About Cambodia New Premier Hun Manet

Hun Manet, Cambodia New Premier 2023

Hun Manet was born on 20 October 1977 in Koh Thmar Village, Memot District, Kampong Cham Province during the Khmer Rouge rule of Cambodia as the second son of Hun Sen and Bun Rany.

He grew up and received his General Education in Phnom Penh and later joined the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces in 1995, the same year he entered the United States Military Academy at West Point. Having received his diploma in May 1999, Hun Manet became the first Cambodian graduate of the Academy. He is the first Cambodia alumnus of the academy, and one of only seven foreign cadets to graduate that year. Upon graduation from West Point, he received his bachelor’s degree in Economics and a commission as Lieutenant in the Royal Cambodian Army. He also received his Master of Arts in Economics from New York University, US, in 2002, and a PhD in Economics from University of Bristol, United Kingdom, in 2008.

He received appointment as the Commander of Cambodia’s National Counter-Terrorism Special Forces with the rank of Colonel in 2008, with the responsibility to help build Cambodia’s capability to fight against terrorism. He earned the rank of Lieutenant General in June 2013, shortly after being named Deputy Commander of the Royal Cambodian Army and Deputy Chief of Joint Staff of the Royal Cambodian Arm Force. During the 2008-2011 Cambodia-Thai confrontation, Hun Manet played a prominent role in negotiations to end the stand-off. He is also very involved with the reforming process of the RCAF, especially focusing on young military officers and soldiers. Apart from professional military duties, he is actively involved with many social programs. He is the Chief of the Samdech Techo Hun Sen Scholarship Committee and the Samdech Techo Scholarship Association, which provides scholarship opportunities to thousands of Cambodian youths to study at universities across Cambodia.

He is also the chairman of the Board of Directors of the Samdech Techo Youth Volunteer Doctor Association (TYDA), which mobilizes thousands of medical professionals, medical students, and volunteers to help provide free healthcare to rural Cambodians throughout the country. He is also engaged with several other activities to promote humanitarian activities for orphanages and handicaps. He is married to Pich Chanmony.

On 30 June 2018, weeks before the parliamentary elections, Hun Sen appointed his second eldest son, Hun Manet, into higher military positions in a bid to prepare his son for the premiership when he retires in politics or dies, effectively solidifying the Hun political dynasty in Cambodia. He has been mentioned by Hun Sen as his potential successor.

Hun Manet was appointed prime minister by royal decree on Monday 07 August and is poised to be sworn in on Aug. 22, following last month’s one-sided election. With the 45-year-old now taking the helm, many Cambodians are wondering what the rare moment of change will mean for the country. He is a trained economist and an experienced general.