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Our People

Asia Society Australia is advised by the Board and Advisory Council which includes some of Australia's most prominent business, political, cultural and education leaders, and led by a high-performing team of globally-connected staff, advisors and fellows.

Core Staff

Philipp Ivanov

Chief Executive Officer

Philipp is the inaugural CEO of Asia Society Australia. He commenced in the role in January 2015 and is leading Asia Society's Australian centre through an exciting period of growth and transformation. 

Philipp has an outstanding record of leadership, public service, and dedication to building Asia-literate and Asia-connected Australia. He is a China specialist with extensive experience in policy, advocacy, education and research. Previously, he was a policy officer and Manager of the Australia-China Council at the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. In this role, Philipp led the renewal of the Council and had broader responsibilities for the bilateral relationship between Australia and China. Philipp was one of the principal authors of the Australia in the Asian Century White Paper - China Country Strategy. 

Previously his work focussed on internationalising Australian universities. He was Acting Director and Deputy Director of the Research Institute for Asia and the Pacific, advised the University of Sydney Vice-Chancellor on China offshore strategy and managed La Trobe University's partnerships in the Gulf States, Vietnam and Thailand.

Philipp spent over 6 years in China working in educational management and development roles. He is the recipient of the ‘Rose Award’ by Shenyang Municipal Government (2002) for his contribution to Shenyang City. He was also awarded the Australian Government’s Endeavour Executive Fellowship (2009) under which he undertook a research on China’s higher education at the China National Academy of Education Administration in Beijing. He is a board member of Asia Recon, Sydney City Council's Chinese New Year Advisory Panel and Asia Literacy Ambassador at the Asia Education Foundation. In 2015, he was invited as the only Australian delegate to the 2015 Congress of Vienna - a preeminent global track-two dialogue on conflict, migration, equality and innovation.

Philipp received classical Chinese language, economy and history training at the Far Eastern National University in Russia. He also studied in Jilin and Liaoning Normal universities in China. He holds a Master of Educational Leadership and Management from RMIT University in Australia. He grew up in Vladivostok on Russia's Pacific coast and is a fluent Chinese and Russian speaker.


Lee Blundell

Manager (Operations)

Lee started at Asia Society in 2015 and oversees the transformation of the Asia Society Australia's operations. Lee is an experienced administrator and project manager with an extensive track-record in managing complex transitions, development of effective administrative systems and processes and delivering high-quality programs at some of Australia's leading companies, including ANZ and Telstra.