A Thai expert on digital transformation has been elected new secretary general of SIGNIS, the global association of Catholic communicators, during its general assembly this month
“I am grateful that Peter Monthienvichienchai accepted the nomination and that our assembly overwhelmingly approved his election,” Helen Osman, SIGNIS president, said in a report on Radio Veritas Asia.
SIGNIS, or the World Catholic Association for Communication, is recognized by the Vatican as an International Association of the Faithful with the mission to “help transform cultures in the light of the Gospel by promoting human dignity, justice, and reconciliation.”
It has consultative status with UNESCO, the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, in Geneva and New York, and the Council of Europe.
“Peter joins the executive team at a very critical moment for the Church and for SIGNIS,” said Osman.
“His generosity in bringing his talents and expertise to SIGNIS at a time when we are expanding our vision of what it means to be the worldwide association of Catholic communication professionals tells me he has the heart and mind of a servant leader,” she added.
Monthienvichienchai has expressed readiness to meet the challenges facing Catholic communicators today by “building on the tremendous legacy” of his predecessors.
He said the recent SIGNIS’ World Congress in Seoul “showed the multitude of pressing challenges facing Catholic communicators.”
“I look forward to meeting those challenges by building on the tremendous legacy of my predecessors and the achievements of our members through digital transformation,” he said in the Radio Veritas Asia interview.
He also vowed to continue “the celebration of our diversity while remaining united in our mission to live the Gospel through our work as Catholic communicators.”
“It is truly my privilege to be appointed as secretary general of SIGNIS,” said Monthienvichienchai, citing the potential of an organization that is “united in its mission to support the Church, to fight misinformation and to be the voice and hope of the voiceless.”
Monthienvichienchai was educated by the Benedictines at Ampleforth College in the United Kingdom.
He has a doctorate in Computer Science with a specialization in Educational Technology from University College London. He later developed his expertise in digital transformation and industry disruption.
As chief research officer, he led culturally diverse and geographically distributed teams of 22 European organizations in an EU-funded research project.
He has also served as chief information officer of one of the largest private education institutions in Thailand and led strategic and technical transformation toward cloud infrastructure.
He co-founded LiCAS News, one of the newest and most engaged Catholic regional news publishers in Asia that offers “solutions journalism” with a focus on Catholic solutions to chronic social issues.
Even before the pandemic, LiCAS News, through the leadership of Monthienvichienchai, already implemented a no-office structure with staff working from home or co-working spaces, reducing the daily operational costs while still maintaining the same output and team cohesion.