Meet ‘Mickey’, a passionate and dynamic innovator at UNDP

Faces of UNDP Thailand series

April 19, 2023
Napat Phumsiri (Mickey) Policy Innovation Associate, Thailand Policy Lab

Napat Phumsiri (Mickey) Policy Innovation Associate, Thailand Policy Lab


1. Tell us about yourself: What’s your educational background/professional experience? 

I studied for a bachelor's degree in International Relations at Chulalongkorn University and then a master's degree, majoring in Local Economic Development from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). Before joining UNDP, I worked with the public sector for 4 years. I started my career as a Consular Agent at an Embassy in Bangkok before continuing my career as a Plan and Policy Analyst at the Office of National Economic and Social Development Council.

2. What made you apply to work with UNDP Thailand?

Since I was a kid, working with the UN has always been my dream. This dream became clearer when I studied for my master's degree in Local Economic Development and started working with NESDC in the field of inequalities. This educational background and work experience has strengthened my passion to work in development and public policy. Therefore, when I combine my dream and my passion, UNDP is the perfect place to work. 

Napat Phumsiri (Mickey) Policy Innovation Associate

Napat Phumsiri (Mickey) engaging with youth at a TP Lab programme


3. What are your activities or main responsibilities? What is a day at the office like?

As a Policy Innovation Associate, my main responsibilities are to support, facilitate and implement the innovative policy tools and experimentations undertaken through the Thailand Policy Lab. 

As a person who works in a policy lab and focused on policy innovation, a day at the office is simply fun, different, and challenging. I might have to brainstorm with my colleagues, attend meetings and facilitate workshops with a wide range of stakeholders, from a villager to a minister! We look to explore, experiment, and curate policy innovations that would be beneficial for Thailand’s future. However, a day at the office is not always that intense! I have time to catch-up for a coffee and chitchat with colleagues over lunch time as well.

4. What are some of the challenges you encountered while working at UNDP Thailand? How did you overcome it?  

As mentioned earlier, working with UNDP is challenging, especially with Thailand Policy Lab where everything is ‘innovative’ and the environment is very dynamic. Therefore, changes and novel issues are things that I encounter daily. 

So, to overcome these challenges as a person who works in Policy Innovation, I had to change my mindset and become flexible, always staying updated on trends locally and globally. At the same time, I must communicate more and be more proactive while working so that my tasks can be completed despite changes and complexities. 

Napat Phumsiri (Mickey) with colleagues and participants

Napat Phumsiri (Mickey) with colleagues and participants after a TP Lab programme


5. Tell us about your favourite moment with UNDP Thailand

My favourite moment with UNDP Thailand was the first day at the office. This is because, apart from being warmly welcomed by colleagues, that day was the very first day that I felt like I was really working for the United Nations. Moreover, I was impressed when I was introduced to the work and projects that my UNDP Thailand colleagues are doing. Our work can really help develop Thailand in many ways, from wildlife to policy innovation! I remember that I was happy after meeting everyone and that day really made me feel committed to my work up even to this day.

6. How does this position benefit your career path/choices within the UN or beyond? 

Although working in this position is challenging, as mentioned above, it is also extremely rewarding. Working at the Thailand Policy Lab and UNDP has enabled me to learn many new things. For example, in the morning one day you might be exploring the issues of Thailand’s population issues, but a few hours later you might be facilitating a workshop on the issue of community-based tourism. Therefore, thanks to this position, I have become well-rounded, and this has paved the way for different opportunities since ‘development’ and ‘policy innovation’ are two keys elements that are very crucial nowadays. 

Napat Phumsiri (Mickey) shares experiences with colleagues

Napat Phumsiri (Mickey) shares experiences with colleagues


7. What SDGs are you helping to implement through your position?  

I think Thailand Policy Lab has been implementing almost all SDGs! We have tackled issues of poverty, food security, good healthcare, gender equality, economic growth, inequalities, and partnership for goals to name a few of the key areas.

8. What piece of advice would you give to those who are considering applying to #JoinALifeChangingMission with UNDP. 

DO NOT hesitate to #JoinALifeChangingMission with UNDP! No matter who you are and what your interests are, there are always opportunities open for everyone here. Just believe in your capabilities and try!

9. End with Quotes to reflect your experience with UNDP Thailand

"A job that makes me want to wake up and work every day”

Napat Phumsiri (Mickey) supports facilitation of workshops with various stakeholders

Napat Phumsiri (Mickey) supports facilitation of workshops with various stakeholders

Give us 3 words that describe UNDP Thailand: "Challenging, Rewarding and Supportive"
Napat Phumsiri (Mickey)