CALD Secretaries General

Hon. Kiat Sitheeamorn

Democrat Party of Thailand
CALD Secretary-General 2016 – present

Hon. Kiat Sittheeamorn, received B.S. in Engineering from Chulalongkorn University, graduated in Business Management from Harvard Business School and M.A. in International Affairs from Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University.

Before his current position, Hon. Kiat served as the President of Thailand Trade Representative (TTR), acting as the special envoy of the Prime Minister on international trade and investment for Thailand. TTR is also responsible for developing strategies, negotiations and implementation of international agreements as well as an Advisor to the House and Senate Committees in the areas of foreign affairs, trade, investment and other economic issues.

Prior to his political career, he served as the Chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) of Thailand National Committee, a Director of the Thai Chamber of Commerce and the Deputy Secretary-General of the Board of Trade of Thailand. He played a crucial role in proposing policies and strategies to various governmental organizations related to trade and investment. He was also appointed as Thailand’s representative in the East Asia Vision Group to map out new architecture between ASEAN and China, Japan and Republic of Korea.  In addition, he has had extensive work experiences in many countries in Asia, Europe and Middle East.

He has written many articles on trade and investment strategies and published the books entitled “As FTA Catches You” and “Government Budget Reform”. He has been a guest lecturer at several leading academic institutions and business fora.

Hon. Demberel Sambuu, MP

Civil Will Green Party, Mongolia
CALD Secretary-General 2014 – 2016

Hon. Demberel Sambuu is an incumbent Member of the Parliament of Mongolia and Co-Chairman of Civil Will Green Party. He has been Chairman and CEO of the Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry since 1997. It was in 2005 that he took on the position as the Economic Adviser to the President of Mongolia. Other positions Hon. Sambuu held are Vice President of the Confederation of Asia Pacific Chambers of Commerce and Industry and Chairman of the National Business Council for Sustainable Development. Additionally, he is also the Chairman of Arbitration Court of Mongolia. Since 2007, he has been the Deputy Chairman of the National Trade and Transport Facilitation Committee and of the National Export Development Council.

Hon. Sambuu finished Economics in the Mongolian National University and later went on to study in Australia, the United States of America and Japan to complete advanced training courses in Economics. He is also the author, co-author and editor of more than 100 economic research and training publication.

Sec. Neric Acosta

Liberal Party of the Philippines
CALD Secretary-General 2005 – 2014

Sec. Neric Acosta is an experienced legislator, educator, ardent advocate of the environment, and international scholar. He previously served as the Presidential Adviser for Environmental Protection and currently serves as the General Manager of the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA). Sec. Acosta was formerly the Secretary General of LP and served as representative of Bukidnon province in Northern Mindanao to the Philippine House of Representatives.

His major legislation included bills on clean water, solid waste management and biodiversity protection. He was also the principal author of the groundbreaking Clean Air Act, a model of environmental legislation in Asia.

Sec. Acosta’s passion for education earned him various scholarships. After completing his BA (Bachelor of Arts) in Political Science from the University of the Philippines, he went on to complete an MA (Masters in Arts) in Public Affairs (International Relations and Political Studies concentration) from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a PhD in Political Science from the University of Hawaii as an East West Center Scholar. He also attended the special programs Leaders in Development (1999) and Environmental Economics (2002) at the Kennedy School of Government of Harvard University.

Hon. Bi-khim Hsiao, MP

Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan
CALD Secretary-General 2004 – 2005

Hon. Bi-khim Hsiao is currently a member of the Legislative Yuan, representing the Hualien County. She began her political involvement with the international affairs of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) where she started the office of the DPP Mission in Washington D.C in 1995. From 1996 until 2010, successive Chairmen had appointed her as Director of International Affairs for the Party. Moreover she was also the spokesperson for the former President, Chen Shui-bian, in his 2000 and 2004 election campaign and became his adviser after his first election in 2000.

In 2001, Hon. Hsiao was elected to the Legislative Yuan, representing overseas constitutes, and was re-elected in 2004 from Northern Taipei City. She was again re-elected in the Legislative Yuan in 2012. She was a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, eventually chairing the Committee and was active in establishing parliamentary exchanges and friendship with other countries. In 2011 she became Vice-President of the DPP’s New Frontier Foundation.

Hon. Hsiao completed her undergraduate degree at Oberlin College where she received a BA (Bachelors of Arts) in East Asian Studies. She continued her graduate studies at Columbia University, Unites States of America, where she received a Masters degree in Political Science.

Hon. Alongkorn Ponlaboot, MP

Democrat Party Thailand
CALD Secretary-General 2002 – 2004

Hon. Alongkorn Ponlaboot served as a Member of Parliament and Democrat Party of Thailand’s Shadow Cabinet Deputy Prime Minister. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science at Thammasat University and his Master’s degree in Public Administration at Chulalongkorn University.

Hon. Ponlaboot has earned distinctions as Knight Grand Cross (1st Class) of the Most Exalted Order of the White Elephant, and the Knight Grand Cross (1st Class) of the Most Noble Order of the Crown of Thailand.

Senator Ung Bun Ang

Sam Rainsy Party Cambodia
CALD Secretary-General 2000 – 2002

Hon. Ung Bun Ang, former senator of the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a publisher of Alternatives Watch focusing on actions of Cambodian political parties that aspired to govern the country in the future. He was head of group of Khmer programs in Melbourne for SBS Radio, and was lecturer in Cambodian History and Culture at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia. He also served as spokesperson of the Sam Rainsy Party (SRP). An accountant by profession, he was instrumental in building a strong base of SRP supporters among the Cambodian Diaspora in Australia.

Mr. Kamal Nissanka

Liberal Party of Sri Lanka
CALD Secretary-General 2000

Mr. Nissanka was instrumental in forming the Liberal Party of Sri Lanka (LPSL )with other liberal minded ideologists led by Dr. Chanaka Amaratunga. He now serves as the party’s Secretary General.

Mr. Nissanka worked hard to take the party to the provinces. He was the editor of the Party newspaper in 1987 and became a National Committee member of LPSL in 1993, and was elected as Deputy Secretary General in 1999. He is a lawyer by profession and holds an Honors degree in Political Science from the University of Peradeniya. In 2002 he was elected as Deputy Mayor in the Rathnapura Municipal Council.

Hon. Benigno S. Aquino III, MP

Liberal Party of the Philippines
CALD Secretary-General 1999

President Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III, now the 15th President of the Republic of the Philippines, served as CALD Secretary General during the chairmanship of Hon. Florencio Abad.

In 1998, Mr. Aquino entered public service to make sure that the democracy his parents, Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino and President Corazon Aquino, fought for would bring changes in people’s lives. He served as Representative of the 2nd District of Tarlac from 1998 to 2007. In May 2007 he joined the Philippine Senate wherein he worked to bring out legislative initiatives anchored on the protection of human rights and honest and responsible governance.

In 2009 after his mother’s passing he announced his candidacy for President at the Club Filipino in Greenhills, San Juan. On Jun 9, 2010 the Congress of the Philippines proclaimed Aquino as the President Elect of the Philippines.

As President he has lead the government and the nation towards unprecedented economic growth, which has trickled down to the margins of society through improved government services, reforms in the education system, and conditional cash transfers for the poor an inspired campaign for good governance and justice as evidenced by the prosecution of corrupt and abusive government officials; and the empowerment of every citizen so that they may participate in building a nation of hope and opportunity.

Hon. Florencio B. Abad, MP

Liberal Party of the Philippines
CALD Secretary-General 1997 – 1998

Hon. Florencio “Butch” Abad previously served as the Secretary (Minister) of the Department of Budget and Management of the Republic of the Philippines. He also served the Liberal Party as the National Campaign Manager and worked in the transition team of then President-elect Noynoy Aquino. He is a former member of the House of Representatives elected in 1987 to represent the Lone District of Batanes. He was re-elected in 1995, 1998 and 2001. He became president of the Liberal Party of the Philippines from 1999 to 2004 and chairman of the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats in 1999.

He served as Secretary (Minister) of Agrarian Reform during the Aquino administration and as Secretary of Education under the Arroyo administration. His stint as Education Secretary was cut short in 2005 when he resigned from his post due to the electoral fraud controversy charged against president Arroyo.

Hon. Abad finished his Bachelor of Science in Business Management, and Bachelor of Laws at the Ateneo de Manila University and passed the Bar Examination in 1985. A fellow of the Edward Mason Program in Public Policy and Management at the Kennedy School of Government in Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Hon. Abad also holds a Masters in Public Administration degree.

Hon. Yao Chia-wen, MP

Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan
CALD Secretary-General 1995 – 1997

Hon. Yao Chia-wen is a famous lawyer and legal professor in Taiwan. He served as the President of the Examination Yuan and was appointed as one of the Senior Advisors of President Chen Shui-bian in 2000.

Hon. Yao co-founded the “Legal Aid Centre” in 1972 after attending the University of California at Berkeley as a visiting scholar. In 1975 he defended many political cases and became active in human rights and political activities.

In 1970, hon. Yao was arrested and sentenced to 12 years in prison for his involvement in political demonstration. He served in prison for seven years and became the Chairperson of the Democratic Progressive Party after his release. Under his chairpersonship, the party adopted the “Programme for the Sovereign Independence of Taiwan”. He was then elected a member of the Legislative Yuan in 1992.

Hon. Ong-Art Klampaiboon, MP

Democrat Party Thailand
CALD Founding Secretary-General 1993 – 1995

Hon. Ong-Art Klampaiboon, MP, served as Democrat Party of Thailand’s Spokesman and the Shadow Cabinet Minister for the Prime Minister’s Office. He received his Masters degree in Public Administration at the Thammasat University and his MBA at Kasetsart University both in Bangkok, Thailand.

A very dynamic and outgoing person, Hon. Klampaiboon has merited distinctions as Knight Commander (2nd Class) of the Most Noble Order of the Crown of Thailand, Knight Commander (2nd Class) of the Most Exalted Order of the White Elephant, Knight Grand Cross (1st Class) of the Most Exalted Order of the White Elephant, and the Knight Grand Cordon (special class) of the Most Noble Order of the Crown of Thailand.

About Us

The Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats (CALD) was inaugurated in Bangkok in 1993, with the support of then Thai Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai and South Korea’s Kim Dae-Jung. CALD, which offers a unique platform for dialogue and cooperation, is the only regional alliance of liberal and democratic political parties in Asia.
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