Asia Foundation Expresses Sadness Over Passing of Dr. Surin Pitsuwan, Former Trustee, Grantee and Friend
December 1, 2017 — The Asia Foundation expresses its deep sadness over the passing of Dr. Surin Pitsuwan, distinguished diplomat, member of Parliament, former Asia Foundation trustee, and friend. In addition to his many accomplishments, he also served as secretary-general of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) from 2008-2012, the first person from Thailand to hold that position.
Dr. Surin will be remembered for his remarkable contributions to Thai diplomacy, scholarship, and regional integration in Southeast Asia. The Asia Foundation had the privilege of supporting and collaborating with Dr. Surin, beginning with his time as a professor at Thammasat University, continuing during his time in Washington as an Asia Foundation Congressional Fellow (1983-84), followed by his service in high diplomatic positions. Over three decades, the staff and Board of the Foundation have appreciated Dr. Surin’s expertise, wise counsel, and committed service on our Board of Trustees. Throughout his career, he was an active participant in Foundation programs in Thailand and across Asia, and helped to enrich our programs and enhance our impact on many occasions.
Dr. Surin became a member of Parliament of Thailand in 1986, and served in the same constituency for seven consecutive terms. During his political career, he held many appointments, including Foreign Minister. Dr. Surin held a doctoral degree from Harvard University, and his dissertation was one of the seminal works on the conflict-affected region in southern Thailand.
Dr. Surin Pitsuwan will be remembered for his remarkable oratory skills, his ability to inspire people of all ages and backgrounds, and his lifetime of service to the Kingdom of Thailand. He will also be missed by his friends at The Asia Foundation.
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