Pisan Manawapat is the 44th Thai ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the United States of America.
Before arriving in Washington, D.C. on 13 February 2015, Pisan Manawapat had served as Thai ambassador to the European Union, Belgium, Luxembourg, India and Canada.
His first overseas posting was in Washington, D.C. (1986-1990) where he spent his first 12 months on Capitol Hill as APSA Congressional Fellow in the offices of U.S. Rep. Don J. Pease (D – Ohio) and US Senator Daniel P. Inouye (D – Hawaii).
He also served as number 3 at the Royal Thai Embassy in Kuala Lumpur (1993-1995) and as Deputy Chief of Mission in Tokyo (1999-2002).
In February 2002, he was appointed Ambassador attached to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand to handle bureaucratic reform of Thailand’s overseas representation. He then assumed the position of the Director-General of the Department of International Economic Affairs from October 2002 until March 2004, during which he was also Thailand’s senior official leader of APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) while Thailand hosted APEC 2003.
From 2004 to 2007, Pisan served as the Ministry’s Deputy Permanent Secretary supervising all bilateral relations. He was also Thailand’s Chief Negotiator for the Japan-Thailand Economic Partnership Agreement (JTEPA) from start to finish (2002-2006). JTEPA was the first free trade agreement Thailand concluded with a major developed country.
Between April 2007 and March 2011, Pisan was Thailand’s top diplomat in Brussels as Ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg and Head of Mission of Thailand to the European Union during which he advised his government on negotiations with the EU on Comprehensive Partnership Agreement and the preparatory talks for FTA. Under his watch, Thailand’s national carrier, Thai Airways International, was cleared of breaking competition rules of the European Commission, an expected heavy fine was avoided.
A Royal Decoration of Grand-Croix de l’Ordre de la Couronne was personally bestowed on Ambassador Pisan Manawapat by H.M. King Albert II, the King of the Belgians, on 21 February 2011 while he had his farewell audience. Earlier, he had received the Order of the Sacred Treasure, Gold and Silver Star of Japan in 2002.
On 5 December 2011, Ambassador Pisan was bestowed with the Most Exalted Order of the White Elephant, Thailand’s highest Royal Decoration for senior public servants.
Between March 2011 and October 2013, he served as Ambassador of Thailand to the Republic of India and witnessed two successive Thai Prime Ministers (Mr. Abhisit Vejjajiva and Ms. Yingluck Shinnawatra) paid 3 official visits to India and Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh of India paid a return official visit to Thailand. He led Thai business delegation to Gujarat to meet with then Chief Minister Narendra Modi twice, resulting in the beginning of Thai investment into Gujarat and a direct flight by a Thai carrier between Bangkok and Gujarat.
As ambassador to Canada from 2013-2015, Pisan strengthened cooperation in medical training with McGill University and in health and biotechnology between research and fund granting communities in Canada and Thailand.
Born in 1956, Pisan Manawapat attended Bangkok Christian College and Triam U-dom Suksa School in Bangkok. In 1975, he won a Foreign Ministry scholarship to read Economics in U.K. He graduated with B.Sc. (Econ) and M.Sc. (Econ), majoring in International Trade, from the London School of Economics and Political Science, University of London, in 1980 and 1981 respectively. He also completed Thailand’s National Defense College in 2003.
He is married to Wanchana Manawapat and has one daughter.