Yeon-Cheon Oh, former president of Seoul National University (SNU), joined the the Korea Program at the Shorentein Asia-Pacific Research Center as the 2014–15 Koret Fellow.
Oh will focus on analyzing the significant changes in the history of East Asia since the late 19th century, and in the process, identify forces endemic to East Asian politics, economy and culture as well as their limitations, thereby attempting to create a model for “Asian Values.” He aims to create a new paradigm for higher education that will actively foster leaders who can contribute to the peace and prosperity of humanity, and also propose new alternative policies.
Oh has an extensive career as a university administrator, professor and in leadership positions in South Korea’s civil service. He was the 25th president of SNU (2010–2014) and chairman of the Board of Trustees. Before then, he taught at SNU’s Graduate School of Public Administration from 1983 to 2010, and also served as the dean of that school from 2000 to 2004. His main areas of research include applied public economy and financial management.
Outside academia, Oh served as the chairman of the Committee of Industry Development Deliberation, Ministry of Knowledge Economics, from 2007 to 2009; board member of ITEP, Ministry of Commerce, from 2005 to 2009; and chief of ICT, Policy Review Committee, Ministry of Information and Communication, from 2003 to 2007.
Oh received his bachelor’s degree in political science from SNU, and his master’s degree and doctorate in public administration from New York University.