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College of Liberal Arts

University of Mississippi

South Korean Ambassador to the U.S. to Speak Friday at Ford Center Studio Theatre

His Excellency Han Duk-soo, ambassador of the Republic of Korea to the United States, will lecture on “U.S.-Korean Relations: Past, Present and Future” Friday (Oct. 28) at the University of Mississippi.

Chancellor Dan Jones is hosting Han’s appearance, which begins at 10:30 a.m. in the Studio Theatre of the Ford Center for the Performing Arts. Admission is free, but seating is limited so early arrival is recommended. “It is a great privilege to host at the University of Mississippi the ambassador to the United States of America from the Republic of Korea, Ambassador Han Duk-soo,” Jones said. “We are excited to have the ambassador in Mississippi and, especially, at the university. This visit provides an opportunity for us to build on our already strong relationship with the people of Korea.”

The ambassador will also meet UM Korean students and scholars during his visit. Administrators encourage the community to join the students for this rare opportunity.

“We have put an enormous amount of effort in the past decade or so in becoming more international, and this is a reflection of that effort,” said Kees Gispen, executive director of the university’s Croft Institute for International Studies. “Chancellor Jones has had a great deal contact with Korean officials, which helped bring about this event, showing the world how the university can be more relevant than it has been in the past. We’re building up our knowledge about Korea, and they’re interested in us as well.”

“SMB Honors students always enjoy engaging citizen scholars in our world,” said Doug Sullivan-González, dean of the UM Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College. “Ambassador Dr. Han Duk-soo, with his Ph.D. in economics from Harvard and his commitment to his beloved South Korea, has aptly demonstrated with his life and academic commitment to be such a citizen scholar.”

Han became South Korea’s ambassador to the United States in January 2009. He received his bachelor’s degree in economics from Seoul National University and his master’s and doctorate in economics from Harvard University. Before his present appointment, Han served as secretary to the president for economic affairs, vice minister at the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, and assistant minister for international trade.

He advanced to become minister for trade at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, ambassador to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, president of the Korea Institute for Industrial Economics and Trade and chairman of the presidential committee on Facilitating KORUS FTA.

Han served as the 38th prime minister of South Korea and a commissioner on the Commission on Growth and Development, created by the World Bank to review and reformulate the Washington Consensus. In early 2008, the commission’s final report, The Growth Report, was published, examining the top 13 fastest-growing economies to discern key policies and strategies that can be applied to developing countries.