H. E. Ambassador Virasakdi Futrakul
Academic Adviser to Chairman of APRC
Virasakdi Futrakul, a former career diplomat who joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand in 1974, had served as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Thailand to various countries including the United States of America, Canada, the French Republic, the Union of Myanmar and Japan, which was his last posting before formally retiring in 2012. Before joining the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Futrakul studied in the United States and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Washington and a Master of Arts in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia. Furthermore, he also graduated from the National Defence College, Thailand in 2003. During his diplomatic career, Ambassador Futrakul was appointed as the Permanent Secretary, the highest civil servant status in Thailand, of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In addition to bilateral postings, Ambassador Futrakul also served in several multilateral institutions. From 1999 to 2002, he was the Permanent Representative of Thailand to the United Nations Office and other international organisations in Geneva. While serving as the Ambassador in France, he also served as the Permanent Representative of Thailand to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and as a member of the Board of the Development Centre at the Organisation for Economic and Cooperation and Development (OECD). Apart from his diplomatic experience, Ambassador Futrakul served as a Director at the Board of the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand. Ambassador Futrakul was awarded the Knight Grand Cordon (Special Class) of the Most Noble Order of the Crown of Thailand in 1998 and the Knight Grand Cordon (Special Class) of the Most Exalted Order of the White Elephant in 2003. In 2012, he was also awarded the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun from Japan.
H.E. Ambassdor Dr. Kobsak Chutikul
A retired ambassador and former member of the parliament of Thailand, Ambassador Kobsak Chutikul last served as Special Adviser to the Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and to the Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in Geneva from 1995 to 2012. Born in 1950 into a diplomatic family, he received his early primary schooling at St. David's School in London, then completed his Cambridge 'A' levels at the Anglo-Chinese School in Singapore where his parents were posted. He received his Bachelor's degree at the Australian National University in Canberra, and completed his Master's and Ph.D at the Johns Hopkins University and Southeastern University in the United States. Before resigning from the Foreign Ministry of Thailand to run for parliament as deputy leader of the then Chat Thai Party in the year 2000, Ambassador Kobsak had diplomatic postings in Washington, D.C. and the Thai Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York before becoming deputy Director-General of the Political Affairs Department, and then ambassador to the Czech and Slovak republics in 1990. He also later served as Director-General of the Foreign Ministry's ASEAN Affairs Department, Economic Affairs Department, and Information Department (Foreign Ministry Spokesman). As a member of parliament, Ambassador Kobsak was Vice-Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee as well as Economic Adviser to the Prime Minister. He is a recipient of the Knight Grand Cordon (Special Class) of the Most Exalted Order of the White Elephant of the Kingdom of Thailand.
H.E. Ambassador Lawrence Markes
Senior Research and Policy Adviser of Secretary-General of APRC
Ambassador Lawrence Markes is a recently retired New Zealand diplomat, currently residing in Bangkok with his wife and family. He spent forty years in the New Zealand public service working first for the Treasury and then the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He is a qualified economist. Since January 1990 he has held five Ambassadorial postings. First to the Islamic Republic of Iran, then from 1993-97 as New Zealand's Ambassador to Mexico. Following this he returned to Wellington for a period where he was responsible for overseeing New Zealand's Middle East relations. In 1999 he was appointed as New Zealand Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. From 2003 to 2007 he served as New Zealand High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea, followed by his most recent posting to Rome as New Zealand Ambassador Italy and Permanent Representative to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation and World Food Programme. During his career he also served at the UN in New York, in Rome and in New Delhi. He has been cross accredited as New Zealand's Ambassador to Turkey, Pakistan, Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, Kuwait, the UAE, Egypt, Bahrain, Qatar, Croatia, Portugal, Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Greece. He has also served as High Commissioner to Malta and to Cyprus. In 2008 Ambassador Markes was awarded the Order of Logohu (OL) by Her Majesty the Queen on behalf of the Government of PNG for services to the Bougainville peace and reconciliation process. He was also awarded the PNG Independence Medal. In November 2013 he accepted the informal position of Senior Research and Policy Advisor to the APRC.
Assistant to the Secretary-General Vice President, Eastern Asia University, Thailand
A graduate of Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Mrs.Supakanya oversees policy and planning at the Easten Asia University.