Research, ideas, and interdisciplinary approach
for low-carbon and sustainable development​


Senior Advisor

Suk-Woo Kim
Chairman, Seoul International Law Academy & Former Vice Minister, Ministry of Unification of ROK
  • 19671B.A. College of Law, Seoul National University
  • 19701M.A. Graduate School, Seoul National University
  • 1978-791International Center, Keio University, Tokyo
  • 1985-861Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University
  • 2013-Member of the Presidential Advisory Committee on National Security
  • 2004-President, National Development Institute, Seoul
  • 2004-07Professor, Cheonan University
  • 2002-04Chief of Staff to the Speaker Park Kwan-yong of the National Assembly
  • 1998-02Senior Visiting Fellow, CSIS, Washington, D.C.
  • 1996-98Vice Minister, Ministry of National Unification
  • 1993-96Senior Secretary to the President Kim Young-sam, Blue House
  • 1991-92Director-General, Asian Affairs Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • 1986-89Political Counsellor, Korean Embassy, Tokyo
  • 1983-85Director, Japan Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • 1975-77Second Secretary, Korean Embassy, Washington, D.C.
  • 2003Order of Public Service Merit - Yellow Stripes Medal
  • 1992Order of Diplomatic Service Merit - Soongrye Medal
  • 1984Order of Public Service Merit - Red Stripes Medal
Kak-Soo Shin
Former Vice Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of ROK
Basic Data

Ambassador Shin Kak-Soo was born on January 16th, 1955 in Young-dong County, Choongbook Province, Korea. He is married with one son and one daughter, and a catholic.


Ambassador Shin graduated from the College of Law at Seoul National University (SNU) in February 1977. He then earned a master’s degree (LLM) in international law from the Graduate School of Law at SNU in February 1979. In 1983 he studied Japanese at the International Center of Japan’s Keio University, and moved to the Department of Law at Tokyo University, majoring in international law in 1984. In August 1991 he earned a S.J.D from the Graduate School of Law at SNU.

Diplomatic Career

In May 1975 Ambassador Shin passed the High Diplomatic Service Examination, and in January 1977 he joined the ministry of foreign affairs. Ambassador Shin started his work at the international legal affairs division and treaties division in the treaties bureau as assistant director from 1977 to 1985.

In January 1986 Ambassador Shin was assigned as first secretary to the Embassy of the Republic of Korea to Japan for three years, and in March 1989 he came back as deputy director of the Japan division at the Asian and Pacific affairs bureau. In February 1990 he was appointed advisor to the vice-minister for foreign affairs, and in August 1993 he was promoted to director of the Japan division at the Asian and Pacific affairs bureau.

Ambassador Shin served as advisor to the foreign minister for the year of 1995. He was then transferred to the Korean Mission to the United Nations in 1996 and worked there as counselor for three years. Following this, Ambassador Shin was assigned to the Korean Embassy to the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka as minister-counselor for two years.

In February 2001 he became deputy director-general for the East Asia Study Group at the Asian Pacific affairs bureau, and in January 2002 he was named director-general of the treaties Bureau. After two years of service as legal advisor, he was appointed as dputy permanent representative at the Korean Mission to the United Nations in March 2004.

In February 2006, Ambassador Shin was appointed as ambassador to the State of Israel. After two and half years of service in Israel, he came back to take up the post of second vice-minister in charge of functional affairs in the foreign ministry in July 2008. In November 2009, he was promoted to first vice-minister taking charge of regional affairs. He completed his service as first vice-minister in February 2011. Three months later he came back as ambassador to Japan, and served there for two years until May 2013.

Other Positions

Ambassador Shin taught cadets international law and military criminal law as instructor in the department of law at the Korea Military Academy from 1979 to 1982. He also held the position of instructor in the department of diplomacy at Sogang University in Seoul, Republic of Korea from 1981 to 1982. From 1991 to 1993, Ambassador Shin researched as a visiting fellow at the Asia-Pacific Research Center of Stanford University in the United States. He also served as director of the Global Green Growth Institute, making contributions during its initial stage of creation in 2010. Ambassador Shin actively participated in joint programs on promotion and dissemination of international humanitarian law in East Asia that were organized by the ICRC. He was briefly a visiting scholar at the School of International Studies of the Peking University before being assigned to ambassador to Japan in 2011. He joined the Korean National Diplomatic Academy as a professor in charge of its International Law Center in November 2013. Since December 2013, he has also been affiliated at the Institute of Japanese Studies at the Seoul National University as a special research fellow.


Ambassador Shin is a member of the Korean Society of International Law and the Korean Society of International Humanitarian Law. He is also a board member of the Community Chest of Korea and an advisor to the Citizen’s Alliance for North Korean Human Rights.


Ambassador Shin has written many articles on various issues in international law, Asian Affairs, international organizations and North Korea in academic journals. He also contributed many articles to newspapers and periodicals.

Ho-Young Ahn
Former Vice Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of ROK

Ambassador Ahn is a former diplomat of the Republic of Korea. In Seoul, he used to work as Director-General for Trade, Deputy Minister for Trade and the First Vice Foreign Minister at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. He also used to work as Director-General for Economic Cooperation at the Ministry of Finance and Economy and as a Sherpa to the President of the country for G-20, G-7 outreach meetings and the APEC. The two foreign postings where he served as an Ambassador were the Brussels, where he represented Korea to the EU, Belgium and NATO concurrently, and Washington DC.

After leaving the government services in 2017, Ambassador Ahn teaches at Korea and Kyungnam Universities and consults Korean businesses.

Ambassador Ahn studied international relations at the Seoul National University (BA) and the Georgetown University (MS). He also studied law at the Korea Open University (LLB) and the Georgetown University (LLM).

Jong-Soo Yoon
Former Vice Minister and Deputy Minister, Ministry of Environment of ROK

Dr. Jong Soo Yoon is currently the senior advisor in the field of environment of the Kim & Chang Law Firm.

He is the former Vice-Minister and Deputy Minister of Environment of Korea and an environmental expert in sustainable development. With over 25 years at the Ministry of Environment, he has focused on the establishment and delivery of policies through various projects in climate change, circular economy, water and sanitation and many other issues. He played a pivotal role in the successful establishment of the second National Strategy for Sustainable Development (2011-2015).

He is the former Head of the United Nations Office for Sustainable Development(UNOSD) based in Incheon, S. Korea. Dr. Yoon graduated from Seoul National University and is a PhD holder in Environmental Engineering from University of Seoul.

Chong-ho Park
Former Minister of Korea Forest Service of ROK
  • 2008 Ph.D. in Forestry, Chungnam National University
  • 1997 M.S. in Forestry Policy, Michigan State University
  • 1987 B.A. in Forestry, Seoul National University
  • 2019.12 - 2021. 3 Minister, Korea Forest Service(KFS)
  • 2018 - 2019 Deputy Minister, Korea Forest Service
  • 2018 Chief Delegate of the Sectoral Meeting on Inter-Korean Forestry Cooperation
  • 2017 - 2018 Director General, Planning and Coordination Bureau, KFS
  • 2017 Director General, Forest Welfare, KFS
  • 2015 - 2017 Director General, Forest Use Bureau, KFS
  • 2012 - 2015 Acting / Vice Executive Director, Asian Forest Cooperation Organization (AFoCO)
  • 2011 - 2012 Director General, Forest Resources Policy Bureau, KFS
  • 2010 - 2011 Deputy Director General, International Forest Cooperation Office, KFS
  • 2007 - 2010 Director, International Cooperation and Resources Team, KFS
  • 2004 - 2007 First Secretary (Foresetry Attache), Korean Embassy in Indonesia
  • 2003 - 2004 Director, Private Forest Assistance Bureau, KFS
  • 2001 - 2003 Executive Secretary to the Minister, KFS
  • 1999 - 2001 Senior Deputy Director, Resources Development Division, KFS
  • 1994 - 1995 Director, Project Development Division, Andong Forest Center, KFS
  • 1991 – 1994 Deputy Director, Forest Management Division, KFS
  • 1989 The Public Administration Examination (Technical, the 25th by ordinal number)
  • 2008 Order of Service Merit, Red Stripes
  • 1999 Green Public Service Award
  • 2012 Co-authoring ‘North Korea Reforestation’ (Seoul National University)

Senior Fellow

Minho LEE
Senior Adviser, Yulchon LLC
Adjunct Professor, International School of Urban Sciences, University of Seoul

Dr. Minho LEE is a Professor in the Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, Kyung Hee University in Korea, focusing on academia-industry cooperation (since 2017). He teaches theory on environmental policy and Korea’s experience in environmental administration to students from across the world, including Africa, Asia and South America. His major research interests are on environment and climate change policy in Korea. Dr. Lee is also a Steering Committee member for the Specialized Graduate School for Climate Change in Kyung Hee University, one of few such specialized schools designated by the Korea Environment Corporation and the Ministry of Environment.

Previously, Dr. Lee worked in the Ministry of Environment for more than 25 years, addressing issues related to climate change, air quality management, nature conservation, chemicals safety and international cooperation. His latest positions included Spokesman for the Ministry of Environment and Deputy Minister of Environmental Policy. Dr. Lee also served as the Deputy Secretary to the President of Korea on Environmental Policies and Green Growth. Among other achievement during his public service, he contributed to the development of national policies on climate change, setting up the Emission Trading System in Korea (K-ETS) and the Five-year National Climate Change Adaptation Plan.

Hee Jung Lee
Professor (Administrative Law, Environmental Law), School of Law, Korea University

Prof. Hee Jung Lee is Professor in the area of administrative law, ICT law as well as environmental law at the School of Law, Korea University. Her major academic interest is in the effective and reasonable regulation of private entrepreneurs' behavior to increase public interest in the public utilities industry, platform industry, as well as diminishing environmentally harmful activities. Alternative Dispute Resolution in environmental disputes has been also of her research interest. At present, she is serving as a member of the Personal Information Protection Commission of Korea and of Environmental Damage Compensation Committee in the Ministry of Environment.

Founder & Director

Suh-Yong Chung
Professor, Division of International Studies, Korea University

Dr. Suh-Yong Chung is Professor in the Division of International Studies at Korea University and Director of Center for Climate and Sustainable Development Law and Policy (CSDLAP). Dr. Chung is an international expert on governance and institution building on various fields. His research covers emerging issues in the environment and sustainable development such as climate change, marine environment, biodiversity, nuclear security, and human security both at global and regional level. His most recent works focus on low carbon development, institution building of a new climate change regime under the Paris Agreement, and regional environmental institution building in Northeast Asia, and capacity building for developing countries.

Dr. Chung appeared in numerous international conferences and meetings hosted by various institutions including but not limited to Stanford University, Harvard University, Fudan University, Hawassa University in Ethiopia, Mongolian International University, French Institute of International Relations (Ifri), IDDRI (Institute of Sustainable Development and International Relations), Brookings Institutions, New York based Asia Society and the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI). He also served the Council (governing body) of the Global Green Growth Institute as a non-state Member, the UN Basel Convention as a Vice Chair of the Compliance Committee and the UNDP/GEF Yellow Sea Large Marine Ecosystem Project as the Chair of Regional Governance Working Group. He has also participated in various activities of other international organizations including the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Asia Europe Foundation, United Nations Office of Sustainable Development (UNOSD) and Green Climate Fund (GCF). He is currently a listed Panelist under the Sustainable Development Chapter of Korea-EU FTA.

At the governmental level, he has also advised on international law and policy issues in Korea for various ministries and other governmental agencies. Currently He serves the Policy Advisory Board of Korea Forest Service as a Member. He was also Head of Expert Committee on Climate Change and Environment of Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), a Member of the Presidential Committee on Green Growth, a Member of Policy Advisory Board of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a Member of the Committee to Host Green Climate Fund. For non-profit organizations, Dr. Chung serves the Center for UN Studies of United Nations Association of Korea as the Director, and participated in Korean Society of Climate Change Research, Korean Academy of Environment Science, Korean Society of International Law, Korean Environmental Policy and Administration Society, Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (CSCAP) Korea and Climate Change Center (Seoul based NGO).

Dr. Suh-Yong Chung holds degrees in law and international relations from Seoul National University, the London School of Economics and Stanford Law School.

Head of Forestry Programs

DongKyun PARK

Mr. DongKyun Park is Visiting professor in Department of Biological and Environmental Science at Dongguk University and as independent consultant on forest with Climate Changes, including combating desertification and REDD+ issues. He was also an environmental consultant at MMAyA(Ministerio de Medio Ambietne y Agua) of Bolivia in 2017 and SEAM(Secretaria del AMBIENTE) in Paraguay in year 2014-2015. He was also consultant to ADB, UNCCD, and Korea Forest Service. Dr. Park was Director General of Forest Management and Policy at Korea Forest Research Institute from 2007-2010.

Park joined KOICA as a forest and environmental specialist in 1991, and had worked for combating desertification and reforestation in China, Mongolia and North Korea as a Secretary General of Northeast Asian Forest Forum (NEAFF) and UN-EPLC in year of 1999-2007.

He has published numerous journal articles and monograph in the fields of combating desertification, PES of forest, forest-related climate change, environment issues of EIA, and A/R CDM and REDD+. Park is a Member of Korea Forest Science and Korea Forest Economics Society. He studied Forestry in Seoul National University for B.A, and got M.S in Natural Resources Management and Policy from College of Environment Science and Forestry (CESF), State University of New York (SUNY). Later, he received M.A. in Environmental Economics from Syracuse University and got M.S. in Business from University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Mr. Park holds a Ph. D. in Forest and Environmental Economics from Seoul National University. He was named Marquis Who’s Who in 2015.

Head of US Office

Goeun Lee

Goueun Lee’s research interests center on the intersection of global environmental governance and national/regional environmental institutions and norms. Her dissertation project examined the Republic of Korea’s localization of global environmental norms (environmental protection, sustainable development, polluter-pays principle, precautionary principle, and public participation) from the 1960s to current, with a focus on air and climate policy. She has collaborated on multiple research projects including on the topic of climate change and the role of the UN Security Council, marine governance in Northeast Asia, and the US environmental policy on endangered species.

Dr. Lee has previously worked at the Global Green Growth Institute, building a research repository of climate change policies and best practices to formulate country-tailored low-carbon development programs and solutions for developing countries and to successfully procure funding from the organization’s donor countries. She also has experience from the Korea Environment Institute, providing analysis on key issues of international climate change negotiations and advising on Korea’s response strategy for the Korean Ministry of Environment, including Korea’s GHG mitigation commitments and GHG measurement, reporting and verification system.

Dr. Lee holds a Ph.D. in International Relations focusing on Global Environmental Politics from American University. She also holds a M.A. in International Studies concentrating on International Cooperation and Development and a B.A. in International Studies, both from Korea University.

Research Fellow

Sangmin Shim
Visiting Research Fellow, Center for American Studies, The Sejong Institute

Sangmin Shim was Assistant Professor and Head of the Center for International Law at the Korea National Diplomatic Academy (KNDA). Before joining KNDA in 2016 he was visiting scholar at the Environmental Law Institute (ELI), a private think-tank that conducts research on international environmental law. During his stint at the ELI Professor Shim engaged in a variety of collaborative research projects, including mainstreaming climate adaptation governance, natural resource management governance from the perspective of sustainable development, and environmental peacebuilding in post-conflict contexts.

Professor Shim writes widely on climate change issues, with a focus on designing economically viable, technologically feasible, and politically acceptable policy tools and strategies with significant emission reduction potentials. His academic work also covers conventional international legal issues, such as peace and security in the United Nations, law of the sea, non-proliferation, human rights in North Korea and transitional justice, sustainable development, energy security and human security. He regularly advises officials at the Bureau of International Legal Affairs in Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs on newly emerging international legal topics ranging from biodiversity, access to genetic resources and benefit-sharing (ABS) to marine biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ).

Professor Shim’s legal educational background includes a J.S.D. degree at Stanford University, awarded in 2015 with his dissertation entitled, “Structuring Climate Policy in the Korean Electricity Sector: Politics, Institutions and Mitigative Capacity-Building.” He also holds a J.S.M. degree at the same university, and is a graduate of Seoul National University (B.A. & M.A. in law).

Jung-Seok Lee
Health Economist, International Vaccine Institute

Jung-Seok Lee works as a health economist at the International Vaccine Institute. Prior to joining IVI, he worked as a senior health economist focusing on economic evaluations alongside trials at the Health Economics Research Centre in the University of Oxford.

His research interests lie in the economic and spatial perspectives of infectious diseases in relation with climate change. Dr. Lee is particularly interested in linking applied economics and econometrics to geo-spatial analyses. While various health economic analyses such as economic burden, DALY or QALY estimation, and cost-effective analyses have been widely used in public health, a majority of the conventional health economic analyses tend to rely on a small fraction (i.e. financial perspective) of core economic theories. He sees a great potential when applying more diverse economic theories to geo-spatial analyses. In order to improve numerous issues related to climate crisis in the field of public health, he is particularly interested in conducting geospatial analyses using climate and non-climate raster datasets to identify high risk areas for infectious diseases at the small geographical unit and to predict disease outbreaks in advance. His research aims at minimizing overall societal losses in many parts of the world including countries where healthcare resources are highly limited.

Dr. Lee obtained a Ph.D. degree at the University of Oxford. Prior to his study in the UK, he studied in international development and applied economics at Cornell University and University of California, Davis, respectively.

Tae Kyung Yoon
Assistant Professor, Department of Forest Science, Sangji University
Jihyeon Park
Managing Director, JHSUSTAIN

Jihyeon Park is Managing Director of JHSUSTAIN international development consulting agency in environment, based in Seoul, which was established in 2017, in particular focused on management of climate-induced disasters and water, adaptation prospect and natural resource management governance.

She started her experience in international cooperation on water at Korea Institute of Civil engineering and building Technology in 2005 and switched her life towards building water governance with multi-stakeholders together in history of establishment of Korea Water Forum.

She has been working on planning and management of policy and programs in the sector for 15 years by playing a role as the coordinator of thematic and political process regarding world water forum and executing ASEAN-ROK cooperation activities since 2014.

She has worked intensively with various stakeholders including government agencies, academia and public institutions in international development projects and international organizations, by conceptualizing and implementing projects, advocating and developing policy for government relations and doing activities for enhancing regional cooperation.


Organization Chart