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North Korea expert selected as 2018-19 Koret Fellow


jong suk textile company in north korea
An employee of the Kim Jong Suk textile factory goes about her work.
Photo credit: 
Andray Abrahamian (2015)

Andray Abrahamian will be the 2018-19 Koret Fellow in the Korea Program at Stanford’s Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center (APARC). Abrahamian has been Executive Director and Director of Research for Choson Exchange, a non-profit that has trained over 2000 North Koreans in entrepreneurship and economic policy since 2010. His work for Choson Exchange and other projects has taken him to North Korea 30 times. He has also lived in Myanmar, allowing him the ability to conduct field research for his new book, North Korea and Myanmar: Divergent Paths (2018, McFarland). Divergent Paths asks how Myanmar came to end its isolation, while North Korea has yet not. 

“When it comes to North Korea, Dr. Abrahamian has been very active both as an academic and on the ground. He has genuine hands-on experience of working with North Koreans from his numerous trips to the country. In this important period of flux for North Korea’s place on the world stage, we welcome Dr. Abrahamian as 2018-19 Koret Fellow, and look forward to his meaningful contributions to our activities.” “His experience and understanding of North Korea will be a great asset to our program,” Gi-Wook Shin, director of APARC said.

As the 2018-19 Koret Fellow, Abrahamian will research the economic relations of North Korea during changing geopolitical conditions as well as entrepreneurship in North Korea as it relates to communities of Koreans abroad. He also plans to write a general readership book that explains contemporary North Korean society. While at Stanford, he will teach a course on contemporary North Korean society and engage in public talks and conferences on Korea issues. During his fellowship, Abrahamian will also help organize the Koret Workshop, an international conference held annually at Stanford University.

Abrahamian is an Honorary Fellow at Macquarie University, Sydney, and an Adjunct Fellow at the Griffith Asia Institute. He is a frequent contributor to, a website focused on North Korea analysis, and is a member of the US National Committee on North Korea. Andray holds a PhD from the University of Ulsan and an MA from the University of Sussex in International Relations. He has taught courses at Yangon University and Ulsan University. 

Supported by the Koret Foundation, the 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.