Montira Pongsiri was the first Science Advisor at the U.S. Mission to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), where she worked on science and technology issues as part of U.S.-ASEAN engagement. Dr. Pongsiri led the Mission’s efforts to shape U.S. long-term science cooperation with ASEAN, to develop and apply science and technology to support ASEAN’s sustainability goals and to improve the capacity and quality of science-based policy-making in ASEAN.
Dr. Pongsiri was on overseas assignment to the U.S. Mission to ASEAN from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Research and Development, where she is an Environmental Health Scientist.
At the EPA, Dr. Pongsiri developed and led a research initiative on biodiversity and human health which studied the links between anthropogenic stressors, changes in biodiversity, and infectious disease transmission. The research was aimed at developing new, sustainable, environmentally-based tools and technologies to reduce and prevent human infectious diseases, while at the same time, conserving the environment and enhancing our ecosystems. She managed an extramural portfolio and was co-investigator on interagency projects examining the links between land use change, biodiversity, and human disease. Currently, Dr. Pongsiri leads the agency’s technical partnerships with the Smithsonian Institution and with the Rockefeller 100 Resilient Cities Challenge to share and apply technical expertise, science based tools and best practices to strengthen resilience.
Before joining EPA, she completed her Ph.D. at Yale University. Her dissertation focused on the institutional capacity to assess and manage trade-offs of the use of DDT for malaria control. She holds Masters’ degrees in Environmental Studies and Public Health from Yale, and a B.S. in Neuroscience from Oberlin.