Kathleen Stephens, Former U.S. Ambassador to South Korea
Ambassador Stephens was a career diplomat in the U.S. Foreign Service from 1978 to 2015 and assumed leadership of the Washington, D.C.,-based Korea Economic Institute in 2018. As U.S. ambassador to South Korea from 2008 to 2011, she was the first woman and first Korean speaker to serve in that position. Stephens has held a number of policy positions at the State Department and White House, including overseas assignments in China, the former Yugoslavia, Portugal, Northern Ireland and India. She has four decades of experience in Korean affairs, first as a Peace Corps volunteer in rural Korea in the 1970s. Stephens has also held academic positions at Stanford University, Georgetown University and the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in Seoul. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in East Asian studies from Prescott College and a Master of Public Administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School.
Photo courtesy of the U.S. State Department