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IOC Sub-Commission for the Western Pacific (WESTPAC)

Advancing knowledge and cooperation for a healthy ocean and prosperous society

WESTPAC elected its new officers

Dr. Somkiat Khokiattiwong from Thailand, Dr. Youn-Ho Lee from Republic of Korea and Dr. Vo Si Tuan from Vietnam were named to be the new Chairperson, First Vice-Chairperson and Second Vice-Chairperson of the IOC Sub-Commission for the Western Pacific (WESTPAC) at the recently concluded 9th Intergovernmental Session of WESTPAC, Busan, 9-12 May 2012.

Dr. Somkiat acquired his Bachelor Degree in Marine Science from the Kasetsart University, and his Master Degree in Oceanography from McGill University. After completing his PhD study in the University of Southern Denmark, Denmark from 1998-2001. Dr. Somkiat returned back to Thailand and is currently serving as the Head of Oceanography and Marine Environment Unit, Phuket Marine Biological Center of the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR), Thailand. He has been active in IOC related activities regionally and globally. Serving as the Coordinator for the WESTPAC-South East Asian Global Ocean Observing System (SEAGOOS), he has made substantial efforts in the development and implementation of two pilot projects of SEAGOOS, respectively on Monsoon Onset Monitoring and its Social and Ecosystem Impacts (MOMSEI) in 2009, and Ocean Forecasting System Demonstration (OFD) in 2010.

“I would assure you that I will work closely with the Vice-Chairs and WESTPAC Office for a greater success of the Sub-Commission and put in all efforts to ensure that WESTPAC continues its leading role in marine scientific research”, said Dr. Somkiat Khokiattiwong.

Dr. Youn-Ho Lee is currently working as the Vice-President of the Korea Ocean Research and Development Institute (KORDI). After completing his PhD study on Marine Biology in 1994 from Scripps Institute of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, he had served 5 years in the Division of Biology, California Institute of Technology as a Senior Research Fellow from 1994-1998. From 2008 to 2010 he served as the Chair of Biodiversity Working Group, UNDP/GEF Yellow Sea Large Marine Ecosystem Project. He moved to the Korea Ocean Research and Development Institute (KORDI) in 1998 with main work on marine biological research with 49 scientific and technical articles published in international and national journals.

“I am honored to be given the opportunity to serve as the First Vice-Chair of WESTPAC. I confirm that I will continue to forge ahead with WESTPAC’s activities, collaborating with relevant entities to promote and expand research in marine science”, said Dr. Youn-Ho Lee.

Dr. Vo Si Tuan is the Vice-Director and Principle Scientist of the Institute of Oceanography, Nha Trang City, Vietnam. He is a recognized expert on marine conservation planning and a national consultant on coastal and marine ecology and protected areas. His extensive experience of working with national and international organizations on marine ecosystems, biodiversity conservation and protected area management such as Asian Development Bank Project ADB 5712-REG on “Coastal and Marine Environment Management in the South China Sea, Phase 2 (1999-2000) and GEF/UNEP Project on “Reversing Environment Degradation Trends of South China Sea and Gulf of Thailand” enables him to be highly competent in the lead, coordination and development of various national, regional and international programmes.

“I would commit myself to the further achievement of WESTPAC and thank all member states for your confidence in and support provided to Vietnam as well as the support for Vietnam to host the next Scientific Symposium, Vietnam 2014”, said Dr. Vo Si Tuan.

The newly elected WESTPAC Officers will serve until the closure of the 10th Intergovernmental Session of WESTPAC which was tentatively scheduled for early 2015.