Capacity Development for Regional Cooperation and Integration


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Executive Director

Mr. Suriyan Vitchitlekarn
Executive Director, Mekong Institute (MI)

The Executive Director (ED) is the chief executive of the organization who is recruited for a renewable term of office of three years. He/She must come from one of the GMS countries, with due consideration to integrity, capability and professional experience.
The ED shall:

  • enact MI’s vision and role in accelerating sustainable social and economic development and poverty alleviation in the GMS
  • provide strategic and organizational leadership to establish MI as the pre-eminent center of excellence in research and knowledge dissemination that serves the development needs of the GMS
  • be highly knowledgeable of the broad economic and management principles underpinning MI’s programs and projects and have the ability to effectively present these principles and expound MI’s course content to prospective development partners



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Mr. Suriyan Vitchitlekarn

Executive Director, Mekong Institute (MI)

Mekong Institute’s Executive Director since September 1, 2020, Mr. Suriyan Vichitlekarn steers the strategic planning and implementation of the intergovernmental organization’s human resource development, capacity strengthening, and research efforts to spur the acceleration of sustainable socioeconomic development and poverty alleviation in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS).

Recognized as a respected development leader and regional integration advocate, Mr. Suriyan has more than 15 years of experience in delivering innovative approaches and sustainable practices across his specialized areas of agriculture and rural development, public-private partnership, and trade facilitation in the GMS and Southeast Asia.
Before taking the helm of MI, Mr. Suriyan was the Deputy Cluster Coordinator for Food and Agriculture of the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH in Thailand and Spokesperson for the Agriculture Working Group under the GIZ Sector Network for Natural Resources and Rural Development in Asia and the Pacific.
As Deputy Cluster Coordinator, Mr. Suriyan spearheaded project steering and management, as well as partnership development in the food and agriculture sectors across the GMS. As the Regional Project Director of the Better Rice Initiative Asia from 2014 to 2017, he also ushered in several rice-related initiatives, which continue to be adapted and implemented by major rice-producing countries across Southeast Asia today.

In addition, Mr. Suriyan has developed an extensive international development network, having assumed key positions at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Secretariat in Indonesia, and the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center. He remains one of the most sought-after and prolific speakers for his macro- and micro-level perspectives on agricultural development in high-level knowledge exchanges and dialogue-sharing platforms organized by international and regional organizations such as ADB, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, ASEAN, FAO, the Greater Mekong Subregional Economic Cooperation, and the Sustainable Rice Platform. Mr. Suriyan has also contributed to numerous research and policy studies, including as the lead author of the ASEAN Integrated Food Security Framework.
Mr. Suriyan is a Thai national and graduate of the Faculty of Fisheries at Kasetsart University, Thailand. He completed his master’s degree program in Management of Agricultural Knowledge Systems (MAKS) at the Wageningen Agricultural University, the Netherlands.

Mr. Madhurjya Kumar Dutta

Director, Trade & Investment Facilitation (TIF) Department

Mr. Madhurjya Kumar Dutta is currently the Director of the Trade & Investment Facilitation (TIF) Department at Mekong Institute (MI). Prior to joining MI, he served as Research Director of the Economic Institute of Cambodia (EIC) and as Adviser to the Cambodia India Entrepreneurship Development Institute (a bilateral project of Governments of India and Cambodia). He was conferred as Honorary Advisor to the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training, Cambodia through a royal decree by the Prime Minister and the King of the Kingdom of Cambodia.

Mr. Dutta has over 20 years of experience in private sector development in South Asian and South East Asian countries. His key areas of interest are entrepreneurship, SME development and trade facilitation. He has designed and implemented several multilateral capacity development projects on SME and Trade Facilitation in the GMS including the ‘Private Sector Development in the East West Economic Corridor (EWEC)’; and ‘SME Competitiveness in the Southern Economic Corridor’ (SEC) funded by Japan; ‘Trade Facilitation Project in the North South Economic Corridor (NSEC)’ funded by China; ‘Integration of CLMV Economies into AEC’ funded by New Zealand; and ‘Certified Logistic Master Program’ funded by the Republic of Korea, among others.

He has also served as consultant to various agencies such as UNESCAP, ADB, World Bank, GIZ, UNDP, IFC, ILO, USAID, IFAD, OXFAM, World Vision, and Chemonics International on SME policy development, value chain, tourism, investment feasibility, green business, and private sector innovations.

Mr. Dutta earned his master’s degree from the Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi, and his Master of Science in Regional Development Planning and Management from the Technical University of Dortmund, Germany. He also holds an advanced diploma in regional development planning.

Ms. Maria Theresa Medialdia

Director, Agricultural Development and Commercialization (ADC) Department

Ms. Maria Theresa S. Medialdia is the Director of the Agricultural Development and Commercialization (ADC) Department. She has more than 20 years of experience in development work, research, project management, training, and teaching in various disciplines including supply chains and marketing, industrial organization, farming systems/sustainable agriculture, community development, impact assessment, project monitoring and evaluation, and socio-economics.

Prior to joining MI, she worked as University Researcher and Affiliate Assistant Professor at the University of the Philippines Los Baños and was on secondment to the International Rice Research Institute and the Philippines’ Department of Agriculture for several years. She has worked in the US, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Bangladesh, Indonesia and the Philippines as researcher, trainer, facilitator, technical adviser, and consultant with various international organizations such as the Asian Development Bank, Japan International Cooperation Agency, Food and Agriculture Organization, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the European Commission, International Development Research Center, and the World Bank.

She obtained her BS degree in Agribusiness from University of the Philippines Los Baños, MS degree in Agricultural Economics from University of Kentucky, USA, and holds a post-graduate diploma from the Executive Program in Management, Maastricht School of Management, The Netherlands.

Mr. Rithy Buth

Director of Finance and Operations Department

Mr. Buth Rithy is currently the Director of Finance and Operations in the Finance and Operations Department at Mekong Institute (MI) and is responsible for the overall leadership of financial management, human resource management, general services and IT management to support the MI program departments, the Executive Director’s Office and MI as a whole.

He has more than 22 years of experience in finance, grant, administrative and human resource services and more than 12 years at the management level in various organizations. He has worked for, among others, USAID, EU, Global Fund, DFID, Comic Relief, IDRC, IFPRI, AudAid_DFAT, WLE/IWMI, UNDEF, Mekong Lancang Special Fund (China fund), SDC, HARVARD, IFAD, and SIDA.
Rithy studied ACCA at CamEd Business School, (recognized by the international ACCA) for 3 years, before going on to obtain his Masters in Business Administrative (MBA), General Management major. from Build Bright University (BBU). He also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting/Finance from the National Institute of Business (NIB), and a BA in English from PPIU.

He is skilled in human resource management, the recruitment process, conflict resolution, managing and leading people, performance appraisal management, training methodology, and IT management.


Ms. Jutamas Thongcharoen is ADC Program Manager and an accredited Regional Training Specialist of MRCs FMMP Program. Before joining MI, Ms. Thongcharoen served various administration and project coordination roles at Khon Kaen University including the Faculty of Public Health, Institute of Dispute Resolution, and the Agriculture Consulting International Company. She has a master’s degree in Rural Development Management from Khon Kaen University.


Dr. Julian Latimer Clarke is the resident specialist in the Trade and Investment Facilitation Department of the Mekong Institute. He served as a Senior Economist, South East Asia for the World Bank for 12 years. At the World Bank, he oversaw large trade and investment programs in countries such as Cambodia, Lao PDR, Mongolia, and contributed to country programs in Brunei, Malaysia and Thailand. He has worked with multiple development partners such as the DFAT, the European Union, DFID and various organs of the United Nations.

He previously worked for the IMF, IDRC, the OECD and the World Trade Organisation.
Dr. Clarke has 16 years of experience in trade and development. His key areas of interest are trade facilitation, value chains, investment facilitation, competition, and technical barriers to trade. He has designed and implemented multiple programs, working with governments and development partners in East Asia. He has authored numerous reports for the World Bank including policy notes that contributed to government policy and legislative reforms. Dr. Clarke has published in academic journals such as the Antitrust Bulletin, the Journal of World Economics, book chapters published by the WTO and EU among others.

Dr. Clarke has a PhD in Economics majoring in trade and competition from the University of St.Gallen. He earned a Masters degree in International Law and Economics from the World Trade Institute in Bern, Switzerland. He also has a Bachelors degree in Economics from the University of Sydney.


Mr. Sa-nga Sattanun is a Program Manager at Trade and Investment Facilitation (TIF) Department of Mekong Institute (MI). Mr. Sa-nga has been involved in the design and implementation of capacity building programs in the areas of SME development and competitiveness, Entrepreneurship, Business Database Development, Trade Facilitation, Agribusiness, Tourism, Transport and Logistics, which supported by international organizations, such as UNIAP, NZAID, ADB, EDI, TICA, JICA, SDC, JAIF, MKCF and Lancang-Mekong Cooperation Special Fund. He also co-conducted researches on “Cross-Border Value Chain Bottlenecks in the Southern Economic Corridor (SEC) and Market and Value Chain Mapping along SEC in Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam, SME Cluster Development in CLMV Countries (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam) and Joint Study and Survey of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and Cross Border Economic Zones (CBEZs) to match Complementary SEZs and Identify Prioritized Areas”. Currently, Mr. Sa-nga, as a team member is implementing related programs on Green Freight and Logistics Development, Joint Development of Cross-Border Special Economic Zones, Upgrading Border Facilitation for Trade and Logistics Development, Action Research on Rural E-Commerce Development in Lancang-Mekong, Lancang- Mekong Business Forum and Supporting Internationalisation of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Linking India and the Greater Mekong Subregion – 02 International Business Accelerator. Mr. Sa-nga earned a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the College of Graduate Study in Management, Khon Kaen University, Thailand. For the comprehensive CV of Mr. Sa-nga, please visit here.

Ms. Jian (Tina) Wang

Ms. Jian (Tina) Wang is currently working as a Program Manager at the Sustainable Energy and Environment Department. With over 13 years of working experience at the Mekong Institute, she has managed various project portfolios from design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, capacity building adaptive management and database management. As a Program Manager, she has also been taking care of strategy development and partnership building with both public and private sectors.

Ms. Wang is a public affairs professional with over 14 years’ demonstrated experience in international development across different countries. She has extensive experience in engaging with different national, intergovernmental and development/donor agencies and private sector, relatively high exposure to portfolio management, program/project management, monitoring and evaluation, strategic partnership building/development, capacity building, strategic communication, strategic planning, data analysis, event management, strategic sustainable development and leadership in complexity.

Prior to the MI, she worked as Director Assistant at the Rare, a U.S.-based Non-Governmental Organization focusing on promoting the sustainable nature resource management in China targeting at local leaders. She gained substantial knowledge and direct experience on environment protection, nature resource management and community outreach.
Ms. Wang holds a B.Econ. in International Economics and Trade and a M.A. in Business Management from China, and has a M.S. in Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability from Sweden, and completed a Micro Master in Data, Economics, and Development Policy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Dr. Anake Topark-ngarm


Mahidol University Thailand - MDMedicine and Dispute Resolution


2003 - 2006



Previous Work Experiece

Dean of Faculty of Agriculture, Khon Kaen University (1994 -1998)

Dr. Suchat Katima


  • Doctor of Education Silliman University, Dumaguete, Philippines (Jan. 2005)
  • Master’s Degree in International Administration (MIA) The School for International Training (SIT), Vermont. USA (Feb. 1990)
  • Recipient of Outstanding Private Voluntary Organization Management Scholarship BA in International Politics Fergusson College, Poona, India. (1980)
  • Month/Year

    February 2007 - December 2013



    Previous Work Experiece

    International Consultant (Nov 05 – Jan 07) Commissioned by different clients to provide technical and programme management support to different projects/programmes in the four lower Mekong Basin Countries.

    Prof. Dr. Vanchai Vatanasapt


    Mahidol University Thailand - MDMedicine and Dispute Resolution


    1996 - 2000



    Previous Work Experiece

    President of Khon Kaen University