Ms. Kyung-wha Kang is the Distinguished Professor Emeritus of the Graduate School of International Studies at Ewha Womans University and former Minister of the Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Republic of Korea from January 2017 to February 2021. Prior to her appointment as Minister of the Foreign Affairs , she served as Senior Advisor on Policy to the United Nations Secretary-General. Before taking the new role as Senior Advisor on Policy, she served as Chief of the Secretary-General-designate’s Transition Team. She has also served as Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs since April 2013, and was Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights from January 2007 to March 2013. Before entering the United Nations, Ms. Kang was Director General of International Organizations at the Republic of Korea’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade. She served in her country’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations from September 2001 to July 2005, during which time she chaired the Commission on the Status of Women. Prior to joining the Foreign Ministry in 1998, Ms. Kang assisted the Speaker of the National Assembly in parliamentary diplomacy. Earlier in her career, she worked for the Korean Broadcasting System’s news bureau and international radio bureau, and lectured in universities both in her own country and in the United States.
Born in 1955, Ms. Kang is married and has three children. She graduated from Yonsei University with a Bachelor of Arts in political science and diplomacy. She also has a Master of Arts in mass communication and a PhD in intercultural communication from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, in the United States.