STEAR is gearing up for its first annual conference on 6 and 7 November, and part of the intensive preparations for this occasion has been the pre-conference workshops that were organized by Conference Directors Emika Otsuka and Aamna Khan (alongside their talented portfolio staff). The last of these workshops was hosted last Saturday, and we were pleased and honored to have been able to host a special guest: dr. Kirida Bhaopichitr, who is the current Research Director for International Economics and Development at the Thailand Development Research Institute.
STEAR Conference Director Emika welcomed all delegates and the speakers to the session before giving the floor to dr. Bhaopichitr, who briefly discussed her educational and professional background, pointing out the interfaces between different disciplines and the way in which her career developed. Emika then moderated a brief rapid-fire question session with Kirida, in which we discussed her experiences working and studying in Thailand and elsewhere, as well as changes brought about by working from home. Dr. Bhaopichitr elaborated on some of her answers, including her college experience and the advice she would give to young professionals and students who are interested in pursuing a career in public policy. She stressed the importance of developing a breadth of knowledge and an interdisciplinary perspective, as well as flexibility and adaptability in a variety of (professional) circumstances.
Emika then opened up the floor to audience interactions, during which the delegates in the audience were given the opportunity to introduce themselves to Kirida and address any questions they had to her. Topics that were discussed included the impact of domestic political developments on the implementation of public policy, the role of the European Union and other partners in developing policy recommendations, and the balance that think tanks have to strike when securing funding from both public and private sectors. In addition, delegates posed questions regarding topics like the digital economy and the inclusivity of policy recommendations.
We would like to thank dr. Bhaopichitr for her valuable contributions, and all the delegates for their diverse and interesting questions. If you are not a delegate at our Conference but are still interested in the topics that are and have been discussed in this context, we highly encourage you to keep an eye on our website and social media platforms for post-conference content as well as posts about future opportunities that may be of interest for you!
About Kirida Bhaopichitr:
Dr Kirida had been a Senior Economist at the Macroeconomics and Fiscal Policy Management Global Practice and the Country Economist for Thailand of the World Bank Group since 1999. Dr Kirida’s work on Thailand includes monitoring and assessing Thailand’s economic developments, the investment climate, competitiveness, and the reforms in the public sector. Dr Kirida has been the main author of the World Bank’s bi-annual Thailand Economic Monitor (2003-present), the most downloaded and widely cited World Bank document on Thailand.
Dr Kirida has significant regional experience, having worked on Lao PDR, Cambodia, and South Asia. She regularly contributed to the World Bank’s bi-annual report on economic developments, the East Asia and the Pacific Update. In 2010, Dr Kirida spent a year at the World Bank Headquarters in Washington DC, where she worked on regional issues in East Asia and authored a paper on estimating the remittance trends in South Asia.
A recognized fixture in economic and business circles in Thailand, she appears regularly in media and speaks at high-level forums organized by both public and private organizations in the country and abroad.
Dr Kirida holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Cornell University through the prestigious Anandha Mahidol Foundation Scholarship. She finished her bachelor degree in Economics with first class honors from Thammasat University and was presented with the Rising Star Economist Award by the Thammasat Economics Association in 2010.