Asia Society Australia hosts the first branch of the Asia Society Policy Institute outside the U.S., alongside distinguished fellows, and scholars-in-residence.
Asia Society Policy Institute in Australia
Richard Maude, Senior Fellow
Richard Maude is Executive Director of Policy at Asia Society Australia and a Senior Fellow at the Asia Society Policy Institute.
He is a former senior Australian government official with 30 years’ experience in foreign policy and national security.
From 2018 to 2019, Mr Maude was Deputy Secretary, Indo-Pacific Group, in the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Australia’s senior official to the East Asia Summit.
In 2017, Mr Maude was head of the whole-of-government taskforce which supported the preparation of the Australian Government’s 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper.
Mr Maude was Director-General of the Office of National Assessments from May 2013 until November 2016. Before taking up this position, Mr Maude was the senior adviser on foreign policy and national security issues to Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
He has served overseas in Malaysia, where he was Deputy High Commissioner, Singapore and as the Liaison Officer for the Office of National Assessments in the Australian Embassy in Washington DC.
Mr Maude is a member of the Futures Council of the National Security College at the Australian National University and Director of the ANU Crawford Leadership Forum.
Patrick Suckling, Non-resident Senior Fellow
Patrick Suckling served as Australia's Ambassador for the Environment, and has over twenty five years foreign, trade and investment, development and climate policy experience.
He led international policy and engagement for two Prime Ministers as head of International Division, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and served as an Adviser to Foreign Minister Downer. He has been Australia’s High Commissioner to India, served at the Australian Embassy in Washington working on the Australia-U.S. Alliance and been Australia’s Senior Official for APEC. He has led Australia’s consular support for Australians overseas, media and parliamentary engagement for the Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio, and overseen comprehensive incoming government briefing for two Foreign Ministers and Australia’s Trade Minister.
Mr. Suckling was most recently Australia’s Ambassador for the Environment, leading on Paris Agreement negotiations, strategy for Australia’s $1 billion climate finance commitment and bilateral cooperation on climate change with key countries such as China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Germany, France, and the United Kingdom. This included chairing the influential Umbrella Group of developed countries - including the United States, Russia, Japan, and Canada - in UNFCCC negotiations for four years.
He is currently a Senior Partner at Pollination, a specialist climate advisory, and investment firm.
Asia Society-Victoria Distinguished Fellows
Thanh Van Dang, Founder and CEO of Savvycom
Ms Van is an internationally-acclaimed technology entrepreneur and an inspirational figure for women in Viet Nam. She founded Savvycom in 2009 and built it into one of Viet Nam’s top 30 leading tech companies in software services and IT outsourcing.
A University of Sydney computer science graduate, Ms Van has been recognised globally as a leader and entrepreneur. Among her many accolades are:
- First Winner of the Mekong Women's Entrepreneurship Challenge, 2013
- Top 100 Outstanding Start-up Entrepreneurs in Viet Nam, 2016
- ASEAN Female Entrepreneur of the Year, 2017
- Forbes magazine 15 Global Leaders to Watch, 2017
- Most Prominent Australian Female Alumni, Australian Embassy in Viet Nam, 2019
- Fortune-U.S. State Department Mentee, Global Women Mentoring Program, 2020
She currently holds the positions of Vice President of the Alliance of Digital Technology Companies in Viet Nam, Vice President of Hanoi Women Entrepreneurs Association, and Steering Committee member of the Aus4Innovation program.
Ms Van has spoken on digital transformation and innovation at major events such as TEDx, APEC and ASEAN Business and Investment Summit, and is a regular judge at start-up challenges.
Manoj Kohli, Country Head – Softbank India, Softbank Group International
Manoj Kohli is the Country Head – SoftBank India, SoftBank Group International and is supporting interest of SoftBank, SoftBank Vision Fund and their over 20 portfolio companies like OLA, OYO, Paytm, WeWork, Katerra, Lenskart etc in India. He is responsible for addressing government and policy related issues which will help these companies to achieve their full potential.
Earlier, since 2015, Manoj Kohli was the Executive Chairman of the SB Energy – SoftBank Group, which plans to develop 20GW renewable energy projects in India and is already developing over 5GW of solar and wind projects.
Manoj was also the Managing Director, Bharti Enterprises Limited and responsible for the growth and operations of the Bharti group of companies in retail, insurance, agri-products, real estate, mobile internet sector. Manoj's key contribution has been building Airtel as no 3 telco in the world with over 360m customers. He led Bharti Airtel’s India operations during which the customer base grew from 2 million to 150 million before moving to International responsibility in 2010. Manoj was the Chairman of the Industry Association, COAI which deals with Government resolving all regulatory policy matters. He was the Managing Director and CEO (International), Bharti Airtel, as he headed the International Business Group which leads the international strategy & vision for 20 countries and was also responsible for leading the Africa operations which Bharti Airtel acquired in June 2010.
Manoj started his career in 1979 with the DCM Shriram Group, where he initially led the HR function, followed by leadership positions in the Foods, Chemicals and Fertilizer businesses and assignments in Engineering projects, including Shriram Honda. He left as Vice President, responsible for the Air Conditioning & Refrigeration business unit (Tecumseh & Daikin) after a stint of 15 years. He subsequently worked for 15 years at AlliedSignal / Honeywell as its Executive Director in charge of its new Industrial Park and operations in India. Manoj then joined Escotel, which he led for over 5 years as Executive Director and CEO, before coming on board at Bharti Airtel.
Overall his 40 years of work experience is divided between the manufacturing and telecom sectors. Manoj has worked closely with MNCs as well as worked at Michigan, Austria, Tokyo, Shanghai, Manila, Singapore, HK and supervised 20 countries in Africa in addition to all four regions in India.
Asia Society Australia Scholar-In-Residence
Bates Gill, Executive Director, Centre on China Analysis, Asia Society Policy Institute
Dr Bates Gill has a 30-year career as a scholar, policy advisor and author, focusing on Asia-Pacific politics, foreign policy and security, with a particular focus on China and U.S.-China relations.
He has held leadership, research and academic positions with some of the world's leading institutions and universities, including the Brookings Institution, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Sydney, and the Australian National University.
He has published eight books and over 150 other publications, including most recently China Matters: Getting it Right for Australia (Black Inc/LaTrobe University Press, 2017)(with Linda Jakobson). His current research projects include a focus on the modernisation of Chinese strategic forces (nuclear, cyber, space) and how U.S. allies are balancing relations between a rising China and an uncertain America.
Asia Society Australia-Korea Fellows
Wongi Choe, Professor, Korea National Diplomatic Academy
Wongi Choe is a professor at the Korea National Diplomatic Academy (KNDA), where he has been doing policy research on various topics in Asian regional politics, climate change and global governance, etc. As an advisory member of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the ROK delegation, he participated in the UN Climate Change Negotiations from 2009 to 2019.
Currently, he serves as the head of the Center for ASEAN–India Studies at the KNDA. In that capacity, he leads KNDA's policy research on Korea's diplomatic approach to Southeast Asia, South Asia and beyond. He also serves as a member of advisory group at the Presidential Committee on New Southern Policy in Korea.
His current research focuses on Korea's role in the geopolitical dynamics and regional architecture in East Asia and the broader Indo-Pacific region. His recent writings include “Is Seoul Turning toward the Indo-Pacific? A Korean Perspective on the Moon-Biden Summit” (2021); New Southern Policy: Korea’s Newfound Ambition in Search of Strategic Autonomy (2021); “US Indo-Pacific Strategy and Directions for ROK-US Cooperation” (2020); Thirty Years of ASEAN-ROK Relations (in Korean, co-edited, 2019), among others.
He received BA and MA in international relations from Seoul National University in Korea and PhD in political science from University of Washington in the United States.
Lauren Richardson, Lecturer in the Department of International Relations, Australian National University
Lauren Richardson is a Lecturer in the Department of International Relations at the Australian National University. She is also Director of the ANU Japan Institute and a Board Member of the ANU Korea Institute. Previously she taught Northeast Asian Relations at the University of Edinburgh and Keio University in Japan. She has been a visiting fellow at the Japan Institute of International Affairs, a recipient of the Prime Minister’s Australia-Asia Award (2011), a participant in the US-Korea NextGen Scholars Program (2015-16) and the German Marshall Fund’s Young Strategist Forum (2019).
Dr Richardson’s research focuses on the diplomatic and strategic dynamics of Northeast Asia, with a particular focus on Japan-Korea peninsula relations. She obtained Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Asian Studies from Monash University, which entailed extensive Japanese and Korean language study. She also completed a Master’s in Political Science at Keio University in Tokyo and a PhD in international, political and strategic studies at the ANU.
Dr Elizabeth Thurbon, Scientia Associate Professor of International Political Economy, UNSW Sydney
Dr Elizabeth Thurbon is recognised internationally for her policy-relevant research on the state and its strategic role in the economy, with a particular focus on strategic techno-industrial governance in East Asia, Australia and the United States. She is currently leading a 3-year collaborative Australian Research Council Discovery Project on the geo-strategic drivers of East Asia's Clean Energy Shift and its implications for Australia.
She is also a Chief Investigator on a 5-year Academy of Korean Studies Laboratory Project examining South Korea's past, present and future development trajectory, led by Professor Keun Lee (Seoul National University), and a Chief Investigator on an Australian Department of Defence Strategic Policy Grant examining the weaponisation of trade and its implications for Australia, led by Professor Lisa Toohey (University of Newcastle).
She has published widely on the politics of economic development, techno-industrial strategy, economic statecraft, and the clean energy shift for scholarly and popular audiences, and regularly contributes to policy and public debate on these topics. She currently holds a Scientia Fellowship at UNSW Sydney (2019-2022) and an Asia Society Fellowship (2021-2022) and has also held Visiting Fellowships at Seoul National University (as a Korea Foundation Fellow) and China Foreign Affairs University. She is an elected member of the Executive Council of the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics (SASE) and a member of the Research Committee of the Jubilee Australia Research Centre.
Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. in Government from the University of Sydney. She also completed her Economics (Social Sciences) Degree at Sydney University, where she was awarded first-class Honours and the University Medal for Academic Excellence.
Asia Society Australia Supply Chain Fellows
Dr Hermione Parsons
Dr Hermione Parsons, Asia Society Supply Chain Fellow and Chairperson of the Supply Chain Advisory Network
Since 2010, Dr Hermione Parsons has been the Director of Centres for Supply Chain and Logistics at Deakin and Victoria Universities in Melbourne Australia. Previously she was strategic planner at the Port of Melbourne Corporation, the Victorian Government (economic development and infrastructure) and the Melbourne Markets Authority.
Hermione has executive management experience in public and private sector organisations with responsibility for multimodal freight logistics, freight transport infrastructure planning, competition, regulation, supply chain reengineering, and industry-government relations. Areas of expertise include end-to-end supply chain strategy, managing supply chain complexity, and problem-solving freight logistics in metropolitan, regional and international markets (Australia and South East Asia).
Hermione is a Non-executive Director at the Melbourne Market Authority, Co-founder and Chairperson of the Wayfinder: Supply Chain Careers for Women Initiative; member of the VicTrack Board’s Advisory Committees for Freight Logistics and Strategic Innovation; Chairperson of the Supply Chain Advisory Network; and member of the Australia’s National Freight Data Hub Advisory Group. Hermione is recognised as one of the 100 Most Influential Women in Supply Chain - Global Women Supply Chain Leaders Awards 2020 by B2G | Paris | Bahrain | Singapore.
Vinh Thai, Asia Society Supply Chain Fellow and Associate Professor at the School of Accounting, Information Systems and Supply Chain, RMIT University
Dr Vinh Thai is an associate professor at the School of Accounting, Information Systems and Supply Chain of RMIT University. He is currently an Associate Editor of the Asian Journal of Shipping and Logistics and is known internationally for his research in logistics and supply chain management in general and maritime logistics in particular.
He has so far published more than 140 international peer-reviewed journal articles and conference papers, and several book chapters, in leading academic journals e.g. Transportation Research Part E, Transportation Research Part A, International Journal of Physical Distribution and Logistics Management, International Journal of Logistics Management, International Journal of Shipping & Transport Logistics, Maritime Policy & Management, Maritime Economics & Logistics, etc. His work has been widely cited in academic journals as well as in industry magazines and newspapers such as Daily Cargo News, Science Daily, Safety & Health Magazine, ABC News Fact Check, Herald Sun, ABC Radio National, etc.
Vinh is the founder of the Australian Maritime Logistics Research Network (AMLRN), established in 2019, connecting maritime academics and industry professionals in Australia and overseas. He has also been a consultant in numerous consultancy projects, for example, for ASEAN Secretariat (ASEAN maritime transport development study), Japan International Cooperation Agency – JICA (Vietnam Transport Sector Study), World Bank in Vietnam (Northern Region Comprehensive Transport Strategy Study), Japan Bank for International Cooperation – JBIC (Study of the national transport development strategy for Vietnam), World Bank in Indonesia (Port Development Priority Projects and Value for Money Study). Prior to joining academia, he worked for various companies in the maritime logistics industry including Asian Pacific Shipping, P&O Nedlloyd Shipping Line, and Vietnam International Container Terminal (VICT).
Asia Society Australia
Philipp Ivanov, Chief Executive Officer, Asia Society Australia
Philipp Ivanov is the Chief Executive Officer of Asia Society Australia. He is a China specialist with extensive experience in policy, education and research in Australia, China and Russia.
Previously, he was a policy officer and manager of the Australia-China Council at the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Philipp was one of the principal authors of the Australia in the Asian Century White Paper - China Country Strategy. Philipp was Acting Director and Deputy Director of the Research Institute for Asia and the Pacific at the University of Sydney, and advised the University of Sydney on their China strategy.
Philipp spent over 6 years in China working in education and development. He is the recipient of the ‘Rose Award’ by the Shenyang Municipal Government for his contribution to Shenyang City. In 2009 he was also awarded the Australian Government’s Endeavour Executive Fellowship to research China's policies on leadership development at the China National Academy of Education Administration in Beijing.
Philipp has a Bachelor (Honours) degree in Chinese language and history from 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 is a fluent Chinese and Russian speaker.