Tessa has been actively engaged in Asian media and human rights issues since 1985. Prior to joining MDIF, Tessa was Director of Human Rights, Media and Civil Society Programs for The Asia Foundation in Jakarta, managing a multi-million dollar grant portfolio and a staff of ten. Previously, she worked for the UK-based freedom of expression organisation, Article 19, for whom she conceptualized and implemented a research and advocacy program on the Indonesian media. Tessa was also a media consultant for the Institute for Studies on the Free Flow of Information (ISAI) – an Indonesian NGO – and the BBC World Service Trust, an independent charity that aims to reduce poverty through the innovative use of the media in emerging democracies. In 2011, the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) of Indonesia honoured Tessa with its Tasrif Award, presented to an individual who has contributed to freedom of the press, or has fought injustice or corruption. Tessa has lived and worked in Southeast Asia for almost 20 years and speaks fluent Indonesian.