Abhisit Vejjajiva

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva was born on August 3, 1964, in Newcastle, United Kingdom. He is married to Pimpen Sakuntabhai Vejjajiva, an Assistant Professor at Chulalongkorn University. They have two children, Prang Vejjajiva and Pannasit Vejjajiva.

Prime Minister Vejjajiva studied at the Chulalongkorn Demonstration School in Thailand and completed his secondary education at Eton College, UK. He received a BA with first class honors in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics from Oxford University. He also earned an MPhil in Economics from Oxford. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Law by Ramkhamhaeng University.

Before 1992, Vejjajiva was a Special Lecturer in Economics at Oxford University and also taught at the Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy in Thailand, where he had the rank of second lieutenant.

After 1992, he was a Lecturer in the Faculty of Economics at Thammasart University. He was elected a Member of Parliament in the Democrat Party in 1992 for Bangkok District 6; in 1995, for Bangkok District 5; in 2001, for the Democrat Party List; from 2005 until February 2006, for the Democrat Party List; and in 2007, for the Democrat Party List, Zone 6.

Since 1992, he has served as a Government Spokesperson, Deputy Secretary-General for Political Affairs to the Prime Minister, Chairman of the House Committee on Educational Affairs, Chairman of the House Committee to Consider the National Education Bill of 1999, Deputy Leader of the Democrat Party, Leader of the Opposition in the House of Representatives, and currently serves as the twenty-seventh Prime Minister of Thailand.

Vejjajiva was awarded the Knight Grand Cordon (Special Class) of the Most Exalted Order of the White Elephant in 1999 and the Knight Grand Cordon of the Most Noble order of the Crown of Thailand in 1998.

He was named one of 100 Global Leaders for Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum in 1992, one of six up-and-coming leaders for Asia by Time Magazine in 1997, and one of 20 Leaders for the Millennium Politics and Power by Asiaweek magazine in 1999.

Source: University Programs and Events Planning Resources, September 2009