About Us

American-Thai Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to supporting education, health, and public and civic affairs in Thailand and to empower underprivileged Thais and future leaders through education.

In the 1980s, Dr. Nirund Jivasantikarn--with the support of former Peace Corps Volunteers, Baylor University president Herbert Reynolds, administrators and faculty, and friends from the U.S.--successfully mobilized and incorporated three foundations: American-Thai Foundation for Education, American-Thai Christian Foundation, and American-Thai Educational Development Foundation, to help with the effort to build the first liberal arts university in Lampang, located in Northern Thailand, and to provide support for education and community development in Thailand.

The three foundations later merged to become American-Thai Foundation.  Working closely with its Thai beneficiary, Yonok Foundation, American-Thai Foundation successfully raised more than US$6 million to create a college campus in the foothills of Doi Prabaht, Lampang, on land donated by Dr. Nirund and his family.

Yonok University opened doors for admission in 1988, presided by the Crown Princess, Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn.  The University has since produced graduates who have established a reputation for well-rounded knowledge and skills--a product of the university's liberal-arts approach to education and the uniquely rich opportunities for leadership and involvement in student activities.  The university is considered to have one of the most beautiful campuses among colleges and universities in Thailand, complete with award-winning modern classroom buildings, auditoriums, dormitories, sport arenas, and impressive landscape conducive for a well-rounded student life. 

Subsequent to founding the university, American-Thai Foundation now supports various programs and scholarships for the university as well as other educational institutions throughout Thailand.

American-Thai Foundation, through its sister organization, Yonok Foundation, continues to promote social change primarily through education, health, and community development in Thailand.

Our latest initiative is to empower Thai students with English proficiency by placing passionate and skilled American teachers in schools in less-developed provinces throughout the country, by launching Teach Thailand Corps in 2011.