BANGKOK: APSA is pleased to welcome Kunaporn Phuntunil, who joined the Secretariat on June 26 to fill the important role of Membership Programs Officer.
As the newest addition to the Secretariat, Kuna is a multi-talented young woman who will work closely with APSA members, committees and working groups, driving the development of new initiatives to better engage members and stakeholders with APSA.
She will also work closely with the Deputy Director on research consortiums, study tours and expert consultations, as well as support the work of APSAs Special Interest Groups and Standing Committees.
A Thai national who majored in Chinese language during her undergraduate studies, Kuna obtained her Bachelor of Arts from the prestigious Chulalongkorn University before working as a Program Assistant and Secretary with the Asian Scholarship Foundation, where she was involved in graduate degree and research programs related to arts, culture, humanity and social sciences in the Asia region.
After her five-year stint with ASF, Kuna went on to pursue a Master’s in International Peace Studies at the University for Peace, Costa Rica and Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines, under a full scholarship from the Nippon Foundation. Asian Seed sat down with Kuna to get to know her more.
Prior to joining APSA, you had worked for the Japan International Cooperation Agency?
Indeed, for nearly five years, I was a Program Officer with the JICA Project for AUN (ASEAN University Network) SEED-Net (Southeast Asia Engineering Education Development Network). My role there encompassed everything from program management to university-industry collaboration programs.
Why did you decide to work for APSA? What do you hope to gain here, and what do you think you will bring to the association?
Apart from the education that will dramatically help people to alleviate poverty, I am very much interested in food security as it is another important factor for sustainable life. If we do not have good quality of seeds, how can trees grow? Although I am not a seed expert, I do hope to use my 10 years of program management experience and skills to benefit APSA’s various programs.
What do you think about seeds, vegetables, crops and breeding?
It would be great if we can produce our own food in house. My father comes from a farmer family in Udon Thani province of Northeastern Thailand, so he has taught me a lot about food security, at least at the household level. At our home in Nonthaburi, we have 40 chickens and grow a lot of our own herbs and vegetables. I also have a passion for Hom Mali [scented Jasmine] rice, which we grow in my father’s hometown. It is my favorite rice. I need to have it every day.
What are your hobbies, passions and special interests?
I am passionate about music and yoga. In my free time, I gather in a group to play Thai classical music and practice yoga. I can play several different types of classical Thai instruments. I also like aerobic dance and always push myself to read books every day.
What are your goals and ambitions, personally and professionally?
I always think positive, that tomorrow will be better than yesterday. Every day I am expecting myself to learn more and more so that I can help more people and contribute to the global society.