Staff


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.

Staff
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.

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
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.