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KEI Spotlight

Ambassador Kathleen Stephens Appointed Chair of KEI Advisory Council

May 4, 2016


May 2, 2016 | Washington, DC – The Korea Economic Institute of America is pleased to announce that Ambassador Kathleen Stephens will serve as the new chair of the KEI Advisory Council.

“We are deeply honored to have Ambassador Stephens as the new chair of our Advisory Council,” said KEI President Donald Manzullo. “She has had a distinguished career in helping build bridges between the United States and South Korea, which fits in perfectly with our goals here at KEI.”

Stephens served in the U.S. Foreign Service for 35 years and was the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Korea from 2008-2011. Her other overseas posts included India, China, the former Yugoslavia, and Northern Ireland, where she led the U.S. diplomatic team during the peace process negotiations. She was Acting Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs in 2012, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and the Pacific (2005-2007), and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs (2003-2005), leading negotiations on post-conflict issues in the Balkans.  She was Director for European Affairs at the National Security Council during the Clinton Administration.

Her connection with Korea spans decades, starting with her time as a Peace Corps volunteer in South Korea in the 1970s. Her Korea-related awards include Hangeul Goodwill Ambassador,  Outstanding Achievement Award from the American Chamber of Commerce in Korea, the Korean government’s Kwanghwa Medal of Diplomatic Merit, and the Sejong Cultural Award.

Stephens is now the William J. Perry Distinguished Fellow at Stanford University’s Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center (APARC).  She is a trustee at The Asia Foundation.

"I have long admired and benefitted from KEI's efforts to deepen understanding and cooperation between the United States and Korea.  I am honored to chair the Advisory Council and look forward to working together to deepen this important relationship even further."

KEI’s Advisory Council is made up of more than 20 esteemed American and Korean experts in the public, private and academic sectors who volunteer their time to provide informal advice to KEI’s president and staff on the future direction of KEI’s activities. The Council meets annually to discuss critical issues affecting the U.S.-Korea relationship.

The most recent meeting of KEI’s Advisory Council took place in Washington, DC on May 2.

For media inquiries, please contact Jenna Gibson at