Pitt Magazine highlights GSPIA Alums' impact on South Korea

Pitt Magazine’s writer Ervin Dyer traveled to South Korea to meet just some of Pitt’s notable South Korean alumni and hear their extraordinary stories. Among those he interviewed were three GSPIA alums including Byong Hyon Kwon, (MPIA ’68); Shin-Bok Kim, (MPIA ’72, EDUC ‘73G), and Keun Namkoong, (MPA '78, PhD ’89).

Byong Hyon Kwon (MPIA ’68)

Byong Hyon Kwon, is the Republic of Korea's former Ambassador to the People's Republic of China. He is the Founder and President of Future Forest, a non-governmental organization that raises awareness and addresses the challenges posed by desertification.  Kwon received the Legacy Laureate Award - one of the University of Pittsburgh's most prestigious honors granted to alumni for outstanding personal and professional accomplishments during Pitt’s Homecoming in the fall of 2010. To read article, click here. 

Shin-Bok Kim, (MPIA ’72)

Shin-Bok Kim completed his BA (1968) and MPA (1970) at Seoul National University where, as a graduate student, he also served as a Research Fellow on the Long-term Comprehensive Educational Planning Committee at the Korean Ministry of Education. In 1971 Kim came to the University of Pittsburgh, where he earned both his MPIA (from GSPIA in 1972) and his PhD (from the School of Education in 1973) in just two years. In South Korea: He championed educational reform and excellence, becoming the first at Seoul National University to hold the positions of provost and executive vice president; and, as the government’s vice minister of education, he reorganized vocational colleges and collaborated to hire more teachers and build more classrooms. To read article, click here. 

Keun Namkoong, (MPA ’78, PhD ’89)

Keun Namkoong earned the Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science (1976) and the Master of Arts degree in Public Administration (1978) from Seoul National University. He earned the Doctor of Philosophy degree from GSPIA in 1989 and his dissertation, A Cross-National Study on Public Health Program and Policy Development: Comparative Analysis of Alternative Perspectives, received an Honorable Mention by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA). In South Korea: He advocated for and instituted changes to how government administrators use research to build better policy; wrote two widely used books on research methods and public policy; and helped transform Seoul National University of Science and Technology into a globally respected research institution as the school’s president. To read article, click here. 


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