On 1 October 2022, SEAMEO SPAFA officially welcomed a new Centre Director, Mr Khemchat Thepchai. Mr Khemchat Thepchai is the sixth SEAMEO SPAFA Centre Director and he succeeds former Centre Director, Mrs Somlak Charoenpot.
Mr. Khemchat Thepchai held several positions during his career; his previous two were Director-General (Office of Contemporary Arts and Culture, Ministry of Culture, Thailand) and Inspector-General (Ministry of Culture, Thailand). He has undergone the Senior Executive Development Programme (SEDP) of the Office of Civil Service Commission, in England and Belgium, and has accumulated broad and vast experience and training in the following, among many others:
- Engage in study and research, and writing research reports on archaeology, history, restoration of monuments, and cultural heritage.
- Coordinate protection, restoration and preservation of monuments and archaeological sites, and local organizations to enhance safe-guarding and maintenance of cultural heritage.
- Manage the Masterplan for Preservation and Development of Ancient Cities (Chiangmai and Chiangsaen).
- Manage research and analysis of archaeological evidence to increase public awareness about archaeology and history.
- Raise public awareness, understanding and appreciation of world and national heritage, Monuments Laws, and the World Heritage Convention.
- Organize seminars and workshops on flooding disaster preparedness to protect monuments
- Promote the musical ability of the younger generation through workshops and music camps
- Participate in the Study of Silk Road by UNESCO in Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, and Oman
- Participate in the Cultural Exchange Symposium in Korea
- Participate in Risk Management of East Asian Cultural Heritage Activity in Japan
- Participate in Regional Seminar on Culture and Global Network in Iran.
Mr Khemchat was also an alumni in a number of SPAFA Consultative Workshops on archaeological and environmental studies on Srivijaya in 1980, 1982, and 1983.
SEAMEO SPAFA welcomes new Centre Director, Mr Khemchat Thepchai, and looks forward to the new heights that the Centre will reach under his leadership.