A day in the life of Alexander James Thomas, head of international relations & communication at Télécoms Sans Frontières (TSF)

18 October 2017 | Natalie Bannerman

“We are moulded by the rhythm of what’s going on in the world,” that’s what Alexander Thomas said when asked what a typical day at Télécoms Sans Frontières (TSF) was like.

tsf 50The TSF, which translates as Telecoms Without Borders in English, is the world’s only humanitarian NGO that specialises in emergency telecommunications, so it goes without saying that any role within this growing organisation would be varied to say the least.

"There isn’t really such a thing as an average day at TSF," explained Thomas. "You could walk into the office one morning and by that evening be on a plane heading into a disaster zone. Your days really are led by current affairs and that can’t be forecasted." 

Since joining the TSF back in 2013 as head of international relations and communications, Thomas still has the same amount of enthusiasm for the role as he did when he first started. When asked what drew him to the position, he answered: "The ability to bring my skills to a role that directly helps vulnerable people, a role that has strong humanitarian engagement. Distance often makes us disengaged with what’s really going on in the world."

As the work of the TSF continues to grow, he says that aside from the physical and psychological toll that the job takes on him, it’s the global mission to develop the organisation’s partner portfolio that is the greatest challenge to Thomas in his role. 

"We have a number of mobile and satellite partners like: AT&T, Vodafone Foundation, Inmarsat, Eutelsat, PCCW Global and Marlink. We are in effect about 90% funded by these private sector partners. We need those partnerships to grow and the number of them to increase in order to continue doing what we do."

To join the TSF as a company partner or to contribute to its mission critical work, go to: http://tsfi.org/en/partners/joinourpartners 

Topics: TSF