Thai Ambassador Highlighted Importance of Thai-American Youth Empowerment

On 3 August 2021, H.E. Manasvi Srisodapol, the Ambassador of Thailand to the United States hosted a lunch at his residence to warmly welcome the Thai-American youths under the Thai-American National Internship Program (TANIP) and give special thanks to representatives from the US-Asia Institute, congressional offices, and think-tanks in Washington who have supported Thai-American youths throughout this year’s program.

The Royal Thai Embassy, in partnership with the US-Asia Institute, initiated the TANIP program in 2015 to give Thai-American youths a firsthand look at the U.S. government and political system in Washington. The program seeks to inspire new generations of Thai-Americans to become civically engaged, become future leaders of their communities, and strengthen the voices of the Thai community in the United States.

During the first week of orientation, the participants had the opportunity to get an inside look at how government works and hear from policymakers and influencers in Washington. They were later paired up with congressional offices, think-tanks, federal agencies, and advocacy groups for six weeks and are now spending their final week at the Royal Thai Embassy in Washington, D.C. to gain hands-on experience on Thai-U.S. relations.

Joining this year’s program are Kathryn Wangthamkua who had the opportunity to work with the Office of Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (D-Washington), Lisa Guagliano with the Office of Congresswoman Lois Frankel (D-Florida), Kendrick Nikornpan with the Office of Congressman Eric Swalwell (D-California), Ashleigh Kong with the Office of Congressman Fortenberry (R-Nebraska), Justin Hogenauer with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Reid Arne with the East-West Center, Ty Kiatathikom with the Quincy Institute, and Sai-kit Jeremy Lee with the Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote).

During lunch, participants shared with the Ambassador their internship experiences as well as their perspectives as Thai-Americans. The Ambassador also took the opportunity to highlight the unique role Thai-Americans play in promoting Thai community empowerment and people-to-people relations between Thailand and the United States.