Vientiane, Lao PDR, 18 January 2019 – An Pich Hatda of Cambodia took the helm of the Mekong River Commission (MRC) Secretariat today, assuming the post of Chief Executive Officer.

Dr. Hatda, a development professional by training, has over 20 years of regional experience in the water sector and organizational development. He was appointed to the post by the MRC Ministerial Council after being selected by the organization’s Joint Committee. Both bodies are comprised of senior representatives from the four MRC member countries: Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam.

Over the next three years of his tenure, CEO Hatda will lead the organization in expediting the implementation and completion of the current strategic plan 2016-2020 and leading the development of the basin development strategy and strategic plan for the next period.

A Mekong citizen with extensive international experience, Dr. Hatda is not new to the MRC or its work. He recently served as the MRC Secretariat’s Planning Division Director from 2016 to 2019, where he led the strengthening of cooperation among the countries in implementing the MRC’s Procedures and the role of the Secretariat. He was also the organization’s Operation Manager at the Regional Flood Management and Mitigation Center between 2005 and 2010 and the National Specialist with the Basin Development Plan Program from 2002-2005.

The new Chief Executive is also familiar with how the National Mekong Committees are operated and the political complexity inside them, having been the Deputy Secretary General himself for several years with the Cambodia National Mekong Committee. He also served as Alternate Member of the MRC Joint Committee.

His previous tenure at the MRC and its governance body ensures a sound knowledge of the critical issues facing the organization and will allow him to effectively guide it during a critical juncture in this rapidly changing area.

“The MRC is like a big ship with a huge knowledge of the river it has traveled through, but I see that a new navigational system is required to move this ship more efficiently. I am grateful for this noble opportunity to steer the wheel and I am fully committed to lead and inspire my crew as the captain,” CEO Hatda said. 

A graduate from the Royal University of Agriculture (Cambodia) with a Bachelor of Agriculture, a Master of Science in Agricultural Planning and Management from the Asian Institute of Technology (Thailand) and a doctorate in Development Studies from the University of Tokyo (Japan), the 48-year old native of Phnom Penh is married and has one daughter and one son.


Note to editors:

The MRC is an intergovernmental organization for regional dialogue and cooperation in the lower Mekong river basin, established in 1995 based on the Mekong Agreement between Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam. The organization serves as a regional platform for water diplomacy as well as a knowledge hub of water resources management for the sustainable development of the region.