Ambassador of Thailand to Canada
Ambassador Vijavat Isarabhakdi arrived in Ottawa to assume his position as Ambassador of the Kingdom of Thailand to Canada on 13 February 2015. He presented his credentials to His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada, on 31 March 2015. In May 2015, he was also appointed Permanent Representative of Thailand to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in Montreal.
On 5 November 2015, Ambassador Vijavat presented his credentials as non-resident Ambassador of the Kingdom of Thailand to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. On 21 June 2016, he presented his credentials as non-resident Ambassador of the Kingdom of Thailand to Jamaica.
Prior to these appointments, Ambassador Vijavat served as Thailand’s Ambassador to the United States of America from 2013 to 2015. He also held a number of other senior positions in the Thai Foreign Service, including Deputy Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs, overseeing Thailand’s bilateral relations with all countries from 2012 to 2013; Director-General of the Department of International Organizations in Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 2011 to 2012; and Ambassador/Deputy Permanent Representative of the Permanent Mission of Thailand to the United Nations Office in Geneva from 2006 to 2011.
Born on 28 June 1957, Ambassador Vijavat began his diplomatic career in 1990, working as a U.S. desk officer in the North America Division, Department of Political Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He spent one year as a Congressional Fellow on Capitol Hill, under the sponsorship of the American Political Science Association and the Asia Foundation, serving in the offices of Senator Hank Brown (R-Colorado) and Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-California). He subsequently served as First Secretary (Political Affairs) at the Royal Thai Embassy in Washington, D.C. from 1993 to 1997.
During his diplomatic career, Ambassador Vijavat has served as an aide to two Foreign Ministers during 1992-93 and 1997-2000, acting as interpreter, speechwriter and personal assistant. He was also seconded to the Office of the Prime Minister during 2001-2006, where he performed similar responsibilities for the Prime Minister, while also serving as a liaison between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Government House.
Ambassador Vijavat received his undergraduate degree (First Class Honours) in 1980 from the Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok. In 1982, he received a Fulbright scholarship to pursue graduate studies in the United States of America, earning his Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy (M.A.L.D.) degree as well as his Ph.D. in International Relations from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, in Massachusetts in 1989.
On 5 December 2014, Ambassador Vijavat was bestowed the Royal Decoration of
Knight Grand Cordon (Special Class) of the Most Noble Order of the Crown of Thailand.
As one of the representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he received an award for Outstanding Civil Servant of the Year in 2000.
Ambassador Vijavat is married to Wannipa Isarabhakdi and has one daughter, Natasha.