Suriyan VichitlekarnExecutive Director, Mekong Institute (MI)
As Mekong Institute’s Executive Director beginning on September 1, 2020, Mr. Suriyan Vichitlekarn steers the strategic planning and implementation of the intergovernmental organization’s human resource development, capacity strengthening, and research efforts to spur the acceleration of sustainable socioeconomic development and poverty alleviation in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS).
Recognized as a respected development leader and regional integration advocate, Mr. Suriyan holds over 15 years of experience in delivering innovative approaches and sustainable practices across his specialized areas of agriculture and rural development, public- private partnership, and trade facilitation in the GMS and Southeast Asia.
Before taking the helm at MI, Mr. Suriyan was the Deputy Cluster Coordinator for Food and Agriculture of the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH in Thailand and Spokesperson of the Agriculture Working Group under the GIZ Sector Network for Natural Resources and Rural Development in Asia and the Pacific.
As Deputy Cluster Coordinator, Mr. Suriyan spearheaded project steering and management, as well as partnership development in the food and agriculture sectors across the GMS. He, as the Regional Project Director of the Better Rice Initiative Asia from 2014 to 2017, also ushered several rice-related initiatives, which continue to be adapted and implemented by major rice-producing countries across Southeast Asia today.
In addition, Mr. Suriyan carries an extensive international development network, having assumed key positions at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Secretariat in Indonesia, and the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center. He remains one of the most sought-after and prolific speakers for his macro- and micro-level perspectives on agricultural development in high-level knowledge exchange and dialogue-sharing platforms organized by international and regional organizations such as ADB, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, ASEAN, FAO, the Greater Mekong Subregional Economic Cooperation, and the Sustainable Rice Platform. Mr. Suriyan has also contributed to numerous research and policy studies, including being the lead author of the ASEAN Integrated Food Security Framework.
Mr. Suriyan is a Thai national and graduate of Faculty of Fisheries at Kasetsart University, Thailand. He completed his master’s degree program on Management of Agricultural Knowledge Systems (MAKS) at the Wageningen Agricultural University, the Netherlands.