Ambassador from Thailand: Who is Kittiphong na Ranong?
Saturday, April 09, 2011
A career diplomat, Kittiphong na Ranong was appointed ambassador of Thailand to the United States in October 2010 and assumed his post the following December.
Kittiphong is a native of Bangkok, with family roots in the southern province of Ranong, where his ancestors served as governors for several generations. His family earned its surname “na Ranong” (meaning “of Ranong Province”) from King Rama VI in the 20th century.
Kittiphong holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok. He earned his Master of Arts in law and diplomacy in 1981 from the Fletcher School at Tufts University in Massachusetts.
He began his career with the Bangkok Post, Thailand’s oldest English-language newspaper. He then joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1983.
From 1985 to 1986, Kittiphong worked in the Royal Thai Army’s Operation Center.
His first overseas assignment was in Thailand’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations in Geneva (1987-1990). During this time, the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations was underway and transformed the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) into the World Trade Organization (WTO).
He rose to director of the Chinese Division of the Foreign Affairs Ministry in 1995, and then served as minister-counselor in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from 1996-2000.
Kittiphong spent much of the past decade serving in senior positions in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, including deputy director-general of the Department of East Asian Affairs (2000-2001), deputy director-general of the Department of ASEAN Affairs (2002-2003) and director-general of the Department of International Organizations (2003-2006).
From 2006 to 2009, he was Thailand’s ambassador to Vietnam, before returning home to serve as the ministry’s director-general of the Department of East Asian Affairs (2009-2010).
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