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.
The 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
To join the TSF as a company partner or to contribute to
its mission critical work, go to: