[Webinar] Middle Power Powerhouse: South Korea as Global Pivotal State
Mason Richey is a senior contributing writer to Asia Society Korea and an associate professor of international politics at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (Seoul, South Korea). Dr. Richey has also held positions as a POSCO Visiting Research Fellow at the East-West Center (Honolulu, HI) and a DAAD Scholar at the University of Potsdam.
His research focuses on U.S. and European foreign and security policy as applied to the Asia-Pacific. Recent scholarly articles have appeared (inter alia) in Pacific Review, Asian Security, Global Governance, and Foreign Policy Analysis. Shorter analyses and opinion pieces have been published in War on the Rocks, Le Monde, the Sueddeutsche Zeitung, and Forbes, among other venues.
Dr. Richey received his Ph.D. from Binghamton University, New York.
Watch Dr. Richey's recent conversation with Dr. Van Jackson about security, economy, and policy toward the Asia-Pacific.
Maria Castillo Fernandez, European diplomat/official of Spanish nationality, now Ambassador of the European Union to the Republic of Korea, previously EU Ambassador in Malaysia from 2016-2020, Head of Division for India, Nepal, Bhutan, and Bangladesh since September 2012 at the European External Action Service of the European Union, in charge of managing and coordinating the European Union's overall relations with these South Asian countries as well as with the South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).
From 2008 to September 2012, posted in Hong Kong, representing the EU as the Head of the Office of the European Union accredited to Hong Kong and Macao SARs.
From September 2005-2008, she worked as Deputy Head of Mission at the EU Delegation in Seoul (Republic of Korea) in charge of EU political relations and economic cooperation activities with the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
Prior to this, Ms Castillo was responsible, in Brussels, for the European Commission’s overall relations with the Korean Peninsula, including both Republic of Korea and DPRK (2000-2005).
An extensive career in the European Commission also included posting as:
- Desk Officer for relations with Russia (1996-2000) in charge of implementing the European political and economic relations with Russia;
- Legal Advisor and manager of research programmes in the field of exchanges and mobility of EU scientists and research networks (1990-1996);
- Legal Advisor in charge of thematic human rights issues, with publications on the right of children under European law in the European Law Review (1989).
Ms Castillo completed postgraduate studies in European law, economics and international relations with two masters, one at the College of Europe (Bruges, Belgium) and a second at the Institute of European Studies (Strasbourg, France) following a degree in law from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain).
Her mother tongue is Spanish but she is fluent in English and French, with good knowledge of German and Dutch and passive knowledge of Portuguese and Italian. She has some notions of Mandarin and Korean from her postings abroad.
Ms Castillo was decorated with the Cruz de Oficial de la Orden del Mérito Civil by the King of Spain on 24 June 2008 for strengthening relations between the EU and the Korean Peninsula.
Lee Shin Wha is a Professor in the Department of Political Science and International Relations at Korea Univeristy; President of Korean Academic Council on the United Nations System; Chair of Evaluation Committee of the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs; International advisory member of the Asia-Pacific Center for Responsibility to Protect; and a Member of Trilateral Commission.
Her previous positions include Post-doc fellow at Harvard University’s Center for International Affairs (CFIA); Special advisor to UNSG Kofi Annan’s Rwandan Independent Inquiry; Visiting scholar at MIT’s Center for International Studies (CIS); UN Secretary General's Advisory Group Member of Peacebuilding Fund (PBF); and Member of Committee on Public Diplomacy, Republic of Korea.
She received her Ph.D. from University of Maryland at College Park. Her numerous publications including Human Security and Cross-Border Cooperation in East Asia (Palgrave McMillan 2019), Foreign Policy Dilemma in South Korean Democracy”(Routledge 2021), and the UN, Indo-Pacfic and Korean Peninsula (Routledge 2022 forthcoming) cover East Asian multilateral security and foreign policies, UN security roles, and human security.
Oh Joon serves as a board member of Asia Society Korea and is a professor of United Nations studies at Kyung Hee University in Seoul, Korea. He is also the chair of Save the Children Korea and President of the Korea Council of Children's Organizations.
Previously he was Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations in New York from 2013 to 2016. During that time, he also served as the 71st president of the Economic and Social Council and as president of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2015 and 2016.
Before that, he was the Korean ambassador to Singapore (2010–13) and deputy minister for multilateral and global affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Seoul (2008–10). The Korean government twice awarded him the Order of Service Merit, in 1996 and 2006. In 2018, Oh received a Global Korea Award from Michigan State University. Rehabilitation International gave him a Global Presidential Award in 2016 in acknowledgment of his achievements as president of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. He also received the 2014 Youngsan Diplomat of the Year award for his work on North Korean human rights issues.
He published his first book in Korean, For Mica, Who Contemplates Life, in 2015. He received a master’s degree in international policy studies from Stanford University in 1991.