Simon Draper,
Executive Director

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

Adele Mason,
Deputy Executive Director

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

Paula McLaughlin,
Executive Assistant

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

Sunita Soma,

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.

Elizabeth Basalaj,
Receptionist and Accounts

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

Veronica Thompson,
Kaitohutohu Matanga Māori | Chief Advisor, 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.

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.

Nick Siu,
Director Business

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

Ethan Jones,
Senior Adviser (Business)

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

BoBae Wilson,
Project Officer (Internships)

Before joining the Foundation, BoBae (BB) had previously worked as a programme coordinator in Korea where she managed volunteer programmes.

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.

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.

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 …

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.

Jordan King,
Senior Research Adviser

Dr Jordan King is a Senior Research Adviser in the Foundation's research and engagement team.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Shireen Shariff,
Communications Adviser

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

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.

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.

Eleanor Wenman,
Media Adviser, Asia Media Centre

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