The Asia Foundation Names Thomas Parks Country Representative in Thailand

Bangkok, February 16, 2017 — The Asia Foundation announces the appointment of Thomas Parks as country representative in Thailand. A Foundation veteran, Mr. Parks is an expert in conflict and governance with over fifteen years of experience in development assistance. Mr. Parks manages programs that promote peaceful conflict resolution, economic policy reform, regional cooperation, more responsive and transparent systems of governance, and Thailand’s emerging role as a development donor. He has been based in Thailand since 2008, and has worked on the Foundation’s Thailand program for more than 15 years in various roles.

Mr. Parks is returning to the Foundation from Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) where he served as Senior Governance and Fragility Specialist since 2013. In this position, he played a significant role in DFAT policy on development in fragile and conflict-affected regions, internal capacity-building and training, and cross-sectoral collaboration, particularly related to integration of governance, gender, and political economy approaches with sectoral programs. 

Mr. Parks first joined the Foundation in 2001 as a Program Officer, and also served as Assistant Director, Governance and Law. From 2008-2013, he served as the 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. He also co-authored and managed the influential study Contested Corners of Asia: Subnational Conflict and International Development Assistance, released in 2013.

Mr. Parks’ 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).

He holds a master’s degree in International Affairs, focusing on Southeast Asia Studies and International Economics, from Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies and a bachelor’s degree in Government from Harvard University. 

The Asia Foundation is a nonprofit international development organization committed to improving lives across a dynamic and developing Asia. Informed by six decades of experience and deep local expertise, our work across the region addresses five overarching goals—strengthen governance, empower women, expand economic opportunity, increase environmental resilience, and promote regional cooperation.

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