Dr. Surin Pitsuwan, ASEAN Secretary-General


Born:               28 October 1949

Birthplace:     Nakhon Si Thammarat Province, Southern Region, Thailand

Education:     Thammasat University (two years), Bangkok

Bachelor’s Degree (B.A.) in Political Science (cum laude), Claremont Men’s College, Claremont, California, USA

Master’s Degree (M.A.) in Political Science, Harvard University, USA* Doctor’s Degree (Ph.D.) in Middle Eastern Studies, Harvard University, USA*

(supported by the Winston S. Churchill Association and Rockefeller Foundation Fellowships)

— spending a year and a half studying Arabic and conducting his research at the American University in Cairo during 1975-1977

Professional experience:

1975-1992 — a columnist for the Nation and the Bangkok Post, the two leading English daily newspapers in Thailand

1978-1983 and 1984-1986 – a lecturer at the Faculty of Political Science, Thammasat University from, also serving an assistant to the Deputy Dean for Academic Affairs

1983-1984 – joining the American Political Science Association’s Congressional Fellowship Program, working for the Senate Republican Conference in the later half of 1984 and also teaching Southeast Asian Affairs at the American University in Washington, D.C. during that same year

1984 – returning to Thailand to his teaching position at Thammasat University

1986 — running for a Parliamentary seat in his hometown of Nakhon Si Thammarat under Democrat Party and having returned to the Parliament eight times since 1986 during which he was appointed Secretary to the Speaker of the House of Representatives (Chuan Leekpai), Secretary to Deputy Minister of Interior

1992-1995 — Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs

1997-2001 — Minister of Foreign Affairs

1999-2000 — serving as Chairman of the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting and the Chair of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF)

2001-2003 — being appointed a member of the Commission on Human Security of the United Nations

2002-2004 — serving on the ILO’s World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalization

Present – member of the Advisory Board of the UN Human Security Trust Fund and the Advisory Board of the International Crisis Group (ICG)

— a member of the International Advisory Board of the Council on Foreign Relations in New York

— an International Academic Advisor of the Centre for Islamic Studies, Oxford University

– an advisor to the Leaders Project, a conference arm of the Cohen Group of former US Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen Washington, D.C.

Dr. Surin Pitsuwan was nominated by the Royal Thai Government and endorsed by ASEAN Leaders to be ASEAN Secretary-General for year 2008-2012.