Dr. Surakiart Sathirathai is a Senior Fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, John F. Kennedy School of Government and a Visiting Scholar at Harvard Law School. He is also the Chairman of the Executive Board of Siam Premier International Law Office Ltd. in Thailand. His law firm is associated with Allens Arthur Robinson from Australia. The firm has a network of 12 regional offices in the Asia-Pacific region.
Dr. Surakiart is also President of the Saranrom Institute of Foreign Affairs Foundation (SIFAF). The Foundation supports the activities of the Institute which serves as the academic arm and think tank of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand. The Foundation was established upon the initiative of Dr. Surakiart during his tenure as Foreign Minister.
Between 2005 - 2006, Dr. Surakiart was Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand, where he oversaw foreign affairs, education, and culture. The Royal Thai Government had nominated Dr. Surakiart as Thailand's candidate for United Nations Secretary-General when H.E. Mr. Kofi Annan completed his term at the end of 2006. The Leaders of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN- comprising Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam) had also endorsed Dr. Surakiart's candidature.
An expert in international law, finance, and economic development, Dr. Surakiart has over twenty years of experience in academia, government, and business, including terms as Foreign Minister, Finance Minister, and policy advisor to the Prime Minister. Dr. Surakiart also has significant private sector experience. He had served as Chairman of a Thai commercial bank and head of the Thai national petroleum enterprise, as well as founding partner of a leading commercial law firm.
Dr. Surakiart has a record of successful management reform in difficult circumstances, having spearheaded the reform and privatization of major Thai enterprises, reformed the operations of the Thai Foreign Ministry, and having instituted major curricular changes at the Faculty of Law at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok. He has deep experience in international negotiation, both diplomatic and commercial, and a record of strengthening multilateral cooperation across Asia.
Source: University Programs and Events Planning Resources, September 2004