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About James Wise

James Wise was Australia’s Ambassador to Thailand from 2010 to 2014.  He also lived full-time in Thailand from 1995 to 1998, when he was Deputy Head of Mission at the Australian Embassy.  He now divides his time between Thailand and Australia. James provides assessments and presentations on trends in the political economy of Thailand. His book, Thailand: History, Politics and the Rule of Law, will be published by Marshall Cavendish in April 2019.  James is an independent director of ANZ Bank (Thai) and a director of The Beaumont Foundation which has built a school for underprivileged children in Chaiyaphum province.

With years of experience in Thailand, he has learnt to identify what has mattered for business – and what hasn’t mattered – as Thailand navigated the Asian financial crisis, global financial crisis, constitutional reform, generational change, elections and coups.

His experience is not limited to Bangkok.  He knows all four regions well, having visited most of Thailand’s 77 provinces, where he has met leaders and activists from a wide range of social and political groups, as well as government officials and business leaders.

James Wise was an Australian diplomat for over thirty years.  In addition to two postings to Thailand, he was High Commissioner (Ambassador) to Malaysia from 2003 to 2007.  He had earlier postings to the Soviet Union (1987-91) and Papua New Guinea (1983-85).

He has held several senior positions in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, including as First Assistant Secretary, Corporate Management Division (2007-10), and First Assistant Secretary, Pacific, Middle East and Africa Division (2001-03).  He was also a Senior Analyst at the Office of National Assessments (1991-94).

James Wise holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with First Class Honours in History from the University of Tasmania.