SNAPL People

Gi-Wook Shin

Gi-Wook Shin   
Director and Principal Investigator

Gi-Wook Shin is the William J. Perry Professor of Contemporary Korea in Sociology; senior fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies; the director of the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center since 2005; and the founding director of the Korea Program, all at Stanford University. As a historical-comparative and political sociologist, his research has concentrated on social movements, nationalism, development, democracy, and international relations. Profile >

 

Xinru Ma

Xinru Ma   
Research Fellow

Xinru Ma’s research focuses on nationalism, great power politics, and East Asian security with a methodological focus on formal and computational methods. At SNAPL, Xinru leads the research group in collaborative projects that focus on US-Asia relations. She also provides mentorship to student research assistants and research associates. Before joining SNAPL, Xinru was an assistant professor at the School of International Relations and Diplomacy at Beijing Foreign Studies University. Profile >

 

Gidong Kim

Gidong Kim   
Postdoctoral Fellow

Gidong Kim is a 2023-25 Korea Program postdoctoral fellow at APARC. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Missouri, and an M.A. and a B.A. in Political Science from Hankuk University of Foreign Studies. He studies comparative political behavior and economy in East Asia, with a particular focus on nationalism and identity politics, inequality and redistribution, and migration in South Korea and East Asia. At APARC, Gidong works to transform his dissertation project, “Nationalism and Redistribution in New Democracies: Nationalist Legacies of Authoritarian Regimes,” into a book manuscript. At SNAPL, he also leads collaborative projects about nationalism, racism, and democratic crisis to address emerging social, economic, and political challenges in Korea and, more broadly, Asia. Profile >

 

Junki Nakahara

Junki Nakahara   
Postdoctoral Fellow

Junki Nakahara recently defended her dissertation and has completed her doctorate in Communication at American University (AU), Washington DC. Her research interests include nationalism and xenophobia, critical and cultural studies, feminist media studies, and postcolonial/decolonial IR. She holds a B.Ed. in Educational Psychology from the University of Tokyo and an M.A. in Intercultural and International Communication from AU. At SNAPL, Junki primarily leads the “Nationalism and Racism” research group. She also intends to explore issues related to democratic backsliding and its intersections with media and technology in East Asia. Profile >

 

Irene Kyoung

Irene Kyoung   
Research Associate

Irene Kyoung is a research associate with the Korea Program at APARC. Irene supports research regarding Korean politics and society, as well as the Nationalism and Racism in Asia and the Talent and Development research projects at SNAPL. Previously, she worked as a policy associate at the Korea Society. Irene holds an M.A. in Political Science with a concentration in International Relations from Columbia University and graduated with honors in Government and Legal Studies from Bowdoin College. She is also fluent in Korean. Profile >

 

Jiwon Bang

Jiwon Bang   
Research Assistant   

Jiwon is a graduate student at Stanford, obtaining an M.A. in East Asian Studies with a specialization in U.S.-ROK relations. She graduated from the University of Toronto with an Honors B.A. with Distinction in East Asian Studies with a double minor in History and Sociology.

 

Headshot of Yoojung Lee

Yoojung Lee  
Research Assistant   

Yoojung is a research assistant with SNAPL. She holds an M.A. in East Asian Studies from Stanford University and a B.A. in International Relations and Law and Society from the University of British Columbia. Her research interests are focused on political polarization, nationalism, and democracy. Yoojung’s thesis examines the pattern of gender differences in partisanship in South Korea, particularly focusing on the relationship between unemployment and male conservatism. 

 

JB Jong Beom Lim  
Research Assistant   

 

Headshot of Kerstin Norris

Kerstin Norris  
Research Assistant   

Kerstin is a research assistant with APARC. She earned an M.A. from Stanford’s Center for East Asian Studies, where she wrote a master’s thesis on populist attitudes and political participation in South Korea. Her current research interests include topics related to nationalism, popular sovereignty, democracy, and imperialism in East Asia, primarily in South Korea. Kerstin received her bachelor’s degree in international relations and Korean from Ohio State University, with a minor in Spanish. In addition, she has studied the Korean language at Korea University and Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul.
 

Sonja Stevenson

Sonja Stevenson
Research Assistant   

Sonja is a senior at Stanford studying international relations with specializations in international security and East and South Asia. Her research interests include women’s rights and media communication in South Korea, as well as strategic autonomy and US-ROK, US-EU, and ROK-EU relations. She has studied both Korean and German, including at Yonsei University and Ewha Women’s University in Seoul, and at Stanford University in Berlin.

 

Maleah Webster
Research Assistant   

 

Mengmeng Xiao

Mengmeng Xiao
Research Assistant   

Mengmeng is currently a first-year master's student in East Asian Studies. She earned her undergraduate degree with the highest honors in Political Science from Emory University. Her research interests center around identity politics and gendered institutions.

 

Yiguo Zheng
Research Assistant   

 

Heather Ahn

Heather Ahn   
Lab Manager

Heather Ahn is the program manager at the Korea Program at APARC. Before joining APARC, she worked in the computer industry, primarily in system software development. She also provided consulting for Korean high-tech firms in the U.S. She received a bachelor's degree in computer science from the University of Minnesota and in political science from Ewha University in Korea. Her graduate studies concentrated on information management systems. Profile >