Our People

Merle A. Hinrich - Executive Chairman

Merle A Hinrich, Founder and Chairman

Mr. Hinrich is a global business leader, trade pioneer and philanthropist. He has dedicated his 60-year career to promoting global trade, as the Founder and Executive Chairman of Global Sources, and as the Chairman of the Hinrich Foundation, driven by the belief that global trade can help break down barriers between nations and drive economic growth.

In 1965, Mr. Hinrich obtained a Graduate degree in International Trade at Thunderbird School of Global Management. The University of Nebraska awarded Mr. Hinrich an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters in 1996 and the Thunderbird School of Global Management awarded him an honorary degree of Doctor of International Law in 2010. In 2015, Hong Kong Baptist University awarded him an Honorary University Fellowship and in 2018, he received the Beta Gamma Sigma Entrepreneurial Achievement Award.

More details about Mr. Hinrich’s personal history and motivations for creating a Foundation are presented in Our story.

Merle A. Hinrich - Executive Chairman

Kathryn Dioth - Chief Executive Office

Kathryn Dioth, Chief Executive Officer

Ms. Dioth leads the sustainable development of the Hinrich Foundation. As CEO, she is responsible for program management, endowment management and operational and risk management for the foundation.

Ms. Dioth started her career with Price Water house and held various roles with Bankers Trust in Australia. Since 2004, she has been based in Hong Kong and Singapore, holding global and regional roles with Standard Chartered Bank and ING Asia Pacific. After 20 years’ experience in the asset management industry in Asia and Australia, she joined the Hinrich Foundation in 2011.

Ms. Dioth holds bachelor’s degrees in Law and Economics from the University of Queensland, is a Fellow of FINSIA (the Financial Services Institute of Australasia), a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and has in the past been a Licensed Representative and Responsible Officer for SFC licensed corporations.

Kathryn Dioth - Chief Executive Office

Stephen Olson - Research Fellow

Stephen Olson, Research Fellow

Stephen Olson is a research fellow at the Hinrich Foundation with over 30 years of international trade experience.

He began his career in Washington DC as an international trade negotiator and served on the US negotiating team for the NAFTA negotiations. He subsequently became president of the Hong Kong-based Pacific Basin Economic Council, and vice-chairman of Cairo-based ARTOC Group for investment and development. He is also a visiting scholar at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

He has a master’s degree in international relations from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a B.A. from the State University of New York.

Stephen Olson - Research Fellow

Foundation management 1

Berenice Voets, Director of Public Affairs

Berenice Voets develops trade research partnerships for the foundation and manages its external communication and public affairs activities.

She has over 20 years of public affairs, government relations and corporate communication experience, acquired in Singapore, China, Thailand and Hong Kong.

Prior to joining the Hinrich Foundation, she was a senior advisor to the CEO of the East West Seed Group, Director of Public Affairs and Sustainability at the Clarins Group in Asia Pacific, and Director of Public Affairs and Government Relations at APCO Worldwide in Shanghai.

She holds a master’s degree in Public Policy from the Lee Kuan Yew of Public Policy and a master’s degree in Business Administration from EDHEC Business School in France.

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Alexander J. Boome, V - Program Director

Alex Boome, Program Director

Alexander Boome manages the education programs of the Hinrich Foundation. He has 25 year’s experience creating business opportunities for companies in Asia, including Greater China, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines. Prior to the Hinrich Foundation, he worked with Global Sources as general manager of corporate marketing.

He served as a United States Peace Corps volunteer in Palawan, Philippines from 1987 to 1989 where he established programs in community development, family health and the sustainable use of natural resources.

He has a degree in International Relations from the University of British Columbia, and has taken master’s level coursework in Public Policy and Management at the University of London’s Centre for Financial and Economic Studies.

Alexander J. Boome, V - Program Director