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Dr. Surin Pitsuwan Joins Rockefeller Foundation Board of Trustees


New York, NY - The Rockefeller Foundation today announced the appointment of Dr. Surin Pitsuwan to its Board of Trustees.

"I am pleased to welcome Dr. Surin, with his incredible experience in the government and academic sectors of Southeast Asia, to the Rockefeller Foundation's board of trustees," said James F. Orr, III, the Board's Chairman. "We have continued to work to bring on new trustees, such as Dr. Sirin, with diverse backgrounds, skill sets and unique points of view to help advance the work of Rockefeller Foundation as we move forward."

"Dr. Surin, with his strong leadership and background in Southeast Asia, will bring valuable counsel to the Rockefeller Foundation as a member of our board of trustees," said Dr. Judith Rodin, President of the Rockefeller Foundation. "As a global foundation with a strong presence in Southeast Asia, Dr. Surin's unique insight will provide important guidance as we work towards innovative solutions to the challenges that face some of the world's poorest and most vulnerable people."

Dr. Surin, a native of Nakorn Sri Thammarat in Southern Thailand, is Secretary General of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) – an organization of 10 countries in Southeast Asia that works to accelerate the economic growth, social progress and cultural development of the region. Early in his career, Dr. Surin taught Political Science at Thammasat University, and in 1984 ran for a Parliamentary seat from his home town. Dr. Surin had been returned to Parliament eight times since 1986 and as an MP was appointed Secretary to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Secretary to the Deputy Minister of the Interior, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Minister of Foreign Affairs. Currently Dr. Surin is on the Advisory Boards of the UN Human Security Trust Fund, the International Crisis Group, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Oxford University Centre for Islamic Studies.

Dr. Surin attended Thammasat University before winning a scholarship to attend Claremont Men's College in Claremont, California where he completed his B.A. in Political Science (cum laude) in 1972. Dr. Surin went on to Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts where he received his M.A. and Ph.D. in 1974 and 1982 respectively, in the field of Political Science and Middle Eastern Studies. Dr. Surin's entire Harvard career was supported by the Winston S. Churchill Association and the Rockefeller Foundation Fellowships. In 1983-84, he was selected by the American Political Science Association to serve as a Congressional Fellow in Washington DC.

The Rockefeller Foundation fosters innovative solutions to many of the world's most pressing challenges, affirming its mission, since 1913, to "promote the well-being" of humanity. Today, the Foundation works to ensure that more people can tap into the benefits of globalization while strengthening resilience to its risks. Foundation initiatives include efforts to mobilize an agricultural revolution in Sub-Saharan Africa, bolster economic security for American workers, inform equitable, sustainable transportation policies in the United States, ensure access to affordable and high-quality health systems in developing countries, and develop strategies and services that help vulnerable communities cope with the impacts of climate change. The Rockefeller Foundation's work promotes public health, education, human resources development, agriculture and environment in the Mekong Sub-Region.


For Media Inquires:

Teresa Wells


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