Former Regional Director for Governance and Conflict
Expertise: Subnational conflict; political settlements; peacebuilding; state fragility; international donor policy on statebuilding and peacebuilding; political-economy analysis of development challenges; security issues in Southeast Asia; Cambodia; Thailand; Philippines; Timor-Leste; Nepal.
Thomas Parks left The Asia Foundation in October, 2013.
Thomas Parks was The Asia Foundation's Regional Director for Conflict and Governance, based in Thailand. In that role, he shaped the strategic and intellectual direction for Foundation programs and research in the areas of subnational conflict, statebuilding and peacebuilding, state fragility, security and development in Asia. He managed the Foundation's Programme Partnership Arrangement (PPA) with the UK Government's Department for International Development (DFID) Conflict, Humanitarian, and Security (CHASE) department, which includes a 7-country, $12 million portfolio of programs to improve state-society relations in fragile states and conflict-affected areas of Asia. He managed a multi-country research project entitled "Aid to Subnational Conflict Areas" that will produce recommendations for international donors and governments on providing assistance to subnational conflict areas.
Mr. Parks is a member of the Consortium Advisory Group for the Justice and Security Research Programme at the London School of Economics; and is a member of Australia Aid's Peace, Conflict and Development Advisory Panel. He frequently advises international donor agencies on policy and implementation challenges in fragile and conflict-affected areas. He supports the implementation of Asia Foundation field programs in 10 countries, and provides analysis of key political, economic and security trends in Southeast and South Asian countries. He has twelve years of experience in development assistance, with a particular focus on southern Thailand, Timor-Leste, Nepal, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and the Philippines.
Prior to this assignment, Mr. Parks served the Foundation as Assistant Director for Governance and Law, based in the San Francisco headquarters. In 2002-2003, Mr. Parks managed a USAID-funded project in Cambodia that sought to empower poor communities outside Phnom Penh, through access to news and information and the Internet. His recent publications include "Political Settlements: Implications for International Development Policy and Practice" with Dr. William Cole; "Maintaining Peace in a Neighborhood Torn by Separatism: The Case of Satun Province in Southern Thailand", in Small Wars and Insurgencies, and "The Last Holdout of an Integrated State: A Century of Resistance to State Penetration in Southern Thailand" in Autonomy and Armed Separatism: Case Studies from South and Southeast Asia, (ISEAS Press).