Senior Advisors

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Three Senior Advisors will work with the Mansfield Foundation on the U.S.-Korea Scholar-Policymaker Nexus:

  • Dr. Victor Cha, Professor of Government and Director for Asian Studies, Georgetown University and Senior Adviser and Korea Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)
  • Dr. David Kang, Professor of International Relations and Business at the University of Southern California


Dr. Victor Cha
is a Professor of Government and Director for Asian Studies at Georgetown University and a Senior Adviser and the inaugural holder of the Korea Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). From 2004 to 2007, he served as director for Asian affairs at the White House on the National Security Council (NSC). At the NSC, he was responsible for Japan, the two Koreas, Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Island nations. He also served as the U.S. deputy head of delegation for the Six-Party Talks. He is a recipient of numerous academic awards, including a Fulbright scholarship (twice) and MacArthur Foundation fellowships. Dr. Cha also spent two years as a John M. Olin National Security Fellow at Harvard University and as a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC). In 1998, he was the Edward Teller National Security Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford. In 2008, he was the William J. Perry Fellow, also at Stanford. He has acted as a consultant on East Asian security issues for different branches of the U.S. government, and he received two Outstanding Service Commendations during his tenure at the White House.

His books include Alignment Despite Antagonism: US-Japan-Korea Security (Stanford, 1999); Nuclear North Korea (Columbia, 2003) with David Kang; and Beyond the Final Score: Politics of Sport in Asia (Columbia, 2009). His next books are Powerplay: Origins of the American Alliance System in Asia (Princeton) and North Korea: The Impossible State (Ecco). He is the coeditor of the new Contemporary Asia Series at Columbia University Press. He serves on the editorial boards of several scholarly journals and recently joined the Board of Advisors for the Center for a New American Security. Dr. Cha is also a frequent contributor and guest analyst for various media outlets, including Chosun Ilbo, Joongang Ilbo, CNN, National Public Radio, New York Times, Washington Post, Time, Newsweek, Asahi Shimbun, and Japan Times. Dr. Cha holds a B.A., an M.I.A., and a Ph.D. from Columbia University, as well as an M.A. Oxford University.

Dr. David Kang is Professor of International Relations and Business at the University of Southern California, with appointments in both the School of International Relations and the Marshall School of Business. At USC he is also director of the Korean Studies Institute. Kang’s latest book is “East Asia Before the West: Five Centuries of Trade and Tribute” (Columbia University Press, 2010). He is also author of “China Rising: Peace, Power, and Order in East Asia” (Columbia University Press, 2007); “Crony Capitalism: Corruption and Development in South Korea and the Philippines” (Cambridge University Press, 2002), and “Nuclear North Korea: A Debate on Engagement Strategies” (co-authored with Victor Cha) (Columbia University Press, 2003). Kang has published numerous scholarly articles in journals such as International Organization and International Security, and his co-authored article “Testing Balance of Power Theory in World History” was awarded “Best article, 2007-2009,” by the European Journal of International Relations. Kang has also written opinion pieces in the New York Times, the Financial Times, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times, as well as writing a monthly column for the Joongang Ilbo in Korean. He received an A.B. with honors from Stanford University and his Ph.D. from Berkeley.

Ambassador Kathleen Stephens is a Senior Department of State Associate at the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.  Ambassador Stephens is a career Foreign Service Officer who most recently was acting Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs and was U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Korea, 2008-2011. Earlier assignments include Principle Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs at the Department of State (2005-2007) and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs (2003-2005), focused on addressing Kosovo’s future status, completing the NATO-led mission in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and accelerating the integration of the western Balkans in Euro-Atlantic institutions. Other earlier Washington assignments included the National Security Council as Director for European Affairs, and tours as the senior UK country officer director of the Office of Ecology and Terrestrial Conservation.

Ambassador Stephens served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Lisbon, Portugal (1998-2001), and U.S. Consul General in Belfast, Northern Ireland (1995-1998) during the consolidation of ceasefires and negotiation of the Good Friday Agreement. Earlier overseas assignments included consular and public affairs officer in Guangzhou, China (1980-1982), chief of the internal political unit in Seoul (1984-1987), and principal officer of the U.S. Consulate in Busan, Korea (1987-1989). Amb. Stephens was a political officer assigned to the U.S. mission in Yugoslavia, shuttling between Belgrade and Zagreb, during that country’s violent disintegration in the early ‘90s.

Ambassador Stephens holds a B.A. (Honors) in East Asian studies from Prescott College and a master’s degree from Harvard University. She studied at the University of Hong Kong (1972-1973) and at Oxford University (1974). Amb. Stephens was a Peace Corps volunteer in Korea 1975-77.

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