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.
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.
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.
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.
Haley Gordon is a research associate with the Korea Program at APARC. She earned an M.A. from Stanford’s Center for East Asian Studies, where she wrote a Master’s thesis on human rights in North Korea. Her research interests included historical memory in East Asia, Korean nationalism, and South Korean women’s issues and cinema. Haley received her bachelor’s degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Princeton University, with a minor in Humanistic Studies. In addition, she has studied the Korean language at Yonsei University and Ewha University in Seoul.
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.
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.
Cynthia is a first-year M.A. student in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at Stanford, with a focus on new media, propaganda cinema, and online nationalism in contemporary mainland China. Besides her academic training in film and literature, she enjoys taking courses in sociology, anthropology, communication study, and computer science, aiming to conduct interdisciplinary research on the cultural-political phenomenon within the digital sphere of Asia.
Eve is a rising second-year Ph.D. student in Sociology. Her research focuses on migration, social networks, inequality, and social mobility.
Darren Hall recently completed his B.A. in East Asian Studies at Stanford University with a concentration in media analysis. For his senior thesis, he researched queer representation in the Boys' Love genre in Asia. He also studied the Korean language for four years while attending Stanford. At APARC, Darren serves as a research assistant for the SNAPL research project Nationalism and Racism in Asia. In the future, he plans to attend law school.
E Ju Ro
E Ju (she/her) is a rising senior from Seoul, South Korea studying sociology with a minor in philosophy and honors in Ethics in Society. Her interests include the intersections of race, gender, and colonialism, particularly in the context of Korea; she is currently writing her thesis on the ethics of memorializing "comfort women" experiences through a postcolonial feminist lens.
Heather Ahn is the program manager for 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.