East-West Center Oral History Project: Chalintorn Burian

Chalintorn Burian

Chalintorn Neovakul Burian joined the Center as a student in the Culture Learning Institute during 1972-74.  After receiving an M.A. in Linguistics and a M.Ed in Educational Communications and Technology from the University of Hawai'i, she got her Ph.D. in Human and Organizational Systems from the Fielding Institute in California. Burian has worked in the human resource development field for more than 30 years, mostly in Asia and the Pacific. She currently serves as the Southeast Asia regional director of the Institute of International Education, and the U.S. Dept of State's Regional Educational Advising Coordinator for East Asia and the Pacific. Since 1990, Burian has been much involved with the  EWC Association. In 1991 she chaired the program committee for the EWC alumni association international conference in Bangkok and from 1992-1994 she chaired the EWC alumni association board.With her husband, Fred Burian, a former researcher in the Center's Technology and Development Institute, she resides in Bangkok while planning a future retirement compound in Kamuela, Hawaii. Burian expresses deep gratitude for the Center's contributions to her professional and personal life.


Read Burian's interview narrative (pdf)


  • Personal Background
  • Life at EWC - Arrival at EWC - EWC, a Unique Experience - An EWC Marriage -  Host Family Program - Fire in the Dorm
  • Life After EWC - Work with NGOs - Work with HIV/AIDS
  • Ties That Last - Work in International Education - EWCA Involvement - Aging and EWC Network        
  • EWC’s Impact


Interview Quote

"I often told people that I was born twice.  I was born as a person and a human being in 1947. And then in 1972, to the East-West Center experience, I was born again as another human being, a better human being, a human being who knows how to give back to the society and how to make contributions to other people's lives, how to recognize the potentiality in other people, and try to make that (potentiality) happen.  So, that’s the East-West Center for me." 


These narratives, which reflect interviewees’ personal perceptions, opinions and memories, may contain errors of fact. They do not reflect positions or versions of history officially approved by the East-West Center.