Jacques Leider


Jacques P. Leider is a Southeast Asian studies scholar who has specialized in the early modern and contemporary history of Burma/Myanmar. His research foci have been the early modern history of Arakan/Rakhine State, Bay of Bengal history, Buddhist-Muslim relations and the history of Burmese kingship. 

Jacques Leider studied history and Burmese language and civilization in Paris at Sorbonne University and INALCO (Institut national des langues et civilisations orientales, Paris) from 1981 to 1987. He underwent training as a high school teacher in Luxembourg where he taught history, geography and civics for several years. He holds a doctoral degree from the INALCO (Institut national des langues et civilisations orientales, Paris) with a dissertation on the pre-colonial kingdom of Mrauk U in Arakan (now Rakhine State).

  • From 1995 to 1999, he joined the Department of Development Cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Luxembourg. During the time of his assignment in Thailand, he taught as a faculty member of the Department of Western languages at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok.
  • He has been a member of the Ecole française d'Extrême-Orient, EFEO (French School of Asian Studies) since 2001. Between 2001 and 2006, he lived and did research in Yangon (Myanmar).
  • In 2008, he was appointed head of the EFEO Center in Chiang Mai and was in charge of building EFEO's research library on Buddhism and Southeast Asian Studies, inaugurated by HE Princess Sirindhorn in 2011.
  • From 2013-14, he was counsellor at the Embassy of the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg in Bangkok and Deputy Head of Mission for Myanmar, Laos and Malaysia.
  • In the first half of 2015, he was a senior consultant at the UN Resident Coordinator's office in Yangon, advising the UN on issues linked to the Rakhine State crisis. In September 2015, he returned to a teaching assignment with the Ministry of Education in Luxembourg.
  • In January 2017, Jacques P. Leider took up the position of head of the EFEO (Ecole française d'Extrême-Orient/ French Institute of Asian Studies) offices in Bangkok and Yangon.
  • • Since 1 November 2017, Jacques Leider is the scientific coordinator of the Horizon2020, EU-supported project CRISEA (Competing Regional Integrations in Southeast Asia).


Jacques Leider has done extensive historical research and published widely on early modern Myanmar/Burmese history, Buddhist history as well as Bay of Bengal issues and regional contacts between Thailand and Myanmar/Burma.

  • Since 2012, he has participated intensely in the international academic debate on Buddhist-Muslim issues in Myanmar and particularly on the Rohingya issues and the Rakhine State crisis.
  • In May 2015, The Globe and Mail, Canada's biggest daily newspaper, referred to him as the "world's leading authority on the region's history".

Jacques Leider
Jacques Leider

Maître de conférences

Responsable des centres de Bangkok et Yangon

Ecole française d'Extrême-Orient, Bangkok
Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Centre
20 Borommaratchachonnani Road, Taling Chan,
Bangkok 10170 Thaïlande
Tél: +66 2 433 12 68
Fax: +66 2 880 93 32

Ecole française d'Extrême-Orient, Yangon
340, Pyay Road, Sanchaung,
Yangon, Birmanie
Tél: +959 42283 4791