Thant Myint-U was born in New York City in 1966 to Burmese parents and was educated at Harvard and Cambridge University, where he completed his PhD in history in 1996.
He has served on three United Nations peacekeeping operations, in Cambodia and in the former Yugoslavia, as well as six years with the UN Secretariat in NY, including as the head of policy planning in the Department of Political Affairs.
He has also taught modern history for several years as a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, and is the author of three books, The Making of Modern Burma, The River of Lost Footsteps: A Personal History of Burma, and, most recently, Where China Meets India: Burma and the New Crossroads of Asia, which was short-listed for the Asia Society's Bernard Schwartz Book Award in 2012.
He is currently a member of the (Myanmar) National Economic and Social Advisory Council, a Special Advisor to the Myanmar Peace Centre, the Chairman of the Yangon Heritage Trust and the Vice-Chairman of the World Economic Forum's South East Asia Council. He divides his time between Yangon (Rangoon) and Bangkok.
He was named by Foreign Policy magazine as one of the "100 Leading Global Thinkers" of 2013.