Ambassador Kathleen Stephens is President and CEO of the Korea Economic Institute and a former United States Foreign Service Officer. She was U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Korea from 2008-2011. Other overseas assignments included postings to China, the former Yugoslavia, Portugal, Northern Ireland—where she was U.S. Consul General in Belfast during the negotiations culminating in the 1998 Good Friday Agreement—and India, where she was U.S. Chargé d´Affaires (2014-2015).
Ambassador Stephens also served in a number of policy positions in Washington at the Department of State and the White House. These included acting Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs (2012), Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs (2005-2007), Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs (2003-2005), and National Security Council Director for European Affairs at the Clinton White House.
Ambassador Stephens joined Stanford University in 2015 as the William J. Perry Fellow for Korea at Stanford University’s Shorenstein Asia Pacific Research Center. In addition to serving as a Mansfield Foundation Distinguished Fellow, she is the Pacific Century Institute board chairman, a trustee for The Asia Foundation, and on the board of The Korea Society.