Dr Pichamon Yeophantong

My Expertise

International Relations of the Asia-Pacific

  • Chinese politics and foreign policy
  • Security and the political economy of development in the Asia-Pacific
  • Foreign direct investment (esp. resource and infrastructure) in the Asia-Pacific
  • Non-Western IR theories

Environmental Politics in Asia

  • Environmental governance and human rights in Asia
  • Transboundary water disputes in Asia, esp. Mekong region
  • Natural resource management in China and Southeast Asia

Responsible Business

  • Corporate social responsibility and supply-chain management, esp. in non-Western contexts
  • Transnational environmental accountability, esp. in the hydropower, extractives, and forestry sectors    
  • Civic regulation in China and Southeast Asia

Humanitarianism and Civil Society

  • Social and environmental activism in authoritarian contexts
  • Non-Western cultures of humanitarian action
  • Politics of disaster relief and management

Fields of Research (FoR)

Government and Politics of Asia and the Pacific, Environmental Politics, Natural Resource Management, International Relations, Public Policy


Dr Pichamon Yeophantong [พิชามญชุ์ เอี่ยวพานทอง; 皮查蒙·约范童] is an Australian Research Council DECRA Fellow and Senior Lecturer in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences (HASS), UNSW Canberra at the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA). She also leads the Responsible Business Lab and the Environmental Justice and Human Rights Project, and convenes the HASS Asia-Pacific Development...view more

Dr Pichamon Yeophantong [พิชามญชุ์ เอี่ยวพานทอง; 皮查蒙·约范童] is an Australian Research Council DECRA Fellow and Senior Lecturer in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences (HASS), UNSW Canberra at the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA). She also leads the Responsible Business Lab and the Environmental Justice and Human Rights Project, and convenes the HASS Asia-Pacific Development and Security Research Group.

A political scientist and China specialist, her research focuses on Chinese foreign policy and the political economy of sustainable development in the Asia-Pacific. In addition to her multi-year project on how to better regulate Chinese investment overseas, Pichamon is a Chief Investigator working with civil society and other partners on a series of initiatives that seek to support the adaptive capacity of women leaders, environmental defenders, and the rule of law in Southeast Asia. Pichamon was awarded the 2018 Australia 'Future Leader' Prize by the Council for the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, and was named a 'human rights fighter' by the 2020 Advance Awards.

Previously, Pichamon was a Global Leaders Fellow at University College, University of Oxford and the Niehaus Center for Globalization and Governance, Princeton University. She was also an ASEAN-Canada Senior Fellow at the RSIS Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, Nanyang Technological University. Pichamon has held (fully-funded) visiting fellowships at a number of universities, including Peking University, China University of Political Science and Law, and National Taiwan University as an inaugural Taiwan Fellow. She has also taught at the Australian National University (ANU) and Thammasat University, among other institutions.

Currently, Pichamon is also a Senior Research Fellow (non-resident) at the Wong MNC Center; sits on the Board and Research Committee of Jubilee Australia Research Centre, and the Advisory Committee of the Australian Water Partnership; serves on Asian Perspective's and Australian Naval Review's Editorial Committees; and has been elected to the International Studies Association's Environmental Studies Section Nominations Committee.

Pichamon has conducted extensive field-based research in China and Southeast Asia. She has also served as a consultant on human rights, development and security issues to, inter alia, the Africa Progress Panel, Overseas Development Institute, and International Rivers. Since 2010, she has delivered over 100 invited talks, public lectures, and keynote presentations in more than 10 countries, including at an ASEAN Regional Forum workshop (2020), the Australian Institute of International Affairs' National Conference (2019), and the Lower Mekong Policy Forum on Energy, Agriculture and Natural Resources (2017).

Her work has appeared as commissioned reports and in such publications as Asian Survey, Chinese Journal of International Politics, Contemporary Southeast Asia, Pacific Affairs, and Water International. Aside from being profiled in and providing expert commentary to various media outlets, she also contributes feature articles and op-eds to newspapers and magazines such as Australian Outlook, East Asia Forum Quarterly, The Diplomat, and Yale Global.

Pichamon completed her PhD and MA (with First-Class Honours) in Politics and International Relations at the ANU as an inaugural China Institute Scholar and Hedley Bull Scholar. In addition to native fluency in Thai, she has working proficiency and/or holds advanced language certificates in French (DALF), Japanese, Lao, Mandarin Chinese, and Spanish, among a few other languages.

For her Engagement story, please click here.

Higher Degree Research (HDR) Supervision

UNSW Canberra

  • Ngoc Nguyen (joint PhD supervisor; completed)
  • Feifei Cai (primary/joint PhD supervisor)
  • Eugene Simonov (primary/joint PhD supervisor)
  • Raj Kaithwar (co-/secondary PhD supervisor) 
  • Marie-Alice McLean Dreyfus (primary/joint MPhil supervisor)


  • Karen Delfau (PhD committee chair, Sciences Po Toulouse)
  • Ratchada Apornsilp (associate PhD supervisor, ANU)
  • Xiaowei Liu (associate PhD supervisor, Jilin U)

**Stipend scholarships of $35,000 (AUD) per year are available to PhD students at UNSW Canberra who achieved a H1/High Distinction average in their UG program and/or have completed a Masters by Research. If you are interested, please contact Dr Yeophantong at


Honours / MA / CDF (Arts) / Summer Scholar Supervision

Dr Yeophantong is available for Honours and MA (by coursework) supervision, and is also happy to consider CDF (Arts) and Summer Scholarship projects. She has, since 2016, supervised 15 student projects to successful completion. 

**Scholarships of $10,000 (AUD) are available to (non-Defence) Honours students at UNSW Canberra. If you are interested, please contact Dr Yeophantong at

My Grants

Dr Yeophantong's research is or has been supported by major grants from a range of institutions and organisations. These include the Australian Research Council (Discovery Early Career Researcher Award); Duke University (Global Asia Initiative); United Nations Environment Programme (with Not1More); Australia-ASEAN Council; International Rivers; Oxfam; American Friends Service Committee; CARE Australia; Stockholm Environment Institute (with Karen Delfau et al.), among others.

My Awards


  • 2020. Plenary Speaker on 'China's Economic Power in Southeast Asia: How Much Influence?', QS Subject Focus Summit: Politics and International Politics, Victoria University of Wellington 
  • 2018. CHASS Australia 'Future Leader' Prize, Council for the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (*sponsored by Future Leaders, the Prize is awarded to an individual below 30 years of age demonstrating clear leadership and potential in any HASS field) 
  • 2017. Visiting Fellowship, Department of International Economics, China Foreign Affairs University
  • 2017. Delegate, U21 Early Career Researcher Workshop, Santiago, Chile
  • 2017. Workshop Grant, Global Asia Initiative, Duke University
  • 2016. Closing Plenary Speaker, International Studies Association Asia-Pacific Conference, Hong Kong
  • 2016. Top-Level Expert Fellowship  School of International Relations and Public Affairs, Shanghai International Studies University
  • 2016. Asia Representative (elected), Executive Committee, Global South Caucus, International Studies Association
  • 2015. Expert Panelist (Global Security), SBS Future Forum
  • 2014. ASEAN-Canada Senior Fellowship, RSIS Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, Nanyang Technological University (
  • 2014. Visiting Professor, School of Politics and Public Administration, China University of Political Science and Law
  • 2013. 'Editor's Choice' Article, Chinese Journal of International Politics
  • 2013. Faculty Speaker and Salzburg Global Fellowship, Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, the Arts and Culture, Austria
  • 2012. Oxford-Princeton Global Leaders Fellowship, Oxford University and Princeton University
  • 2012. Second prize, Australian Institute of International Affairs Essay Competition
  • 2010. Inaugural Taiwan Fellowship, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of China
  • 2010. First prize, ANU Research Note Competition, ANU
  • 2009/2010. Peking University Research Scholarship (two-time recipient)
  • 2008. Inaugural China Institute Full Scholarship, ANU
  • 2007. Hedley Bull Scholarship, Graduate Studies in International Affairs Program, ANU
  • 2007. Emile Boutmy Full Scholarship (la bourse d’excellence Emile Boutmy « complète »), Ecole doctorale de Sciences Po, Institut des Etudes Politiques de Paris (declined)
  • 2007. Eiffel Scholarship (la bourse d’excellence Eiffel), French Government (declined)
  • 2006. HRH King Bhumipol Award for Academic Excellence (University Medal), Thammasat University
  • 2005. Award for Meritorious Conduct, National Buddhist Association of Thailand under HM The King's Patronage

My Research Activities

Key Research Projects 

  • 'The "Responsibility" of Chinese Foreign Policy': this project analyzes how the idea of 'responsibility' features in China's engagement with global governance;
  • 'Making Resource Investment Responsible in Southeast Asia': this ARC-funded project assesses the ecological and social footprint of Chinese investment in Southeast Asia;
  • 'Illegal Wildlife Trade Networks in ASEAN': this AAC-funded project examines how IWT networks have evolved in the ASEAN region and how to best disrupt and combat them. 
  • 'Co-creating Knowledge to Enhance Women's Leadership and Livelihood Resilience in the Mekong Region': this SEI-funded project will work with riparian communities and local policymakers in Thailand and Myanmar to integrate more inclusive knowledge co-production practices into water decision-making processes.


Invited Presentations, Public Lectures, and Keynotes (select)

  • 2019. UN Working Group Consultation on the ‘Gender Lens on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights’, The Geneva Academy, Geneva. 
  • 2018. ‘Environmental Sustainability in ASEAN’, 2018 ASEAN Forum, Sydney Southeast Asia Centre, University of Sydney. 
  • 2018. ‘Hydropower Development and the Challenges of Transboundary Water Governance in the Mekong Region: How Much Institutional Innovation?’, WLE Greater Mekong Forum on Water, Food and Energy, Yangon.
  • 2017. ‘China’s Dam Diplomacy in the Mekong Region’, 2017 Lower Mekong Policy Forum on Energy, Agriculture, and Natural Resources, Fulbright University Vietnam, Harvard Ash Center and USAID. 
  • 2017. 'Managing Resource Conflicts and Governance in Multiethnic Socieities in Asia', U21 Workshop on Interculturality and Multiculturalism', Pontificia Universidad de Católica de Chile.
  • 2017. 'Culture and Religion in Transboundary Water Governance in Asia', Duke Global Asia Initiative and Duke Kunshan University.
  • 2016. 'Chinese and Japanese Aid Investment in Southeast Asia', Danish Institute for International Affairs.
  • 2016. 'Resource Governance and Conflict in Asia', Chatham House-KAF workshop, Hong Kong.
  • 2016. 'Conservation Governance and the Illegal Wildlife Trade in Cambodia', Nanjing Forest Police College.
  • 2015. Semi-Plenary on Earth System Governance in the Asia-Pacific Century, Earth System Governance Conference, Australian National University (
  • 2015. Expert Panelist (Global Security), SBS Future Forum.
  • 2015. 'Chinese Resource Investment in Southeast Asia', Sogang Institute for East Asian Studies, Sogang University.
  • 2015. 'Civil Regulation and the Extractive Industries in Myanmar and Vietnam', RSIS Non-Traditional Security Studies Centre and the International Development Research Centre, Jakarta.
  • 2015. 'Non-State Actors and Transboundary Water Disputes in Asia', Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore.
  • 2014. 'On Governability and Chinese Non-Interventionism', Institute for Comparative Research in Humanities and Social Sciences, Tsukuba University.
  • 2014. 'Bounded by Power? China and Regional Hydropower Development in Myanmar and Cambodia', Contemporary China Colloquium Princeton University.
  • 2013. ‘China and Environmental Governance in Mainland Southeast Asia: Between influence and resistance’, Royal Holloway, University of London.
  • 2013. Workshop on Indigenous Knowledge and Natural Commons in Myanmar, Heinrich Boll Stiftung, Bangkok. 
  • 2013. ‘China and the contentious politics of hydropower development in the Mekong Region’, Department of Social Sciences and Languages, Northumbria University in partnership with the Department of Political Science, National Taiwan University and the British Academy.
  • 2013. Faculty Speaker, 'On the Challenge of Local Engagement for Sustainable Action', Salzburg Global Seminar, available at: 
  • 2012. Panel on The Geopolitics of Transboundary Water Governance, Global Economic Governance Programme, University College in parternship with the Blavatnik School of Government, Oxford University.
  • 2011. ‘China, Responsibility and the Politics of Regional Water Governance: the case of the Lancang-Mekong River’, Faculty of Political Science, Thammasat University.
  • 2010. ‘China’s Responsibility to Environmental Governance: a framework for analysis’, School of Environmental Science, Renmin University.
  • 2010. ‘Chinese Responsibilities and Global Governance: The case of the Mekong River’, China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations.
  • 2010. ‘The Power of An Idea: China, Responsibility and Global Governance’, Department of Political Science, National Taiwan University in partnership with the Centre for Chinese Studies of the National Library.


Media Engagement (select)

  • 2020. Podcast interview, 'Impacts of COVID-19 on Southeast Asia's Relations with China', SSEAC Stories, available at:
  • 2019. Podcast interview, 'Stepping up in the Pacific: How Australia Should be Engaging with the Region', Policy Forum Pod, available at:
  • 2018. Radio interview on the environmental impacts of the Belt and Road Initiative, Beyond Zero 3CR, available at:
  • 2018. Interview on 'What does China's mega infrastructure scheme mean for Australia and New Zealand?', Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia, available at:
  • 2017. Interview on the politics behind China's behaviour on the Brahmaputra River ('Inundaciones y desastres ecológicos: el "arma secreta" China que tiene a India en vilo'), El Confidencial [in Spanish], available at:
  • 2017. Featured radio interview on political activist Liu Xiaobo's release, The Wire, available at:
  • 2016. Featured radio interview on the Abu Sayyaf and terrorism in Southeast Asia ('South East Asia Violent Group in Focus'), SBS Thai [in Thai], available at:
  • 2016. Featured radio interview, 'Formula for a Genius', SBS Thai [in Thai], available at:
  • 2015. Backstory interview (26-year-old lecturer in International Relations and Development talks about starting university at 13), UNSW Uniken Magazine, available at:
  • 2015. Featured radio interview on the East and South China Seas, and the Port of Darwin lease ('Game of Dominance'), SBS Thai [in Thai], available at:
  • 2015. Featured radio interview, 'Australia's bright young minds talk tech & future fears', SBS Radio, available at:
  • 2015. Featured radio interview on the Paris attacks, terrorism and global security ('Trails of Terror'), SBS Thai [in Thai], available at:
  • 2015. Featured radio interview on the Paris attacks and the refugee crsis in Europe and Asia ('The refugee problem requires a sensitive balance'), SBS Chinese [in Mandarin Chinese], available at:
  • 2014. Featured interview, 'Born to be the genius', LIPS Magazine [in Thai]
  • 2013. Featured interview, 'Dr Pichamon Yeophantong: A Thai genius', Sakulthai Magazine [in Thai]
  • 2012. Featured television interview, 'Homeschooling in Thailand' [in Thai], Mong Moom Mai [‘New Perspectives’] programme, Thai PBS Channel (on-air 11 March 2012) [in Thai]
  • 2011. Featured interview [in Chinese] in Hu Li, ‘China’s imperative to rectify [its] “siege mentality”’ [Zhongguo you biyao jiuzheng ‘shou kun xintai’], Mingjing Magazine [Mingjing Yuekan] 12 (February 2011) [in Mandarin Chinese]
  • 2010. Featured radio interview, ‘Sino-ASEAN relations’, Accent of Women, Australian 3CR (on-air 14 December 2010)
  • 2010. Featured radio interview, ‘China and the Senkaku Islands dispute’, Accent of Women, Australian 3CR (on-air 11 October 2010)
  • 2010. Featured interview, 'Spotlight: Thai High Achiever Advancing in Australia', The Australian Studies Centre Bulletin 1:2
  • 2005. Featured interview, 'Pichamon Yeophantong: How homeschooling strengthens familial ties', Sakulthai Magazine [in Thai]
  • 2005. Featured interview, 'Pichamon Yeophantong: 15 year old genius', Matichon (26 May 2005) [in Thai]
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+61 (0)2 5114 5061
+61 (0)4 2336 8986
+61 (2) 9662 8991


Dr Pichamon Yeophantong on the Challenge of Local Engagement for Sustainable Development, Salzburg Global Seminar, 2013
The first panel of the 2019 AIIA National Conference examined growing enmity between the US and China and Australia’s place within it.
ASEAN-Canada Forum, July 2014
SBS Future Forum promo video
SBS Future Forum, 2015
มองมุมใหม่ - โรงเรียนบ้าน, March 2012
2020 Advance Awards Finalist Introduction for Dr Pichamon Yeophantong
Asia Society Debate on 'The Quad Is Part of the Debate, but Not a Driving Force', with Dr Pichamon Yeophantong
AIIA Webinar on COVID-19: Implications for Chinese Investment and Economic Influence, with Dr Pichamon Yeophantong
Dr Pichamon Yeophantong on the Challenge of Local Engagement for Sustainable Development
GNHRE-UNEP 2021 Summer/Winter School on 'Environmental defenders in times of pandemic', with Dr Pichamon Yeophantong
A New Cold War? Panel One: AIIA National Conference 2019 - New Agendas for a New Era, with Dr Pichamon Yeophantong
Interview with Dr Pichamon Yeophantong for the ASEAN-Canada Forum
SBS Future Forum Promotional Clip - Dr Pichamon Yeophantong
Dr Pichamon Yeophantong on the Future of Global Security at the SBS Future Forum
Interview with Dr Pichamon Yeophantong on Homeschooling in Thailand