Meet Mike: A Passionate Environmentalist Driving Sustainable Cities with UNDP Thailand

Faces of UNDPThailand - Catalysts of Change: Advancing Gender Equality Through Empowerment

June 10, 2024

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

I graduated with a bachelor’s degree of Science in Soil Resources and Environment Management from King Mongkut's Institute of Technology Ladkrabang. I worked at the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation as an assistant project manager for the tiger conservation project in the Huay Kha Khaeng and Thung Yai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary, World Heritage forests. I was responsible for supporting the development of work plans and budget plans, procurement, and coordination with local agencies. I worked in this position for 4 years before moving to work with UNDP-Thailand.

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

Since I had worked at the Department of National Parks before, I got to know UNDP while we were working together on the GEF 5 tiger conservation project. After the project ended, I was advised by the project manager to apply for the position of Project Assistant for environmental projects at UNDP Thailand.

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

In my position as a Project Assistant, I am like a housekeeper who takes care of and supports the Project Manager in terms of planning, budgeting, procurement, and coordinating with various people in the team and other departments in the office to ensure smooth operation. Coming to the office every week allows me to discuss and exchange ideas with colleagues, which makes us work closer.


Photo Courtesy: UNDP Thailand


4. What are some of the challenges you encountered while working at UNDP Thailand? How did you overcome it?   
Joining UNDP marked a significant shift in my professional approach. The organization employs a diverse array of information systems, far beyond what I was previously familiar with, requiring me to quickly grasp each platform's intricacies across various functions. Yet, through a process of trial and error, bolstered by the invaluable guidance of supportive colleagues, I've managed to navigate and adapt to this new landscape with relative ease.

5. Tell us about your favourite moment with UNDP Thailand. 

One of my favourite moments with UNDP Thailand involved joining my colleagues in a mission to Loei Province. There, I had the opportunity to collaborate with the Economist team on an event organized by the local authorities and local communities. The event focused on sustainable agriculture and economic empowerment. One of the highlights during this mission was to join local farmers in rice harvesting. It was a fun experience and my very first time to harvest in the beautiful rice field in Loei! We also learned about the community's traditional wisdom of weaving beautiful cotton patterns with ethnic minorities. As a souvenir, we purchased some of the unique fabrics to support the local community. 

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

The position I hold is in high demand by UN organizations and external organizations. I believe that having work experience is very beneficial in terms of using that experience to further develop my skills or learn other things.


Photo Courtesy: UNDP Thailand

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

Through my position at UNDP Thailand, my work contributes to several Sustainable Development Goals, including Affordable and Clean Energy (SDG 7), Decent Work and Economic Growth (SDG 8), Sustainable Cities and Communities (SDG 11), Climate Action (SDG 13), and Life on Land (SDG 15). I think the work that I am doing aligns with the broader mission of UNDP to advance these critical global goals.

8. As UNDP staff, how do you support gender equality through your role or the work you are currently working on?
While my role may not directly impact gender equality, I firmly believe in the intrinsic worth of every individual, irrespective of gender. Everyone should have the opportunity to express themselves, pursue their professional aspirations, and lead a fulfilling life, free from discrimination or bias.

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

We actively welcome everyone interested in joining us to drive our sustainable development goals.

10. Give us 3 words that describe UNDP Thailand

Inspirational, Resilient, Transformative


The Faces of UNDP Thailand is a series to echo the voice of UNDP staff who support UNDP and the community to advance the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Working with UNDP Thailand has been an enlightening, inspirational, and transformative journey.
Panupong Plansumrit - Project Assistant, Low Carbon Cities, UNDP Thailand.