Kang Kyung-wha

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Kang Kyung-wha
Kang Kyung-wha at the UN General Assembly - 2017 (37212509871) (cropped).jpg
Kang Kyung-wha in 2017
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Assumed office
18 June 2017
Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon
Preceded by Yun Byung-se
Personal details
Born (1955-04-07) 7 April 1955 (age 62)
Seoul, South Korea
Political party Democratic Party of Korea
Alma mater Yonsei University
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Korean name
Revised Romanization Gang Gyeong-hwa
McCune–Reischauer Kang Kyŏng'hwa

Kang Kyung-wha (born 7 April 1955) is the Minister of Foreign Affairs of South Korea, the first woman appointed to the position.[1][2] Prior to her current appointment, Kang was Director-General of International Organization at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of South Korea.

Early life and education[edit]

Kang graduated from Yonsei University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Diplomacy.[3] She obtained her M.A. and Ph.D in International/Intercultural Communication from University of Massachusetts Amherst, United States.[4]


In the beginning of her career, she worked as a producer for the Seoul-based Korean Broadcasting System[5] and lectured at universities in South Korea and the United States.[3]

In 1998, she joined the Korean Foreign Service.[3] Prior to that, she worked for the Speaker of the National Assembly of South Korea[5] on global issues in the fields of human rights, women's advancement and parliamentary diplomacy.[citation needed]

From September 2001 to July 2005, Kang was Minister at the Republic of Korea Mission to the United Nations.[3] During that time, she served as chairwoman of the Commission on the Status of Women for its 48th and 49th session.[4]

She was appointed by the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator in the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in March 2013.[3] Previous to this position, she served as the United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, appointed by Kofi Annan in September 2006.[4]

Personal life[edit]

She is married to Yillbyung Lee of Yonsei University and has three children: two daughters and a son.[4]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Media related to Kang Kyung-wha at Wikimedia Commons

Political offices
Preceded by
Yun Byung-se
Minister of Foreign Affairs