Mr Sophearin Chea is the Chief River Basin Planner at the Mekong River Commission (MRC) Secretariat.

Sophearin is the lead technical staff of the Planning Division, supporting the Planning Director in overseeing and guiding the technical work of specialists and staff of the division. In particular, he leads (i) the Mekong River Basin development planning works, including preparing, updating, and implementing support to the integrated water resources management–based Basin Development Strategy and its linkage to other basin-wide sector strategies; (ii) the implementation of MRC Procedures in close consultation with the lead technical staff of other Divisions; and (iii) the technical and coordination support to Member Countries in preparing, updating, and implementing their National Indicative Plans, including joint projects development and transboundary projects between Member Countries.

Sophearin has more than 20 years of combined professional experience in water resources management, international affairs and diplomacy, development cooperation and civic engagement across national, regional, and international levels—with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Cambodia, the World Bank, a consortium of non-governmental organisations, ASEAN Secretariat, and the MRC Secretariat. He also has engagement experience with diverse stakeholders, high-level knowledge and understanding of socio-political spares in the Mekong countries, and professional practice in policy, strategic and project planning and implementation.

Before this position, Sophearin served as Regional Water Policy Consultant at the MRC Secretariat. He was Civil Society Coordinator and Expert on Social Accountability for the World Bank from 2015 to 2019. He was also with the MRC Secretariat as Program Officer for MRC’s Procedures and Policies from 2010 to 2015. From 2002 to 2010, he worked at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Cambodia in charge of bilateral cooperation between Cambodia and other ASEAN countries and some sub-regional groupings, namely Cambodia – Lao PDR and Viet Nam; Cambodia – Lao PDR – Myanmar and  Viet Nam; and the Ayeyawady–Chao Phraya–Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (known as ACMECS).

Sophearin holds a Bachelor of Law, a High-Ranking Civil Servant Diploma in Diplomacy in Cambodia, and a Master of International Affairs from the Australian National University.