The Centre on Integrated Rural Development for Asia and the Pacific (CIRDAP) now has a new Director General (DG). He is Dr. Cherdsak Virapat a Thai national replacing Mr. Tevita Taginavalau a Fiji national who has completed his four year term (2016-2020).

Dr. Virapat has worked in various Ministries within Thailand Public Service in a span of 28 years. He has served as the Executive Director of International Institute for Trade and Development, Ministry of Commerce; Director General of Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific (NACA) in Bangkok, Thailand and Executive Director of International Ocean Institute Headquarters in Malta. These Ministries include the Ministry of Agriculture & Cooperatives, Ministry of Natural Resources & Environment, Ministry of Commerce, etc. He also worked as Chief of International Coordination and Assistant Executive Director of Thailand’s National Disaster Warning Center, Office of the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Information & Communication Technology.

He holds a B.Sc. in Fishery Management from Kasetsart University, Bangkok, Thailand; an M.Sc. in Fishery Science from the University of Helsinki, Finland; and a Ph.D. in Fisheries Management from Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

He is an Advisory Board Member of International Ocean Institute, Thai Association of Malta, Thai Association of Canada, and Association of Faculty of Fisheries Kasetsart University, Thailand. He has published books and book chapters on fisheries and agriculture.

Dr. Virapat was awarded the Elisabeth Mann Borgese Medal in 2014 in recognition of his leadership at the International Ocean Institute (IOI) and Gold medals in 2016 and in 2019 from the Asian Fisheries Society in recognition of his support and dedication to the work of the Society.
Dr. Virapat said that he looks forward to leading the Secretariat by continuing on the work his predecessors have done blending with his experiences to take CIRDAP further into the future.

He also added that, he will make the Organization ready for new challenges and strengthened the role for Integrated Rural Development in Asia and the Pacific region.

Dr. Virapat will serve CIRDAP from 2020 to 2024.