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

Staff
Yasheeka Bertram,
Education Adviser

Yasheeka Bertram is a foodie with a teaching background.

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.

Staff
Felicity Roxburgh,
Director Business, Director Auckland

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

Staff
BoBae Wilson,
Project Coordinator Internships

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

Staff
James To,
Senior Adviser Research and Engagement

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

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.

Staff
Alistair Crozier,
South Island Establishment Manager

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

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

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
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
Ryan Smith,
Project Officer Entrepreneurship

Ryan has a passion for community building and comes to the Foundation from the fast-paced entrepreneurial eco-system at coworking space BizDojo Christchurch.

Staff
Summer Qu,
Project Officer Leadership

Summer Qu recently joined the Foundation as Project Officer of Leadership. 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 has been working on media initiatives for the Foundation since 2011.

Staff
Tessa Johnstone,
Communications adviser

Tessa is currently on parental leave.

Staff
Ned Wotherspoon,
Website Manager

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

Staff
Emma Rzepecky,
Communications Support

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

Staff
Tania Te Whenua,
Māori Adviser

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

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.