Thomas Soem commenced the role of Executive Director (Sydney) at Asia Society Australia in April 2019. He is an international partnerships and business development specialist with over a decade of experience building successful collaborations between Australia and Asia.
Thomas has a background in strategic planning, business development, project design and management, and implementation of cross-sector initiatives and programs with national and global partners in the Asia-Pacific region.
Prior to the Asia Society, he was the Head of International Research and Development at the University of Sydney. In this role, he drove international research and capacity-building projects between the University and its partners in Asia, built relationships with external funders, and gave strategic advice on international growth and collaboration opportunities. He identified, designed, bid for and often managed more than 100 projects for the University across the Asia-Pacific region funded by national and international agencies, including the Australian Government, the United Nations System, the European Commission, the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank. He led University’s submissions to several government consultations and parliamentary senate inquiries including the Asian Century White Paper, and had representative roles with Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research and the Australia-Indonesia Centre.
Thomas is a graduate from the University of Oslo, Norway and the University of Sydney where he studied political science, international diplomacy, regional integration and languages.