Two Experts to Join the Korea Program as Koret Fellows in Korean Studies

The Korea Program at the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center is pleased to welcome Robert R. King and Victor Cha as Koret fellows in Korean studies during the 2019-20 academic year. Supported by the Koret Foundation, the Koret Fellowship brings leading professionals to Stanford to conduct research on contemporary Korean affairs with the broad aim of strengthening ties between the United States and Korea.

Robert R. King will join the Korea Program as Koret Fellow during the fall quarter of 2019. King served as special envoy for North Korean human rights Issues, an ambassadorial ranked position at the Department of State (2009-2017). The role was established by Congress in the North Korea Human Rights Act with a mandate to “coordinate and promote efforts to improve respect for the fundamental human rights of the people of North Korea.” Since leaving the Department of State, Ambassador King has been senior advisor to the Korea chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a senior fellow at the Korea Economic Institute (KEI), and a board member of the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK).

Earlier, Ambassador King served for 25 years (1983-2008) on Capitol Hill as chief of staff to Congressman Tom Lantos (D-California), and as staff director and minority staff director of the House Foreign Affairs Committee (2001-2008). King received a Ph.D. in International Relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University and a B.A. from Brigham Young University.

Victor Cha, professor of government and international affairs at Georgetown University, will join the Korea Program as the Koret Fellow through the winter quarter of 2020. He is the author of five books, including The Impossible State: North Korea, Past and Future (Haper Collins, 2012) and Powerplay: Origins of the American Alliance System in Asia (Princeton University Press, 2016). He holds Georgetown's Dean's Award for teaching for 2010, the Distinguished Research Award for 2011, and a Distinguished Principal Investigator Award for 2016.

Professor Cha left the White House in 2007 after serving since 2004 as Director for Asian Affairs at the National Security Council, where he was responsible for Japan, the Korean peninsula, Australia/New Zealand, and Pacific Island affairs. He serves as Senior Advisor at CSIS, and is a non-resident Fellow in Human Freedom at the George W. Bush Institute in Dallas, Texas. He received a Ph.D. from Columbia University, M.A. from the University of Oxford, and MIA and B.A. from Columbia University.