Former Country Representative, Thailand
Expertise: Political and social issues in Thailand; Southeast Asian relations; U.S.-Thailand relations; Laos; constitutional and legal issues; human rights; corruption; and Thai Muslims.
Dr. Klein retired as The Asia Foundation's Thailand Country Representative after 24 years of service in October 2010. Kim McQuay has replaced Dr. Klein as the new country representative in Thailand.
James Klein was The Asia Foundation's country representative in Thailand from 1996 to October 2010. He maintained oversight of all Thailand country programs, focusing on constitutional law and rule of law, including legal aid for tsunami survivors; the promotion of public participation; safeguarding the rights of citizens and communities; and forging a human rights approach against trafficking in persons. Dr. Klein served as The Asia Foundation's country representative in Cambodia from 1993 to 1995 and Malaysia from 1991 to 1993, assistant representative in Thailand from 1986 to 1991, and director of Lao programs from 1990 to 1991.
Dr. Klein began his 30-year career as a Thai specialist while serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer at Khon Kaen University in northeastern Thailand from 1973 to 1976 and subsequently as the director of the American University Alumni Bi-Cultural Center in Khon Kaen.
Among his publications are: "The Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand, 1997: A Blueprint for Participatory Democracy," The Asia Foundation Working Paper Series (1998); "The Evolution of Thailand's National Human Rights Commission 1992-2001," in Thailand's New Politics, KPI Yearbook, 2001, ed. Michael Nelson (Bangkok: 2002); "The Battle for the Rule of Law in Thailand: The Constitutional Court of Thailand," in KPI Congress 4: Five Years of Political Reform under the New Constitution, (Bangkok: 2003); Amara Raksasataya and James Klein, The Constitutional Court of Thailand: The Provisions and the Working of the Court (Bangkok: 2003); "Buddhist and Muslim Perceptions of Conflict in Southern Thailand," in Knowledge and Conflict Resolution: The Crisis of the Border Region of Southern Thailand, ed. Uthai Dulyakaem and Lertchai Sirichai (Bangkok 2005).
Education: B.S.Ed. in history from Truman State University, Missouri; M.A. and Ph.D. in Southeast Asian history from Northern Illinois University.