Thomas Parks is The Asia Foundation’s country representative in Thailand, where he manages programs that address inequality, education reform, digital technology, and international relations. He also oversees the Foundation’s regional cooperation programs in Southeast Asia, with a strong focus on ASEAN. He has been based in Thailand since 2008, and has worked on programming in the Foundation’s Thailand office for more than 15 years in various roles. He has also managed programs and conducted research across ASEAN, with extensive experience in the Philippines, Myanmar, Indonesia, and Cambodia.
Parks is an expert on policy reform, governance, security, and conflict in the region. He has extensive experience with international assistance to the region, through his role in a development donor, and extensive research on the subject. He is currently leading a study on ASEAN’s role in regional development cooperation, due to be released in September 2018. He also co-authored a report, released in August 2018, entitled The Future of Thai-U.S. Relations with analysis of the changing geopolitical environment in the region and the implications for bilateral relations.
In 2013, he co-authored and managed the influential study Contested Corners of Asia: Subnational Conflict and International Development Assistance. Parks recently returned to the Foundation from Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) where he served as senior governance and fragility specialist from 2013 to 2017.
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.