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Professor Kantathi Suphamongkhon
|39th Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand|
April 2005 – September 19, 2006
|Thailand Trade Representative|
March 2001 – March 2005
|Member of Parliament|
|Born||April 3, 1952
|Alma mater||U. of Southern California, PhD
American University, MA
U. of California Los Angeles (UCLA), BA
Dept. of Defense H.S., Weisbaden, Germany
|Profession||Professor, Diplomat, Politician|
Kantathi Suphamongkhon (Thai กันตธีร์ ศุภมงคล, born April 3, 1952) is a Thai diplomat, politician and university professor. He served as Foreign Minister during the administration of Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra from 11 March 2005 until the military coup d'état on 19 September 2006.
Suphamongkhon is now the University of California Regents' Professor at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) as well as Senior Fellow at the Burkle Center for International Relations at UCLA. He teaches diplomacy and international relations.
Life and career
Suphamongkhon was Thailand's Trade Representative, a position with cabinet rank, until he became Foreign Minister. His role as Thailand Trade Representative began in 2001, when the position was created by Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his geographic responsibilities included Europe, North and South America, Australia and New Zealand.
Suphamongkhon was Executive Director and one of the founding members of the Thai Rak Thai Party, as well as a former Spokesperson for the Party.
Suphamongkhon has also served as Special Adviser to Princess Chulabhorn of Thailand. In this role, he accompanied the princess on trips to numerous countries around the world pertaining to medical research, the environment and various other international activities. He also served as Foreign Affairs Adviser to the Prime Minister of Thailand (1996).
Suphamongkhon has been the chairman of the Human Security Network. He has been a Member of the Thai Parliament for two terms (1995 and again 2001). Before entering politics, he served as a career diplomat in Thailand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs for 10 years (1985–1995) 4 of which were spent as a representative of Thailand to the United Nations in New York (1987–1992). His diplomatic career began in the Ministry’s International Organizations Department where he focused on multilateral diplomacy when Thailand was serving its two years as a member of the United Nations Security Council. Later on, Suphamongkhon served in the Ministry’s Political Affairs Department. In 1992, he served as Adviser on Foreign Affairs to the Speaker of the House Representatives in the Thai Parliament. Suphamongkhon served as Director of the Policy and Planning Division in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs during 1993-1994.
Suphamongkhon has also worked in the private sector as Director of the Post Publishing Public Company, which publishes the Bangkok Post and the Post Today newspapers. He is currently Chairman of Kanta Enterprise International Limited, a company which focuses on international real estate development.
Suphamongkhon has taught various subjects including, International Law, International Relations, International Trade and Foreign Policy, Negotiations and Foreign Policy, International Politics and Globalization, Foreign Policy of Thailand, Southeast Asian Studies, Psychology and Foreign Policy.
Suphamongkhon holds a Ph.D. in International Relations from the University of Southern California, a Master of Arts degree in International Studies from American University in Washington, D.C. His Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science was obtained at the University of California at Los Angeles.
Memberships and Affiliations
- UC Regents' Professor (2007-8)
- Senior Fellow, Burkle Center for International Relations
- Advisory Committee on Protection of the Sea (ACOPS)
- American Society of International Law
- Asia Society (International Council Member)
Awards and decorations
- Thai Royal Decoration: Knight Grand Cordon of the Most Exalted Order of the White Elephant
- El Sol del Peru: conferred on behalf of the President of Peru in October 2005
- Harberger Lecture with Regents Professor and Burkle Senior Fellow Dr. Suphamongkhon May 19, 2008 "
- Burkle Senior Fellow Dr. Suphamongkhon's Letter to the Next US President May 8, 2008 ""
- Thailand: What is Going On?: An Informal Discussion on the Current Situation in Thailand, Apr 22, 2009" ""
Press and Publications
- The Temple of Preah Vihear: An Insider’s Recollection, Issue 7, April–May 2011" ""
- Stop Thailand's Free Fall Into the Abyss Now, May 17, 2010" ""
- Can Thailand Avoid the Abyss?, Apr 21, 2009" ""
- International community coming to realize 'the responsibility to protect', Apr 15, 2009" ""
- "Dear Mr. President", Bangkok Post, November 2, 2008 
- What the World Expects from the next US President", BBC World News Service, September 9, 2008 ""
- Globalization: Can Poor Nations Catch Up? UCLA Today Online, May 27, 2008" ""
- International Institute Commencement Address: 14 Points for Success June 17, 2008""
- An Icelandic Dinner with Bobby Fisher January 2, 2007 ""