Our staff

Key Personnel


Alex Penk

CEOAlex joined Maxim Institute in December 2005 after completing a Master of Laws at Cambridge University. He also spent time as a Pegasus Scholar in London, working with experienced barristers of the Inner Temple. Alex holds degrees in law and science from the University of Auckland. Before leaving for Cambridge, he practised law with one of New Zealand's largest firms. 



Jaimee Abict

Communications Manager Jaimee joined Maxim Institute's staff team in 2012. Prior to this she worked for APN, on current affairs publication the New Zealand Listener. She has held former roles in advertising and copywriting. 
 



Kieran Madden

ResearcherKieran joined Maxim Institute as a researcher in 2012 after graduating with a Master of Public Policy from the Crawford School of Economics and Government at the Australian National University. Prior to this he worked as a researcher for an Australian Senator, following several years as a Project Manager for Hewlett Packard.




Dr. Luke Fenwick

ResearcherLuke read German and Russian history at University College, Oxford, where he took a D.Phil. as a Rhodes Scholar.  He holds a B.A. with First Class Honours and an M.A. with Distinction from the University of Canterbury.  He has worked with various non-governmental and tertiary organisations, most recently the Center For New Media and Society at the New Economic School, Moscow. 



Caroline Downey

Events ManagerCaroline completed a Bachelor of Arts majoring in English and Geography at the University of Waikato, joining Maxim's staff in 2013.  Having grown up in the small rural New Zealand town of Piopio, Caroline values strong community relationships, and enjoyed being involved at university with various clubs and volunteer organisations. These included the Waikato Unicol Football club and the Refugee Orientation Centre Trust.



Jeremy Vargo

Media and Communications OfficerJeremy came on staff in 2013. He completed a B.Com with Marketing at University of Canterbury, and has several years of experience in communications and community work. Please contact Jeremy for any media enquiries, on: 021 024 99 123 or (09) 627 3261 Ext. 219.




Staff on Leave


Jane Silloway Smith
Dr. Jane Silloway Smith

Research ManagerJane holds a PhD and an MA in history from Northwestern University, Illinois and a BA in history with highest honours, summa cum laude from the University of Georgia. Prior to joining Maxim Institute as a researcher in July 2009, Jane taught in the history departments at both Auckland University and Northwestern University. Her doctoral research on communities and political change in Hanoverian Britain earned her a number of awards and honours, including the T. W. Heyck Award for Research in British Studies in 2009.