Foundation USA


The Foundation's volunteer Board of Directors is comprised of five distinguished individuals, who all have Tasmanian connections and proudly support the University of Tasmania through the UTAS Foundation USA.

Mark Habner was elected Chairman of the Board in December 2016, and has been a member of the University of Tasmania Foundation USA Board since 2013. A UTAS alumnus (BCom, LLB Hons), Mark is CEO and Co-founder of Beckway Group, which provides experienced talent, search and software services to the private equity sector.. He has over 25 years’ experience in both the private equity and operations consulting sector in the USA, Australia and Europe.  Mark lives in the New York metro area with his wife Pam and twin sons.

David L Thun is a founding director of the UTAS Foundation USA and currently serves as Secretary/Treasurer. David had a distinguished business career, serving since 1987 as Chairman and CEO of Magnatech International, Inc. David's mother was Tasmanian, and his uncle, Sir John Cameron, served as the Chancellor of UTAS. He is based in Pennsylvania.

Dr Nicholas Hope holds degrees from UTAS, Oxford and Princeton. Nick served for a number of years in senior management positions at the World Bank. Most recently, he served as Director of the Stanford University Center for International Development, leading Stanford’s China research program. Nick is based in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he lives with his wife Ellen.

Conrad Axelrod graduated from UTAS with a combined degree in the Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Laws, and went on to continue his studies at the Humboldt University of Berlin. Conrad is now an attorney at Schulte Roth & Zabel, a multidisciplinary law firm, and serves as Special Counsel, Investment Management. He is based in New York City, where he lives with his wife Sofia and two young children

Young Dawkins, Executive Director, Advancement, brings over 30 years of experience to his role at the University of Tasmania, including leadership positions at Dartmouth College, Oberlin College and the University of New Hampshire (all US), the University of Edinburgh (Scotland) and Save the Children UK (London). He lives in Sandy Bay with his wife, Ruth, and son, Tom.

Cynthia Stenger Riplinger, Managing Director (Board Administrator), works with the University of Tasmania Foundation USA Board and the UTAS Advancement Office to steer fundraising and alumni relations initiatives in the United States in support of the University of Tasmania.