The Cabinet of Thailand has approved the appointment of Dr. Kittipong Kittayarak, LL.M. '83, as Permanent Secretary of Justice Ministry. In his new position he will oversee correction, probation, and juvenile justice, as well as focusing on alternative sentencing, including restorative justice and programs to encourage more public participation in criminal justice. Dr. Kittipong will also serve as secretary for the newly established Independent Commission on Justice and Civil Liberties in the Southern Border Provinces (ICJC), which he describes as an "urgent and demanding task." The Commission seeks to establish peace and reconciliation in the troubled deep south of Thailand. Dr. Kittipong previously had served as deputy permanent secretary of Justice Ministry. In announcing the appointment Justice Minister Sompong Amornwiwat said the Mr. Kittipong is well qualified for the post and that the appointment will not cause rifts within the ministry.
For more than a decade Dr. Kittipong has been instrumental in shaping judicial reform in Thailand. A gifted scholar, Dr. Kittipong has lectured and major Thai universities as well as the Bar Association of Thailand. He has been a visiting expert at United Nations Asia and the Far East Institute for the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders (UNAFEI) in Tokyo, Japan. Dr. Kittipong believes that the most effective path to reform begins with teaching young students the importance of human and civil rights.
In addition to his new duties Dr. Kittipong is on the board of directors of Transparency International Thailand, is Thailand's councilor at the Law Association of Asia and the Pacific (LAWASIA), serves on the National Research Council—Legal Branch, and is on the board of trustees of Bangkok University. Among his many honors, he was selected Man of the Year by the Association for the Promotion of Women's Status Under the Royal Patronage in 2000, was a Fulbright Scholar in 1987–90, and an Eisenhower Fellow in 2001. A member of the Cornell University Council and the Law School Advisory Council, Dr. Kittipong always tries to visit the Cornell campus every time he comes to the U.S.