Yeo Han-koo is a non-resident Distinguished Fellow at the Asia Society Policy Institute. Yeo capped off almost three decades of public service as Trade Minister of the Republic of Korea in the final year of the Moon Jae-in presidency.
A veteran international trade negotiator and policy-making practitioner, over the course of his career, he was involved in many bilateral and multilateral trade negotiations as chief negotiators for CPTPP, RCEP, Korea-U.K. FTA, Korea-Central America FTA, Korea-Indonesia CEPA, Korea-the Philippines FTA and participated in developing IPEF from the start. For the last several years, Yeo has been at the forefront of a rapidly changing new global trade and investment environment and participated in shaping global discussions. While serving as Commercial Attache at the Korean Embassy in Washington D.C., he was involved in amendment negotiations of Korea-US FTA and Section 232 steel negotiations. As Korean Minister of Trade, he oversaw trade and investment portfolio covering not only conventional trade negotiations, but also export control and investment screening. Yeo led negotiations for Korea’s export control measures against Russia tied to the war in Ukraine. In the early years of his career, he was also detailed to the International Finance Corporation as senior investment policy officer, working on international development projects such as improving investment climate and developing low-carbon green zones in developing countries.
A graduate of Seoul National University, where he currently serves as visiting professor at the SNU Business School, teaching international trade, negotiation and economic security issues, he holds a MBA from Harvard Business School and MPA from Harvard’s Kennedy School.