The Korea Foundation (KF) was established in 1991, and has been Korea’s leading public diplomacy institution that is devoted to enhancing understanding about Korea abroad and facilitating international interactions between Korea and the world. The KF’s public diplomacy initiatives include its active support for overseas Korean Studies and Koreanists and support for cultural exchanges between Korea and the world, along with the promotion of people-to-people interactions with a variety of forum events and intellectual exchange programs. The KF endeavors to promulgate objective facts and knowledge about Korea that are not yet part of the dominant international discourses, such as the recognition of Korea as a “pivotal middle power,” which because of its late modernization is uniquely situated to understand the quite different situations of both the developed and developing countries; and hence, for example, should play an important role in helping mediate disputes that are an increasing threat to international peace.
KF pursues a better understanding of Korea, as well as its people, in the global community through intellectual networking and open communication among prominent figures, next-generation leaders and students across the globe. In addition, KF also organizes forums and seminars so that Korean and foreign specialists of various fields can get together to discuss key issues of their mutual concern.
– Invitation of prominent foreign figures and future-generation leaders to Korea
– Bilateral and multilateral forums with more than 15 countries
– Support for overseas think-tanks and domestic NGOs.
– Programs to advance Korea’s Public Diplomacy initiatives (Global Seminar, Global Internship, etc.)
Support for Korean Studies Overseas
KF implements a variety of support initiatives to help establish and enhance Korean studies institutions and programs internationally, as well as to nurture next-generation Korean studies specialists abroad through various fellowships.
Culture and Arts Exchange
KF nurtures understanding and friendship between Korea and other countries through various forms of culture and arts. In addition, KF extensively collaborates with prominent foreign museums to invigorate the Korean art exhibitions and programs through museums abroad. KF Cultural Center also serves a venue to facilitate two-way cultural exchanges by hosting various events for global culture and arts.
Support for Media
KF publishes and distributes Korea-related publications, video content and films to the global audience, to disseminate information about Korea and its culture.
Dr. Geun Lee
President of the Korea Foundation
President Geun Lee was appointed to the current position on September 16, 2019.
Prior to joining the Foundation, he was a professor of International Relations at the Graduate School of International Studies, Seoul National University, and former Dean of Office of International Affairs, Seoul National University. From 2015 to 2016, He was visiting Super Global Professor at Keio University in Japan. He is also former Chair of the Global Agenda Council on the Future of Korea at World Economic Forum (Davos Forum), and currently a member of Global Future Council of World Economic Forum. Before joining the faculty of Seoul National University, he served as a professor at the Institute of Foreign Affairs and National Security (IFANS, Currently, Korean National Diplomatic Academy), Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Korea. He also served as President of an independent think tank, Korea Institute for Future Strategies from 2003-2007. His publications include “Clash of Soft Power between China and Japan,” “A Theory of Soft Power and Korea’s Soft Power Strategy,” “The Nexus between Korea’s Regional Security Options and Domestic Politics,” “US Global Defense Posture Review and its Implications on the US-Korea Relations” and co-authored The Environmental Dimension of Asian Security. He received his B.A. in political science from Seoul National University, and M.A. and Ph.D in political science from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, U.S.A.