Han Seung-soo

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Han Seung-soo
Han in 2009
35th Prime Minister of South Korea
In office
29 February 2008 – 28 September 2009
PresidentLee Myung-bak
Preceded byHan Duck-soo
Succeeded byChung Un-chan
Chief Presidential Secretary
In office
23 December 1994 – 21 December 1995
PresidentKim Young-sam
Preceded byPark Kwan-yong
Succeeded byKim Kwang-il
Minister of Foreign Affairs of South Korea
In office
President of the United Nations General Assembly
In office
18 September 2001 – 17 September 2002
Preceded byHarri Holkeri
Succeeded byJan Kavan
Personal details
Born (1936-12-28) 28 December 1936 (age 86)
Chuncheon, Kangwon, Korea
(now Chuncheon, Gangwon, South Korea)
Political partyGrand National
Alma materYonsei University (BA)
Seoul National University (MPA)
University of York (PhD)
Korean name
Revised RomanizationHan Seungsu
McCune–ReischauerHan Sŭngsu
Art name
Revised RomanizationChungang
Korean royal family
(Cheongju Han clan)

Han Seung-soo (born 28 December 1936) is a South Korean politician and diplomat. He served as Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea from 29 February 2008 to 28 September 2009. He was the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's Special Envoy on Climate Change (2007–08)[1] and for Disaster Risk Reduction and Water (2013–18),[2] Special Advisor to the UN/World Bank High-Level Panel on Water (2016–18), Member of the UN Secretary-General's Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation Agency (UNSGAB, 2007–15), Member of the UN Secretary-General's High-Level Panel for Global Sustainability (GSP, 2010–12), Founding Chair of Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI, 2010–12), Temasek International Panel Member (2004–18) and Independent Non-Executive Director of Standard Chartered plc (2010-2019).

He was the President of the 56th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations (2001–02),[3] South Korea's Minister of Foreign Affairs (2001–02), Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance (1996–97), Chief of Staff to the President Kim Young-sam (1994–95), South Korean Ambassador to the United States (1993–94) and Minister of Trade and Industry (1988–90). He was a three-term Member of National Assembly of the Republic of Korea (1988-1992, 1996-2004) directly elected by the people of his hometown, Chuncheon city, Gangwon-do Province.


Han was educated at Yonsei University (BA, 1960), Seoul National University (MPA, 1963), and University of York, England (Ph.D., 1968 /D.Univ., 1997). Prior to his entry into politics in 1988, he had a distinguished academic career as Professor of Economics at Seoul National University (1970–88), taught economics and/or did research at the Universities of York (1965–68), Cambridge (Emmanuel College, 1968–70), Harvard (1985–86), Tokyo (1986–87), and GRIPS (2004–06). He has honorary degrees from the Universities of York, Gangwon National, Yonsei, KAIST and Kuala Lumpur.

Political and diplomatic career[edit]

Han is currently, among others, Chair of High-Level Experts and Leaders Panel on Water and Disasters (HELP, 2007-), Host of the Biennial UN Special Thematic Session on Water and Disasters (2013-), Chair of the Water Advisory Group of Asia Development Bank (2014-), Vice President of Club de Madrid, Member of the WMO Water and Climate Leaders Panel, and Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation International Advisory Board Member, Vice-Chair of Zayed Sustainability Prize Jury, Co-Chair of International Finance Forum (China), Chair of the Jury for IFF Global Green Finance Award, Distinguished Professor at Zhejiang University International Business School, Chief International Advisor of International Monetary Institute (IMI) of Renmin University of China, Senior Advisor to Research Institute of ASEAN Economy (Shaoxing, China), and Founder of GG56 Ltd., a big data and blockchain startup. He was also Chairman of the 2014 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games bid Committee.

His major international achievements include being one of the initiators of the APEC in 1989 as Minister of Trade and Industry, Korea's accession to the OECD in 1996 when he was the chief minister in charge of negotiations as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the global crisis management in the aftermath of 9/11 as President of the 56th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (the day to be elected was 11 September 2001) when he was Foreign Minister, and the passage of the unanimous resolution of the OECD Ministerial Council Meeting when he was Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea.


Han has many publications in both Korean and English, the most recent ones being Here for Global Good: Collected Speeches of Han Seung-soo (YBM, Seoul, 2015) which was translated into Chinese and published by Tsinghua University Press in 2016, Beyond the Shadow of 9/11; A Year at the United Nations General Assembly (SAIS, Washington DC, 2007).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Appoints Special Envoys on Climate Change". United Nations. 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-09-13. Retrieved 2007-08-03.
  2. ^ "Secretary-General Appoints Han Seung-Soo of Republic of Korea Special Envoy on Disaster Risk Reduction and Water". Press release. United Nations. 19 December 2013.
  3. ^ "Dr. Han Seung-soo, President of the 56th session of the UN General Assembly". www.un.org. Retrieved 2022-02-14.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by Minister of Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Preceded by Prime Minister of South Korea
Succeeded by
Positions in intergovernmental organisations
Preceded by President of the United Nations General Assembly
Succeeded by