The Executive Office (EO) supports the Executive Director and the Deputy Executive Director. Management decisions based on the policy guidelines set out by the ASEF Board of Governors are implemented through the Executive Office. It is responsible for determining ASEF’s strategic objectives as well as for enhancing its performance. The Executive Office also ensures smooth and efficient co-ordination between ASEF’s Departments and Taskforces, as well as between ASEF and its stakeholders.
- Ambassador ZHANG YanExecutive Director
- Mr Karsten WARNECKEDeputy Executive Director
- Ms Leonie NAGARAJANChief of Staff to Executive Director/Acting Director, Education Department
- Ms Wendy LEEPersonal Assistant to Executive Director
- Ms XUE Linyan Executive Assistant to Executive Director
- Ms Amelia INDRADJAJAExecutive Assistant to Deputy Executive Director
- Mr S. VELUDriver
- Mr M BASRIDriver
Ambassador ZHANG YanExecutive Director
Ambassador Zhang Yan is the 6th Executive Director of the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF). His latest deputation before joining ASEF was as the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People’s Republic of China to the Republic of India (2007 - October 2012).
He is a veteran diplomat, with experience spanning over 30 years, serving in many countries including Liberia, Switzerland, the United States, Singapore, Austria and India. He has closely worked with the United Nations dealing with the Security Council, as well as Disarmament and Arms Control.
Ambassador Zhang holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the Beijing Foreign Studies University (1976). Later he studied at Carleton University and McGill University in Canada (1976-78) and the China National Administrative Institute (1995). He has participated in the United Nations Disarmament Fellowship Programme (1984).
He was born in the Zhejiang Province in China and is married with a daughter.
Mr Karsten WARNECKEDeputy Executive Director
Karsten Warnecke is the 6th Deputy Executive Director of the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF). Before joining ASEF he dealt with Germany’s and the EU’s involvement in ASEAN and in the ASEM Process as part of his portfolio as Counsellor at the German Federal Foreign Office in Berlin, where he served as Deputy Head of Division for Regional Organizations and Cooperation in Asia-Pacific.
A seasoned career diplomat with over 23 years of experience, including 14 years with Asia, Karsten is adept at working in cross-cultural settings and in bringing people together from diverse backgrounds. Previous postings have seen him serve in the German Consulates-General in New York and Chennai, as well as the German Embassy in Singapore.
Karsten holds an M.A. in International Relations from the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) of the Johns Hopkins University in Washington, D.C., after studying Political Science at the Free University in Berlin. Karsten, a native Berliner, is bilingual in German and English, and he also speaks (with varying degrees of fluency) Hebrew, Arabic, French and Spanish.
Karsten is married and has two daughters and three sons, ranging in age from twenty-two to three.
Ms Leonie NAGARAJANChief of Staff to Executive Director/Acting Director, Education Department
Leonie Nagarajan joined ASEF in 2006 as a team member in the Public Affairs Department to manage ASEF's journalists projects and website developments. During this period, she was also the Editorial Assistant for the Asia Europe Journal (AEJ), a peer-reviewed academic journal initiated by ASEF and now published by Springer.
In 2009, she moved to the Executive Office as Chief of Staff to advise and support the Executive Director in the planning and implementation of ASEF’s long-range strategy. She has since supported three Executive Directors (Ambassador Dominique Girard, France; Ambassador Michel Filhol, France and Ambassador Zhang Yan, China).
Since February 2014, Leonie has also taken on the role of Acting Director, Education Department.
Prior to joining ASEF, Leonie worked in the communication and press department of the Haus der Kulturen der Welt (House of World Cultures), Germany's leading centre for contemporary arts and discourse based in Berlin. She was a freelancer for the newspaper Berliner Zeitung, after getting first journalist experiences as a student at the daily paper Pretoria News (South Africa) and the Icelandic national broadcaster Ríkisútvarpið (RÚV). Leonie is a founding member of the NGO AfricAvenir International. The Douala/Berlin-based organisation engages in political education and information dissemination in both Africa and Europe. Having studied in Reykjavik, Iceland and Berlin, Germany, she received her Master's degree in Communication Sciences with minors in cultural and political sciences from the Free University and Humboldt University of Berlin.
Ms Wendy LEEPersonal Assistant to Executive Director
Ms XUE LinyanExecutive Assistant to Executive Director
Xue Linyan, a Chinese national, firstly joined ASEF as an Intern for the Executive Office in September 2010. In July 2011, after completing her second Master’s degree, she re-joined ASEF as the Executive Assistant to the Executive Director. Prior to joining ASEF, she worked briefly in media industry with China Radio International and China Central Television (CCTV) News Channel. She also worked in as a researcher for the Swedish environmental NGO GlobalFOCUS and interned at the Institute of Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA), an inter-governmental organization based in Stockholm. Linyan obtained her Bachelor of Law degree in International Political Economy and Master of Law in Comparative Politics from Peking University, and her Master of Social Science degree in International Relations from Uppsala Universitet. Linyan has a strong interest in linguistics and language studies, likes practicing yoga, and is an avid writer in her native Chinese as well as in English.
Ms Amelia INDRADJAJAExecutive Assistant to Deputy Executive Director
Amelia assists our Deputy Executive Director in all administrative matters such as correspondence, travel arrangements, appointments, accounts, and documentation. She also assists in compiling our key documents, namely the Calendar of Events, the annual reports for our Board of Governors, and the Staff Manual.
Amelia joined the ASEF's Finance and Administration Department in 2007 as a part-time Administrative Assistant, and moved to the Executive Office a year later.
Prior to her work here, Amelia was Product Manager in Citibank Jakarta, Indonesia. She pursued her studies at Humber College, Toronto, Canada, and majored in Marketing.
Mr S. VELUDriver
Mr M BASRIDriver