Thomas Parks is The Asia Foundation’s country representative in Thailand, where he 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. 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. 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.
An expert in conflict and governance, Thomas Parks brings over fifteen years of experience in development assistance with a significant Thailand focus. He first joined the Foundation in 2001 as a Program Officer, later serving as Assistant Director for 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. Additional 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).
Education: 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.