Executive and Research Staff

    Mr. Petipong Pungbun na Ayudhya

    Mr. Pitipong Pungbun na Ayudhya; Chairman of the Board of the MERI Foundation,    Currently, Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives. Former Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment, and Ministry of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives; President, Biodiversity-Based Economy Development Office (Public Organization); Chairman, Highland Research and Development Institute (Public Organization)

    Dr. Tongroj Onchan

    Dr. Tongroj Onchan;   Founding President and Senior Advisor of The Mekong Environment and Resource Institute (MERI), taught at Kasetsart University for 26 years. He was also Dean of the Faculty of Economics before joining Thailand Environment Institute (TEI) where he later became President in 1998. He has served as consultant and advisor to various organizations which include:

    1. Member, Board of Trustees, Institute of Global Environment Strategies, (IGES), Japan
    2. Member, Board of Directors, the Green Globe Institute, Thailand

    1. Member, the Inspection Panel, World Bank, Washington, D.C.
    2. Member, Board of Directors, Institute of Global Environment Strategies, (IGES), Japan
    3. Member, National Environment Board
    4. Member, National Research Council
    5. Chairman, Committee for the Preparation of the State of Environment Report
    6. Member, Executive Board, Natural Resources and Biodiversity Institute (NAREBI)
    7. Program Officer, Asian Productivity Organization (APO), Tokyo, (1987 - 1988)

    Contact Information:

    Phone: +66 086 375 2334
    E-mail: ,

    Dr.Banasopit Mekvichai

    Dr. Banasopit Mekvichai;   President of MERI , with various experiences. Among the important ones are:

    1. Deputy Governor, Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (responsible for Civil Works, City Planning, Community Development, and Administration), 1998-2000
    2. Chairperson, Committee for City Planning, Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, 1996-1998
    3. Consultant to the National Housing Authority on development of the Din Daeng-Asoke Area, December 2000 - present
    4. Special Lecturer, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Faculty of Architecture, Chulalongkorn University, July 2000 - present
    5. Associate professor, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Faculty of Architecture, Chulalongkorn University, 1997-1998

    Contact Information:

    E-mail: ,

    Mr. Anthony M. Zola

    Mr.Anthony Zola; Senior Researcher was†the founder and chief executive officer of MIDAS Agronomics Co., Ltd., for 20 years. He currently undertakes short-term assignments for MERI and as an independent consultant in the Greater Mekong Sub-region. His current emphasis †is on private sector development, public-private partnerships, agricultural modernization, and agricultural development policy and planning.†

    Tony Zola is a Laos and Thailand-based consultant specializing in agricultural economics and resources development in the Greater Mekong Subregion and a Senior Researcher at the Mekong Environment and Resources Institute - MERI.

    Particular areas of specialization include:

    1. Agricultural economics and value-chain analysis
    2. Cross-border agribusiness trade and development
    3. Sustainable upland and lowland agricultural development
    4. Natural resources policy and planning
    5. Monitoring and mitigation of social and livelihood impacts of hydropower projects
    6. International trade and environment analysis

    Contact Information:

    Phone: +66 2159 8933
    Fax: +66 2159 8933
    Thai Cell: +66 8 9206 9377
    Lao Cell: +856 20 5551 1369
    USA Cell: +1 716 392 9296
    Skype: anthony.zola
    E-mail: ,

    Dr. Charles B. Mehl

    Dr. Charles b. Mehl; Senior Researcher, trained as development sociologist, Dr. Mehl has worked in Thailand and in Asia for many years. His experiences include:

    1. Assistant for International Matters, Mae Fah Luang Foundation, and Head of Research Team, Hall of Opium/Golden Triangle Park, 1994-persent
    2. Research Fellow, Chulalongkorn University Social Research Institute, 1990 - 1994
    3. Land and Forest Management Network Specialist, Forestry Fuelwood Research and Development Project, Winrock International, 1987-1990
    4. Rural Development Economics Advisor, Land Reform Areas Project Agricultural Land Reform Office, 1985-1987

    Contact Information:

    Mobile: +66 1 863 6328
    E-mail: ,

    Assoc.Prof. Akradet Artachinda

    Senior Researcher.  A former professor at the Faculty of Engineering, Kasetsart University, Mr. Akradet has done research in water resource management, infrastructural development, and information technology mamangment. His experiences include:

    1. Information Technology Advisor and Senior Reseacher, The Mekong Environment and Resoruce Institute (MERI), 2000 - present
    2. Visiting Professor, Technology Innovation for Education Program, Graduate School, Chiang Rai Rajabhat University.

    Areas of Expertise

    1. Pump and piping system planning and design for agricultural and industrial purpose.
    2. Infrastructure system planning and design for small communities.
    3. Information system planning and management for small computer networks

    Contact Information:

    Mobile phone: +66 8 7696 2777
    E-mail: ,

    Dr. Saroj Aungsumalin

    Senior Researcher; Former Dean, Faculty of Economics, Kasetsart University; expert on agricultural and resource economics, environmental economics, market analysis.

    Areas of Expertise

    Environmental Planning and Management:

    1. Urban and regional planning
    2. Environmental policy research and analysis
    3. Participatory environmental planning and management

    Natural Resource Management:

    1. Natural resource policy research and analysis
    2. Sustainable agricultural development
    3. Conservation and community forestry
    4. Land economics
    5. Land management and tenure
    6. Agricultural economics

    Human Resources

    1. Local capacity building for development planning and resource management
    2. Planning and analysis for preservation of historic sites and structures
    3. Indigenous cultures

    Trade and the Environment

    1. Trade and environmental policy research and analysis
    2. Environmental and trade impacts of international treaties and agreements
    3. Life cycle analysis

    Selected Projects

    • Impact of the 1997 Crisis on Thailandís Rural Sector (with World Bank)
    • Assessing the Institutional Culture of the Ministry of Agriculture: Preparing for the 21st Century
    • Technical Assistance, Eco-Development and Irrigation Project, Lao PDR
    • Investigation of Labor Conditions in Thai Factories
    • Suvarnabhumi Aerotropolis Action Plan for regional development around the new Bangkok International Airport
    • Study to Develop Housing and Determine a New Regional Town, Chiang Rai
    • Technical Assistance, Joint Management of Protected Areas, Doi Phu Kha National Park, Nan (with RaksThai Foundation)
    • Training of Lao PDR national park staff in modeling for participatory natural resource planning

    Contact Information:

    Mobile: +66 8 1921 7259