2022 Korea’s Emerging Female Trade Leaders Program
The Asia Society Policy Institute's Building Trade Ties with South Korea’s Emerging Female Leaders program offers the opportunity for female professionals from the Republic of Korea with interest and experience in international trade to participate in an intensive professional development program. The program focuses on developing skills and competencies for trade negotiations and working in the trade field more broadly. It seeks to deepen understanding of trade negotiations and policymaking, while providing mentorship and guidance for women’s empowerment in the workplace.
Building on the successes of the inaugural cohort in 2019 and virtual program in 2021, and with the generous support of the Korea Foundation, ASPI continued the program for a third year. This included an intensive 10-day long program in the United States featuring meetings and conversations with various inspiring current and former U.S. officials, trade experts, and female leaders in finance, the media, and tech sectors in Washington, D.C., New York City, and San Francisco/Silicon Valley.
The Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI) was pleased to host the third cohort of the Emerging Female Leaders Program, which included:
- Ara Cho, Manager of the International Cooperation Department, Korea International Trade Association (KITA)
- Eun-Young Jeong, Economic Specialist, U.S. Embassy Seoul
- Dewjeong Lee, Deputy Director of the Americas Division, Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy (MOTIE)
- Yuseong Lee, Deputy Director of Strategic Analysis and Coordination Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA)
- Hee Eun Mun, Research Associate, Lee & Ko Global Commerce Institute
- Mikyeong Won, Deputy Director of the FTA Policy Planning Division, Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy (MOTIE)
Washington, D.C. (July 11 – July 13)
For the first leg of the program, the Emerging Female Leaders traveled to Washington, D.C. from Seoul to participate in sessions with former and current officials in the U.S. government and trade experts in the private sector. During these meetings, the group deepened their understanding of international trade negotiations, bilateral trade relations between the U.S. and South Korea, and the trade policy process in the United States. Furthermore, participants were able to examine the roles of Congress and various stakeholders in international trade.
In Washington, D.C., participants joined a training workshop on Negotiations 101 with Wendy Cutler, Vice President of ASPI and former Acting Deputy U.S. Trade Representative. The group also met with senior, female trade experts including Jennifer Hillman, former Member of the WTO Appellate Body, Donna Welton, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Security Agreements and Foreign Affairs at the Department of State, Tami Overby, Former President of the U.S.-Korea Business Council, and Anna Ashton, Senior Fellow for Trade, Investment and Innovation at ASPI.
Participants also had the opportunity to meet with Maria Choi, Director for Korea Affairs at The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), and former USTR officials now senior leaders in the private sector including, Elissa Alben, Vice President and Head of Global Trade Policy and International Government Relations at Pfizer, Arrow Augerot, Head of International Trade Policy in the Americas at Amazon, Behnaz Kibria, Senior Policy Counsel at Google, and Catherine Novelli, Senior Advisor at Shearwater Global and Former Vice President of World Wide Government Affairs at Apple.
In D.C. ASPI also partnered with the Korea Economic Institute to hold a networking reception with the trade and foreign policy community in D.C., which included remarks by Ambassador Kathleen Stephens and Wendy Cutler.
New York City (July 13 - 17)
Following Washington, D.C., the group traveled to New York, where they visited the Asia Society headquarters and met with prominent women in finance and the media. During these sessions, the group shared experiences with successful women and learned strategies for advancing in the workplace and overcoming challenges, including how to ensure that their voices are heard among their male peers, how to develop a professional network, viewing diversity as an asset, being comfortable with taking risks, and balancing work/life demands.
The group toured ABC studios and met with award-winning, Korean-American T.V. anchor of ABC News Juju Chang, as well as Shery Ahn from Bloomberg. From the private sector, the group also joined lunches hosted by a group of senior Blackstone Group executives and Asia Society Trustee Lulu C. Wang of Tupelo Capital where the women shared their personal advice on moving up in the workplace in male dominated fields.
Participants were able to meet with leaders from the diplomatic and international affairs community including representatives from the U.S. Mission to the United Nations and Dr. Jemimah Njuki, Chief of Economic Empowerment at UN Women. The group also joined a dinner hosted by Korean Consul General Ambassador Byung Hwa Chung. Additionally, the women met with representatives from local government including Aissata Camara, Deputy Commissioner and Chief of Staff at the New York City Mayor’s Office for International Affairs, and Linda Lee, the first Korean-American New York City Council Member to hold office.
San Francisco / Silicon Valley (July 18 - 20)
After spending the weekend in New York, the group flew to San Francisco for the final leg of the trip. With the support of Asia Society Northern California (ASNC) Executive Director Margaret Conley and her staff, the group had meetings with Susan Zetzer, Managing Director of Advisory & Tax Services at KPMG, Iku Fujimatsu, Vice President for Cross-Border & Strategic Initiatives for Visa, and Mark Chandler, the Director of the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Global Engagement.
The group also joined an engaging VIP reception and public program organized by ASNC on the 10th Anniversary of the ROK-U.S. Free Trade Agreement, featuring remarks from Ambassador Sang-Soo Yoon, the Korean Consul General of San Francisco, and a panel discussion with Ambassador Jong-Hoon Kim, the Former Trade Minister for the Republic of Korea.
The group also took a trip to Silicon Valley to visit Google’s campus in Mountainview, where the 2022 cohort took a tour and met with members of the trade policy team including James Green, former Minister Counselor for Trade Affairs at USTR and now Google’s Director of Government Affairs and Public Policy, Kareem Ghanem, Director of Government Affairs and Public Policy, and Louise Bohmann, Director of Risk and Compliance.
Additionally, the participants visited Samsung’s Campus in San Jose, where they met with Jae (Jaeheon) Jeong, Executive Vice President of Samsung Electronics and President of Device Solutions, and other executives, and took a tour of the facilities. Throughout the visit, participants learned about Samsung’s R&D, semiconductors, and other innovative technologies the company is spearheading in Silicon Valley.