emma joined the team at the Foundation in July 2018 as Communications Support.

Staff
Ziena Jalil,
Contractor

Ziena is an award-winning international marketing, comms, business development and reputation management strategist.

Staff
Alexis Allen,
Project Coordinator Leadership and Entrepreneurship

Alexis joined the Foundation in September of 2017.

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. As a stay at home mum, she volunteered for many c…

Staff
Mei Law,
Education Adviser

Prior to joining the Foundation’s education team in 2019, Mei worked at the Ara Institute of Canterbury as the Auckland engagement manager. Mei brings with her years of experience working in the educa…

Staff
Tessa Johnstone,
Communications Adviser

Tessa has worked in media and communications since 2002, occasionally side-tracked by other interesting things.Highlights have included writing for and editing youth magazine Tearaway, working adventu…

Staff
Ryan Smith,
Project Officer Entrepreneurship

Ryan has a passion for community building and comes to the Foundation from the fast-paced entrepreneurial eco-system of his previous role as community and partnerships manager at coworking space BizDo…

Staff
Nicola McCardle,
Project Officer Leadership

 Nicola has a management background in local government as well as international experience working in the UK, Indonesia and China.