Vice President, Strategic Partnerships

Thomas Parks is The Asia Foundation’s vice president for Strategic Partnerships. In this role, he leads the Foundation’s efforts to strengthen partnerships with governments, development organizations, multinational corporations, foundations, and philanthropists. He oversees the Foundation’s overall resource development strategy and leads efforts to develop new institutional partnerships. As a member of the Executive Team, he plays a central role in shaping the Foundation’s overall strategy for impact and thought leadership.

Tom is the author of Southeast Asia’s Multipolar Future: Averting a New Cold War (Bloomsbury Academic, 2023), a book on the geopolitics of Southeast Asia. From 2017 to February 2024, he was the Foundation’s country representative in Thailand, where he managed programs on economic development, education reform, digital technology, and international relations. He also led the Foundation’s regional cooperation programs in Southeast Asia, with a strong focus on ASEAN and Mekong sub-regional architecture. In 2022, Tom was a distinguished visitor at the Australian National University and a visiting scholar at Waseda University in Tokyo. He spent four years with Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, where he served as senior governance and fragility specialist from 2013 to 2017. From 2008 to 2013, he served as the Foundation’s regional director for Conflict and Governance.

Tom is an expert on Asian geopolitics, international development, economics, governance, conflict, regional cooperation, and security in Southeast Asia. He has extensive experience with international assistance to Asia and the Pacific, through his roles in policy-making, program implementation, and extensive research. His publications include Enduring the Pandemic: Surveys of the Impact of Covid-19 on Thai Small Businesses (2021), ASEAN as the Architect for International Development Cooperation (2018), The Future of Thai-U.S. Relations, Contested Corners of Asia: Subnational Conflict and International Development Assistance (2013), and Political Settlements: Implications for Development Policy and Practice (2010).

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.