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Thant Myint-U

Thant Myint-U born 31 January 1966) is a Burmese historian, writer, grandson of former United Nations Secretary-General U Thant, former UN official, and former special adviser to the president for the peace process. He has authored five books, including The River of Lost Footsteps: A Personal History of Burma and Where China Meets India: Burma and the New Crossroads of Asia. In 2012, he founded Yangon Heritage Trust to preserve colonial buildings in the Burmese capital Yangon Thant Myint-U was born in New York City to Burmese parents. He grew up in Riverdale, Bronx at the home of his maternal grandfather, the then-Secretary- General of the United Nations U Thant. From 1971 to 1980, he studied at Riverdale Country School, a private collegepreparatory day school in Bronx. He graduated from International School Bangkok in 1983. He has three sisters. A former US citizen, he gained Burmese citizenship in 2011 and is now a Myanmar national. Thant earned a BSc in government and economics from Harvard University, an MA in international relations and international economics from Johns Hopkins University, and his PhD in history from Cambridge University in 1996. From 1994 to 1999, he was a junior research fellow (similar to postdoctoral researcher in the United States) of Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was a Burmese language teacher. Thant is married to Sofia Busch. He has a son, Thurayn-Harri, born in 1999 to Hanna Guðrún, a native of Iceland He has served on three UN peacekeeping operations. He first served as a human rights officer from 1992 to 1993 at the UN Transitional Authority for Cambodia in Phnom Penh. In 1994, he was the chief spokesman for the UN Protection Force in the former Yugoslavia, based in Sarajevo. In 1996, he was a political adviser in the Office of the UN's Special Representative forBosnia and Herzegovina. In 2000, he joined the UN Secretariat in New York. He worked first at the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, then at the United Nations Department of Political Affairs, and at the Policy Planning Unit as a chief in 2004. During this time, he was a member of the secretariat of the Secretary-General's Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change (High Level Threat Panel). From the late 2005 to early 2006, he was briefly a senior officer at the Executive Office of the Secretary-General. Aside from being chairman of the Yangon Heritage Trust, he was, from 2011 to 2015, a member of the National Economic and Social Advisory Council, special adviser to the Myanmar government for the peace process at the Myanmar Peace Centre.


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