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Work experience



ASEAN-U.S. Technical Assistance and Training Facility

Consultant with the ASEAN‐US Technical Assistance and Training Facility in Jakarta, working on

the monitoring, implementation and promotion of cooperative programs between the US

Government and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), directed by the U.S. Department of State and United States Agency for International Development (USAID). 


Foreign Service Officer

New Zealand Embassy Indonesia

Seconded as a diplomat / Second Secretary at the New Zealand Embassy in Jakarta, focused on

deepening the relationship between New Zealand and ASEAN in all sectors (security, economic,

cultural). Responsible for developing new policy initiatives, organizing international cosponsored

programs, undertaking public and cultural diplomacy and drafting/negotiating a

new Comprehensive Partnership between ASEAN and New Zealand. Also responsible for

analysis and policy development on New Zealand’s engagement in East Asian regional

architecture, including the East Asia Summit and the ASEAN Regional Forum.


Foreign Policy Officer, International Security and Disarmament

New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Foreign Policy Officer in the International Security and Disarmament Division, which oversees

New Zealand’s engagement in a wide range of international security issues, including counterterrorism,

disarmament, non‐proliferation and conflict deployments. Responsible for analysis

and policy development on terrorism and radicalization in South East Asia and management of

New Zealand’s $1 million Asia Security Fund, which sponsored a range of collaborative security

initiatives with regional and international partners, counter‐terrorism centers, government

security agencies, civil society groups and media.


Legal Researcher

International Foundation for Election Systems

Legal researcher with international NGO, IFES, in New Delhi, India.

Responsible for assisting program managers in the following areas: evaluating and advising on the selection and implementation of project proposals; writing proposals for collaborative projects between IFES and Indian NGOs,

government departments, training institutions and the judiciary; drafting gender‐training

modules for judges and public prosecutors; participating in national and statewide

consultations on women’s legal rights issues; and developing a compendium of research and

interventions on female feticide and infanticide in India.


Legal Assistant

Harmans Lawyers

Temporary three month assignment as legal assistant to Partner Brian Burke while awaiting security clearance for the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.


Research Assistant

University of Canterbury

Part‐time research assistant for Senior Lecturer in the School of Law, Dr Barbara von

Tigerstrom, during completion of an LLM and the Professional Legal Studies course. Research

focused on medical law issues. Part‐time research assistant for visually impaired PhD student through the University Disability Support Service. Research focused on employment law issues.



Bar Exam

College of Law New Zealand

Admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor to the High Court of New Zealand, 17 December, 2004.


Master of Laws (First Class Honors)

University of Canterbury

Focus on Medical Law and Bioethics. Final Dissertation - 'Intellectually Disabled Offenders at the Crossroad Between the Mental Health System and the Criminal Justice System'.


Bachelor of Laws

University of Canterbury

Electives focused on international law, international trade, jurisprudence, constitutional law, civil liberties, legal ethics.


Bachelor of Arts

University of Canterbury

Electives focused on ethics (including virtue ethics and bioethics), epistemology and metaphysics, political theory, contemporary political philosophy.


Terry Rogers

Dell Higgie

David Taylor

References/Writing Sample


I am a former New Zealand diplomat and qualified lawyer with post‐graduate credentials in international law. In addition to research and publishing experience, I have a strong record of international work experience in both the government and non‐government sectors. 

Since 2006 I have worked in an official capacity formulating and implementing foreign policy for the Government of New Zealand and on behalf of the U.S. Permanent Mission to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Indonesia. Prior to joining the Foreign Service, I lived and worked for two years in New Delhi, India, with a Washington DC-based international NGO, from which I acquired invaluable experience in applied professional research, advocacy and lobbying. 

By way of further background, I have a Masters in Law with Honors, a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, and am officially admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand since 2004. I am a citizen of both New Zealand and the United Kingdom and a Permanent Resident of the United States. I recently left the Foreign Service to move to the U.S. with my husband, a U.S. diplomat, and am interested in pursuing opportunities in the public policy or legal fields.

I have particular interest in international security issues and have acquired unique experience in emerging security threats and political architecture in the East Asia-Pacific region. I can bring to bear a dynamic range of skills in research and analysis, policy development and implementation, consultation and negotiation, organization of international events, program and fund management, and public diplomacy.

Recent Presentations

K. Ellena, "Regional Institutions in Contemporary East Asia"

Naval Postgraduate School

Monterey, California

17 November 2011


K. Ellena, “Development and the Sex Ratio in India: The Misuse of

Technology” (2006) Alternatives (The Communication Foundation: India: Web


K. Ellena and Dr B. von Tigerstrom, “Regulation of Complementary and

Alternative Medicine: A Trans-Tasman Perspective” (2006) Law in Context


K. Ellena, “The Uncritical Enthusiasts Versus the Uninformed Sceptics:

Regulation of Complementary and Alternative Medicine” (2005) Journal of Law

and Medicine (Australia)

K. Ellena, “Pregnancy, Autonomy and the No-Win Situation”

(2003) New Zealand Student’s Law Journal (New Zealand)

Top Secret

New Zealand SIS