Non-Resident Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution
Specializing in Humanitarian and Human Rights Issues
Roberta Cohen is a Non-Resident Senior Fellow in Foreign Policy Studies of the Brookings Institution, specializing in human rights and humanitarian issues. She co-founded and co-directed the Brookings Project on Internal Displacement, served as Senior Adviser to the Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Internally Displaced Persons (1994-2010), and co-authored the first major study on the subject, Masses in Flight (Brookings, 1998). For her work on internal displacement, she was co-winner of the Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order. As concerns North Korea, Cohen has co-chaired the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea since 2011, has published a series of widely quoted articles and op-eds in major journals and newspapers, and has addressed major audiences. Earlier, she served on US Delegations to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the UN General Assembly and the UN Commission on Human Rights, served as a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights in the State Department’s first human rights bureau, and as a consultant to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the World Bank, and NGOs. She is a member of the Committee on Conscience of the Holocaust Memorial Museum, a Senior Fellow at Georgetown University’s Institute for the Study of International Migration and an Adjunct Associate Professor at American University’s Washington College of Law. She has an Honorary Doctorate in Law from the University of Bern, an MA with distinction from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a B.A. in History from Barnard College.
Former Administrator of USAID
Director of the Scowcroft Institute of International Affairs and Executive Professor, The Bush School of Government & Public Service, Texas A&M University
Ambassador Andrew S. Natsios, Co-chair of the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, is Executive Professor at the Bush School of Government and Public Service, Texas A&M University. From January 13, 2006 to June 2012, Andrew S. Natsios served on the faculty of the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. From May 1, 2001 to January 12, 2006, he served as Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the leading US government agency conducting international economic development and humanitarian assistance. During this period he managed USAID’s reconstruction programs in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Sudan, which totaled more than $14 billion over four years. President Bush also appointed him Special Coordinator for International Disaster Assistance and Special Humanitarian Coordinator for Sudan. Natsios also served as U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan from October 2006 to December 2007. Natsios has served previously at USAID, first as director of the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance from 1989 to 1991 and then as assistant administrator for the Bureau for Food and Humanitarian Assistance (now the Bureau of Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance) from 1991 to January 1993. After serving 23 years in the U.S. Army Reserves as a civil affairs officer, Natsios retired in 1995 with the rank of lieutenant colonel. He is a veteran of the Gulf War.
President, Defense Forum Foundation
Seoul Peace Prize Laureate
Suzanne Scholte is President of the Defense Forum Foundation (DFF), a non-profit educational foundation that sponsors programs on national security, foreign affairs and human rights issues. Human rights in North Korea has been a major focus for the DFF since 1996, when Scholte launched a project to bring defectors from North Korea to the United States to speak out publicly for the first time about conditions in North Korea. Since 1996, DFF has hosted over 57 defectors including North Korea’s highest ranking defector, Hwang Jang-yop, Colonel Choi Joo-hwal, diplomats Ko Young-hwan, as well as survivors of the political prison camps Kang Chul-hwan and Ahn Hyok. Since 1998, DFF has been the US partner of the Seoul-based Citizens’ Alliance for North Korean Human Rights and the Tokyo-based Society to Help Returnees to North Korea. Ms. Scholte organized and testified before the first hearing ever held on North Korea’s political prison camps in 1999 and continues to work closely with Members of Congress on hearings to address North Korea human rights issues. Scholte also chairs the North Korea Freedom Coalition and North Korea Freedom Week to promote awareness and encourage action on this issue.
Chief Executive Officer, Perth USAsia Centre
The University of Western Australia
Co-author, Paved with Good Intentions: The NGO Experience in North Korea
Gordon Flake is Chief Executive Officer of the Perth USAsia Center, The University of Western Australia. From February 1999 to December 2013, he was Executive Director of the Mike and Maureen Mansfield Foundation. Prior to joining the Mansfield Foundation, he was a Senior Fellow and Associate Director of the Program on Conflict Resolution at The Atlantic Council of the United States. Before moving to The Atlantic Council, he served as Director for Research and Academic Affairs at the Korea Economic Institute of America. Mr. Flake is a regular contributor on Korea issues in the U.S. and Asian press, and has traveled to North Korea on six occasions. He is co-editor of two books; Understanding New Political Realities in Seoul (2008) and Paved with Good Intentions: The NGO Experience in North Korea (2003), which examines the impact of NGOs and UN humanitarian relief efforts in North Korea after 1995.
Author, Kim II-Song's North Korea
Helen-Louise Hunter is an attorney who has engaged in private practice with a large international law firm in Washington, D.C., and has served as Permanent Law Clerk in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland. For more than 20 years, she was a Far East specialist at the Central Intelligence Agency. In the late 1970s, she served as the Assistant National Intelligence Officer for the Far East. She is the author of Kim Il-song’s North Korea (1999).
Consultant on International Financial & Strategic Affairs
John Despres has worked as a consultant on international financial and strategic affairs since his retirement from the U.S. government in 1997. From May 1999 to March 2000, Mr. Despres assisted Bill Bradley in developing foreign defense and international economic policies for his presidential campaign. From 1993 to 1997, Mr. Despres served as Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Enforcement under President Clinton. From 1985 to 1993, Mr. Despres served as Senator Bill Bradley’s principal staff advisor on national security policy and served as his designated assistant on the staff of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. In President Reagan’s administration, from 1982 to 1985, Mr. Despres served as the founding Director of the Institute for National Strategic Studies at the National Defense University, and as Assistant to the Undersecretary of State for Economic Affairs in 1981. From 1977 to 1979, Mr. Despres served in President Carter’s administration as Director of Strategic Assessments at the Department of Energy and as National Intelligence Officer for Nuclear Proliferation.
Senior Fellow, The Century Foundation
Morton Abramowitz is a Senior Fellow at The Century Foundation. He retired in 1997 as President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and from the State Department in 1991. Dr. Abramowitz also served recently as Acting President of the International Crisis Group, a multinational, nongovernmental organization headquartered in Brussels and Washington, focusing on crisis prevention. Prior to joining the Carnegie Endowment in August 1991, he was Ambassador to Turkey. He has also served as Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research, United States Ambassador to the Mutual and Balanced Force Reduction Negotiations in Vienna, Ambassador to Thailand, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Inter-American, East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Special Assistant to the Secretary of Defense, and Special Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of State. He also served in Hawaii as political advisor to the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific. He is the author of numerous books and articles.
Co-Director, US-Asia Law Institute, NYU Law School
Adjunct Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations
Of counsel in the Corporate Department, Jerome A. Cohen concentrates in business law relating to Asia and has long represented foreign companies in contract negotiations and dispute resolution in China, Vietnam and other countries in East Asia. He is a law professor at New York University School of Law and a senior fellow for Asia Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. At NYU, he teaches courses on “Legal Problems of Doing Business With China and East Asia” and “International Law - East and West.” He has published several books and articles on Chinese law as well as China Today, a book co-authored with his wife, Joan Lebold Cohen. In 1990, he published Investment Law and Practice in Vietnam. Mr. Cohen was a Fulbright scholar in France from 1951 to 1952. He served as editor in chief of the Yale Law Journal. Following graduation, he served as an assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia and was a consultant to the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations before beginning an academic career at the University of California School of Law at Berkeley. Mr. Cohen joined the faculty of Harvard Law School in 1964 where he served as Jeremiah J. Smith Professor, director of East Asian Legal Studies and Associate Dean. He remained there until he joined the firm in 1981.
Advisor, Impact Investments
Ms. Colacurcio has worked in finance and real estate in the US, Europe and Asia for the last 20 years. She has held positions at UBS, Donaldson Lufkin and Jenrette, Banque Paribas and HSBC Group, and has also acted as an advisor to many investment-banking institutions, specializing in distressed real estate and debt transactions. She joined the Board of HRNK in 2004 and has been an active liaison for the Committee with human rights groups in Asia.
Associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, LA
Rabbi Abraham Cooper is the associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a leading Jewish human rights organization with over 400,000 family members. Born in New York in 1950, Abraham Cooper has been a longtime activist for Jewish and human rights causes on five continents. For three decades, Rabbi Cooper has overseen the Wiesenthal Center’s international social action agenda ranging from worldwide anti-Semitism and extremist groups, Nazi crimes, to Interfaith Relations and the struggle to thwart the anti-Israel Divestment campaign, to worldwide promotion of tolerance education. He is widely recognized as a pioneer and international authority on issues related to digital hate and the Internet. Rabbi Cooper’s trailblazing work in Asia has helped counter negative stereotypes about Jews and open new venues in dialogue and intergroup relations in Japan, South Korea, The People’s Republic of China, India, and Indonesia. He was a leader of the Center’s mission to China that brought the first Jewish-sponsored exhibition to the world’s most populous nation. He also arranged national prime-time broadcasts of the Center’s documentary, Genocide, on Chinese and Russian TV to estimated audiences of ½ billion and 80 million, respectively. Rabbi Cooper brought the Center’s special Anne Frank and the Holocaust to tour Japan, which has been viewed by two million Japanese in each of Japan’s 47 prefectures. He brought the Center’s Courage to Remember Holocaust Exhibit to the Gandhi Cultural Center in New Delhi. He recently traveled to Jakarta, Indonesia to meet with former president Wahid and other religious leaders in the world’s most populous Moslem nation. Rabbi Cooper has his BA and MS from Yeshiva University and a Ph.D. from the Jewish University of America. He is a recipient of Yeshiva University’s Bernard Revel Community Service Leadership Memorial Award and of the Orthodox Union’s National Leadership Award.
Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute
Jack David is a Senior Fellow and Member of the Board of Trustees at Hudson Institute as well as a manager his own investments. Additionally, he is an independent consultant on national security matters, especially combating weapons of mass destruction. Mr. David has had long involvement with international human rights issues, serving several years as a delegate to a working group of the UN Human Rights Commission. For many years, he was a director of the International League for Human Rights; he was one of the founders of the Lawyers Committee for International Human Rights, on the board of directors of which he served in its initial years. His publications include numerous articles on issues of federal or US constitutional law, which he authored or edited. His articles relating to U.S. foreign and U.S. national security policy have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Asian Wall Street Journal, The Forward and The New York Sun, National Review Online, and other media outlets. He has written many privately distributed analyses of foreign and security affairs. He is also the editor of The Blessings of Liberty (Random House, 1989).
Chair, World Affairs Council of America
Adjunct Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University Kennedy School of Government
Distinguished National Security Chair, U.S. Naval Academy
Ambassador Paula J. Dobriansky is Chair of the World Affairs Council of America. She is adjunct senior fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and holds the Distinguished National Security Chair at the U.S. Naval Academy. Ambassador Dobriansky was Thomson Reuters senior vice president and global head of government and regulatory affairs. Before joining Thomson Reuters in 2010, she was Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs from 2001 to 2009, and received the Secretary of State’s highest honor, the Distinguished Service Medal, for her work. She has held senior government and board positions during both Republican and Democratic administrations, and served as senior vice president and director of the Washington office of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Henry Wendt Chair in Political Economy at the American Enterprise Institute
Author of numerous books, including The End of North Korea
Nicholas Eberstadt is the Henry Wendt Chair in Political Economy at the American Enterprise Institute, where he specializes in demographics, foreign aid, poverty, Korea, East Asia, Russia and other former Soviet republics. He has been a Visiting Fellow at Harvard University’s Center for Population and Developmental Studies (1980-present); a Consultant to the World Bank, the U.S. Department of State; the U.S. Agency for International Development, and the U.S. Bureau of the Census. Dr. Eberstadt is the author of Korea’s Future and the Great Powers, co-editor (2001); Comparing the Soviet and American Economies, co-editor (2000); Prosperous Paupers and Other Population Problems (2000); The End of North Korea (1999); Korea Approaches Reunification (1995); and The Tyranny of Numbers: Mismeasurement and Misrule (1995).
President, National Endowment for Democracy
Carl Gershman was appointed President of the National Endowment for Democracy by the Endowment’s Board of Directors and assumed his position on April 30, 1984. In that capacity, he has presided over the development of the Endowment’s grants program in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union and Latin America. Under his leadership, the NED created the quarterly Journal of Democracy in 1990 and launched the International Forum for Democratic Studies in 1994. Mr. Gershman is currently encouraging other democracies to establish their own foundations devoted to the promotion of democratic institutions in the world. Prior to assuming the position with the Endowment, Mr. Gershman was Senior Counselor to the United States Representative to the United Nations beginning in January 1981. In that capacity, he served as the U.S. Representative to the U.N.’s Third Committee, which deals with human rights issues, and also as Alternate Representative of the U.S. to the U.N. Security Council. While at the U.S. Mission to the U.N., Mr. Gershman also served as lead consultant to the National Bipartisan Commission on Central America, and helped draft the final report. Prior to his assignment at the United States Mission to the United Nations, Mr. Gershman was a Resident Scholar at Freedom House (1980–81) and Executive Director of Social Democrats, USA (1974–80).
President, Kahng Foundation
Stephen Kahng is President of the Kahng Foundation. Formerly, he was a General Partner of 4C Ventures, an early stage high technology venture capital firm. Prior to this, he was a co-founder, chairman and CEO of Power Computing Corporation. Mr. Kahng has been a consultant for many major U.S. and international computer companies including Digital Equipment Corp, Compaq Corp and Motorola. Prior to this, he was a Senior Vice President of Chips and Technologies, a leading semiconductor supplier to the computer industry. During the 1980s, he was a consultant to major Korean electronics companies, including Samsung, LG and Daewoo Electronics. Mr. Kahng has received many awards, including a finalist of Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the year, Lifetime achievement award by Mac User Magazine and Businessman of the year by the Korean American Chamber of Commerce.
Coordinator, The Asia Foundation
David L. Kim is coordinator of the Luce Scholars Program for The Asia Foundation. Mr. Kim has previously served as manager of international programming at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, responsible for coordinating and managing local, national, and international programming initiatives, including the Center’s major international festivals Arabesque: Arts of the Arab World (2009) and JAPAN! (2008). As a journalist Mr. Kim has published numerous articles in publications including Scholastic News, Asiam, Transpacific, and Current. He has served as the Washington, D.C. correspondent of the Korea Daily, as well as assistant news desk editor at TIME magazine. His service and contribution to the leadership and governance of numerous community organizations have included: the Community and Friends Board of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; the Board of Directors of the Cultural Alliance of Greater Washington; the Board of Directors of the Korean American Coalition, Washington, DC Area Chapter; and the Washington, DC Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. He is a member of both the Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy and the Asian American Journalists Association. Mr. David Kim has a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts and a M.A. in International Affairs from the American University.
U.S. Institute of Peace
Former Executive Director, HRNK
Debra Liang-Fenton was executive director of HRNK from 2002 to 2007. Earlier, she directed the U.S. Institute of Peace’s Human Rights Implementation initiative from 1998 to 2002. Before joining the Institute, she was Project Officer of the International Forum for Democratic Studies at the National Endowment for Democracy. She has also served as an editor of the Journal of Democracy. Ms. Liang-Fenton is the editor of Implementing U.S. Human Rights Policy: Agendas, Policies and Practices (USIP Press, 2004). This volume examines 14 country case studies and distills lessons learned from the successes and failures of U.S. human rights policy. She has testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee, and in April 2003, Ms. Liang-Fenton was the keynote presenter at Amnesty International’s Annual General Meeting.
Former Assistant Secretary for East Asia, Department of State, Ambassador to China, Director of State, Department Policy Planning Staff, President of the Council on Foreign Relations and Chairman of The National Endowment for Democracy
Winston Lord was sworn in as Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs. He was announced for this position by then President-elect Clinton and Secretary of State-designate Christopher and confirmed by the Senate. Among the awards Ambassador Lord has received are the State Department’s Distinguished Honor Award and the Defense Department’s Outstanding Performance Award. After graduating magna cum laude from Yale University in 1959, Ambassador Lord obtained an M.A. at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in 1960. He has received several honorary degrees.
Formerly of Counsel, Paul Hastings LLP
Kevin C. McCann, formerly of counsel in the Litigation practice of Paul Hastings, has practiced across a broad range of complex business litigation, principally representing defendants in antitrust, unfair competition, trade secret, patent, and commercial disputes. Mr. McCann has extensive experience with respect to such disputes in the biotechnology industry and has taken lead responsibility for all aspects of trial and appellate proceedings in federal courts throughout the United States, in California state courts, and in a variety of international arbitral forums. He has recently represented LG Display, Korean Air, Align Technology, Inc., The Dow Chemical Company, the California Association of Realtors as well as Taiwanese and Japanese clients. Mr. McCann has been admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and all state and federal trial and appellate courts in California. He was selected by peers in the Antitrust bar as a “Super Lawyer” for Northern California in the area of antitrust litigation. A Korean language speaker, Mr. McCann holds a J.D. from Harvard University, and an A.B. (maxima cum laude) from Carroll College in Helena Montana.
Author of numerous books including Avoiding the Apocalypse: the Future of the Two Koreas
Marcus Noland, vice president and senior fellow, has been associated with the Peterson Institute since 1985. He was educated at Swarthmore College (BA) and the Johns Hopkins University (PhD). He was a Senior Economist at the Council of Economic Advisers in the Executive Office of the President of the United States. He has held research or teaching positions at Yale University, the Johns Hopkins University, the University of Southern California, Tokyo University, Saitama University (now the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies), the University of Ghana, the Korea Development Institute, and the East-West Center. He won the 2000 Ohira Memorial Award for his book Avoiding the Apocalypse: The Future of the Two Koreas. Noland is the author of Korea after Kim Jong-il (2004), Avoiding the Apocalypse: The Future of the Two Koreas (2000), Famine in North Korea: Markets, Aid, and Reform (Columbia University Press, 2007), and numerous other books on Asian economic issues; and editor of Economic Integration of the Korean Peninsula (1998). He has served as an occasional consultant to organizations, such as the World Bank and the National Intelligence Council, and has testified before the US Congress on numerous occasions.
Professor, George Washington University
Jacqueline Pak is an intellectual historian of Korea and East Asia who teaches the subjects of modern and pre-modern Korean and East Asian history, literature, North-South relations, human rights, women, film, and art. She is best known for her work on Korean nationalism and the independence quest during the colonial rule, including the preeminent nationalist leader, Ahn Changho (1878-1938). Her study caused one of the most enduring controversies in the field of Korean Studies for the past decades. She feels a special kinship with her subject of study, Ahn Changho, with whom her nationalist and artist great-grandfather, Charles Park, studied and lived together with his family at the Young Korean Academy (Hungsadan) headquarters in Los Angeles, established by Ahn Changho in 1913, for more than fifteen years as a nascent member. The Young Korean Academy was a revolutionary leadership-training society established by Ahn Changho in 1913 in California. Her forthcoming biography, Ahn Changho and the Origins of Modern Korea: Quest for Democracy, Unification, and Globalization is based on the private papers of Ahn Changho and Dr. Seo Jaepil (Philip Jaisohn) for the first time, in addition to the sources on Ahn Junggun.
She currently teaches at George Washington University and George Mason University. Previously, she taught at Cornell University, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton, and UCLA. At Seoul National University in 2007, she became the “first non-Korean citizen to teach Korean history”. She also served as a resident faculty at Kyunghee University, Graduate Institute of Peace Studies, in Korea. Born in Korea and educated in America and Britain, she holds a Ph.D. in history from University of London, SOAS; M.A. in Korean Studies from Harvard University; M.A. in politics/political economy from New York University, and B.A. in international relations from the University of Virginia. A recipient of Luce, Korea Foundation, and Dosan Foundation fellowships, her work experiences include the United Nations, Harvard Business School, Library of Congress, Congressional Research Service, Smithsonian, and Northeast History Foundation.
Her subsequent book projects have dealt with the topics at the nexus of Korean history, policy, and diplomacy, including historical interpretations and debates in East Asia, plight of North Koreans, gender, and cultural-esthetic representation, such as Hallyu, History, and Human Rights and Triumph of the Spirit: Comfort Women, Context, and Controversy. She is currently writing a memoir of her family as multigenerational odyssey between Korea and America, including the early leaders of the Korean independence quest, signatory of the Korean Declaration of Independence, pioneering artists, and iconic leaders of women’s movement from late Choson to post-colonial Korea.
President and CEO, Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice
Katrina Lantos Swett attended Yale University, graduating with a degree in Political Science. She received her Juris Doctor in 1976 after attending the University of California, Hastings College of Law. In 2006 she earned her Ph.D. in History with a Focus on Human Rights and United States Foreign Policy from the University of Southern Denmark. She is the wife of Ambassador and former Congressman Richard Swett and daughter of the late Congressman Tom Lantos, vice president of Swett Associates, Inc., a consulting firm.
While examining satellite imagery of an area near the North Korean capital city, the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK) and AllSource Analysis, Inc. (ASA) may have come across evidence of a ghastly sight: the public execution of several individuals by anti-aircraft machine gun fire. Please click here to read more.
On April 27, 2015, HRNK releases their report, Arsenal of Terror: North Korea, State Sponsor of Terrorism by Joshua Stanton at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Please click here to view the press release.