Katharine H.S. Moon Named SK-Korea Foundation Chair in Korea Studies at Brookings

Washington, D.C. – Brookings President Strobe Talbott today announced the establishment of the SK-Korea Foundation Chair in Korea Studies. The chair is made possible by generous endowment gifts from SK and The Korea Foundation. The Korea International Trade Association and an anonymous donor are providing critical operating support.

“The Republic of Korea is an important partner to the United States in East Asia and, increasingly, around the world,” said Talbott. “I am grateful to our donors for enabling us to establish the SK-KF Chair and enhance the interaction, scholarly research and policy dialogue between our two countries. Dr. Moon will be an important contributor to Brookings scholarship and outreach as well as a valued addition to the Brookings community.”

At a public event in Washington on June 2, Brookings will announce the appointment of Katharine H.S. Moon as senior fellow and inaugural holder of the SK-Korea Foundation Chair. The chair will be housed in the Center for East Asia Policy Studies (CEAP), part of the Foreign Policy program at Brookings. Moon’s appointment will take effect on June 30, 2014.

“We are thrilled to welcome Kathy,” said Ted Piccone, acting vice president and director of Foreign Policy. “She will add in-depth knowledge about Korean society and politics to our growing East Asia center and will bring important insights into the U.S.-Korea relationship that are sometimes lacking in policy discussions.”

Moon is a professor of political science and holds the Edith Stix Wasserman Chair of Asian Studies at Wellesley College, where she has taught since 1993. She has written extensively on the interplay between domestic politics in South Korea and the institutions of the U.S.-ROK alliance. Her work features rich historical analysis and policy suggestions for improving alliance institutions and procedures that better reflect changes in Korean society and that would advance the strategic goals of both countries.

Moon brings to Brookings both depth and breadth of research interests on the Koreas and East Asia, including democratization, nationalisms, identity politics, women's empowerment, regional migration and human rights. She is the author of Protesting America: Democracy and the U.S.-Korea Alliance (University of California Press/GAIA, 2013) and Sex Among Allies: Military Prostitution in U.S.-Korea Relations (Columbia University, 1997; Korean edition by Sam-in Publishing Co., 2002).

Moon has served on the board of trustees of Smith College and numerous editorial boards of academic journals and policy task forces related to the U.S.-ROK alliance. Born in San Francisco, she grew up in New Jersey and received her B.A. from Smith College and her Ph.D. from Princeton University.

CEAP, founded in 1998 as the Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies, promotes research and analysis of policy issues facing East Asia and the United States. The center recently established the Philip Knight Chair in Japan Studies, the Chen-Fu and Cecilia Yen Koo Chair in Taiwan Studies and the Lee Kuan Yew Chair in Southeast Asia Studies. Under the leadership of CEAP Director Richard Bush, senior fellows and visiting fellows conduct research on the political, economic and security issues facing East Asia, and sponsor an array of policy-oriented seminars, discussions and publications, including the monthly Brookings East Asia Commentary.