Two Economics alumni selected as ministers on South Korea's cabinetUniversity of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Posted: Feb 7, 2011
South Korea President Lee Myung-bak has officially appointed five new cabinet members, including two University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Department of Economics PhD graduates, Drs. Choi Joong-kyung and Kim Dong-soo.
Dr. Choi has been appointed minister of the Ministry of Knowledge Economy, handling the government’s export and corporate policy. He received his PhD from UH Mānoa in 2003, focusing his dissertation research on financial systems of developing economies. Dr. Choi joined the Ministry in 1980, and has had extensive expertise in macroeconomic and fiscal policy areas. Previous posts were vice finance and strategy minister, senior presidential secretary, and most recently as Korea’s ambassador to the Philippines. During the Asian financial crisis, he led the task force team specializing in public finance loans.
Dr. Kim has been appointed the 16th chairman of the Fair Trade Commission, Korea’s antitrust watchdog. He enters the cabinet post with thirty years of public service experience, leaving his position as chief executive of the Korea Export-Import Bank. Upon receiving his PhD in economics from UH Mānoa in 1997, he served as vice minister and deputy minister of the Ministry of Strategy and Finance, and Director General of the multilateral Trade Bureau at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Says Chancellor Virginia Hinshaw, “Drs. Choi and Kim are part of our 173,000 UH Mānoa alumni, who reside across 50 states and in more than 80 countries around the world. Their success after graduation reinforces my belief that our alumni are Mānoa’s greatest contribution to society.”
Adds Denise Eby Konan, professor and chair of the Department of Economics, “I recall having both gentlemen in my courses on microeconomics and international trade, and they were outstanding students. As a UH Mānoa professor, it is especially gratifying to know that we play a foundational role in shaping the knowledge and expertise of our leaders in the Asia Pacific region.”