Kyungsook Lee » Global Korean Leaders Foundation

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Kyungsook Lee

Chairwoman Asan Nanum Foundation


Dr. Kyung-Sook Lee is currently the Chairwoman of Asan Nanum Foundation, the largest public welfare foundation based in South Korea. She was the former President of Sookmyung Women’s University (SWU) from 1994 to 2008, being re-elected multiple times and serving four consecutive terms. While serving as the President, she helped transform SWU and shaped it to become one of the finest universities in South Korea. Prior to her position as the President of SWU, she was also a Professor and later Dean in the Department of Political Science and International Relations and worked at the university since 1976. Dr. Lee was also one of the early few female National Assemblymembers, serving in the Korean National Assembly from 1981 to 1985. On December 25, 2007, she was also appointed to serve on the 17th Presidential Transition Committee under President Lee Myung-bak.

Dr. Lee has held numerous positions and has served in the field of education (President of Sookmyung Women’s University), business (Co-President of Corporation Creativity & Innovation), media (Commissioner of Korean Broadcasting Commission), government (National Assemblymember), non-profit (Chairperson of Korean Red Cross) and foreign affairs (Advisor of Ministry of Foreign Affairs) and played a critical role in shaping Korea to be one of the most advanced nations in the world. She has also received countless recognitions and awards for her work and accomplishments, including the Award for Unanimity and Solidarity of Korean Churches by All Korean Missionary Association, Order of Civil Merit, the Chungjo Kunchung by the President of the Republic of Korea, and the CEO of the Year Award in 2002 presented by the Korea Management Association.

Dr. Lee received her B.A. in Political Science & International Relations and her M.A. in Political Science from Sookmyung Women’s University in South Korea in 1965 and 1967, respectively. She furthered her studies in the United States and received her M.A. in Political Science from the University of Kansas in 1971 and her Ph.D. in International Politics & Comparative Politics at the University of South Carolina in 1975. In addition, she has received numerous Honorary Degrees from universities worldwide, including the Doctor of Administration from Chinese Culture University in China (2009), Doctor of Humane Letters from the Philippine Women’s University in the Philippines (2006), Doctor of Humane Letters from The Macalester College in the United States (2003), and the Doctor of Education from St. Petersburg State University in Russia (1994).

Dr. Lee is a devout Christian who has dedicated her life in serving God and people. She is very passionate about working with young people and has a life mission of building servant leaders to change the world to be a better place.