Ambassador Sung Kim joins the USC Korean Studies Institute as a Senior Fellow


We are pleased to announce that Ambassador Sung Kim will join the USC Korean Studies Institute as a Senior Fellow beginning January 1, 2024. While a Senior Fellow at the USC Korean Studies Institute, Ambassador Kim will engage in a regular series of events with students and faculty.

In addition to his role at USC, Ambassador Kim will also be Senior Advisor to Hyundai Motor Group and Senior Advisor to Bae, Kim, and Lee law firm. Ambassador Kim recently retired from the State Department and has a long and distinguished career in the service of the United States. Ambassador Kim’s most recent appointments were U.S. Special Representative for the DPRK (May 2021-December 2023), and a concurrent appointment as the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Indonesia from October 2020 to December 2023. Ambassador Kim also served as acting Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs January-June 2021. Earlier, Ambassador Kim served as Ambassador to the Republic of Korea (2011-2014) and Ambassador to the Republic of the Philippines (2016-2020). Ambassador Kim was the first Asian-American to hold three U.S. ambassadorships.  Prior to joining the diplomatic service, he worked as a prosecutor in Los Angeles, California. Ambassador Kim was born in Seoul, Korea, and grew up in Los Angeles. He studied at the University of Pennsylvania (BA), Loyola University (JD), and London School of Economics (LLM).

KSI Senior Fellow

Upcoming Events

KSI Undergraduate Fellows Mini Conference | March 30, 1 – 5 PM

KSI Undergraduate Fellows will be presenting their research papers on various topics including North Korean security issues, Korean cinema, popular dance movements, and many more. The mini conference will happen at TCC Room 227.

For more information, please see here.

KSI Undergraduate Fellows Commencement Reception | April 16, 5 – 7 PM

We will recognize the KSI Undergraduate Fellows who have successfully completed the Fellows program and congratulate graduating seniors. This event will take place at the Ahn Family House.

Past Events

China’s role in inter-Korean relations: economics, military, and diplomatic – Guest Lecture by Professor Da Wei | February 29, 1-2 PM


Join us for a talk by Professor Da Wei, the director of the Center for International Security & Strategy (CISS) at Tsinghua University. He will share his insights on China-U.S. relations and U.S. security/foreign policy. Professor Da Wei’s guest lecture will take place at TCC Room 227.


RSVP open to USC students, staff, and faculty only.

Conversation with Susan Hwang | February 22 | Ahn Family House


Susan Hwang, an Assistant Professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, came to the USC Korean Studies Institute to give a talk about the culture and politics of South Korean protest music.

KSI Graduate Symposium | February 9 | TCC 227

The USC Korean Studies Institute hosted its 12th Graduate Student Symposium on February 9th, 2024. Participants from many different schools came to present on topics related to Korea, East Asia, and Asian diasporas. The panels of the symposium were “Now & Future Culture,” “Diasporas, Boundaries, & Identities,” and “Education & Culture.”

Following the symposium, the participants were able to attend a professionalization panel where they heard from representatives of USC Annenberg, USC Dornsife, and Stand Together Foundation.

Learn more about the annual USC KSI Graduate Symposium here.

Conversation with Jenny Town about North Korea | January 31 | AHN 100


Jenny Town, Senior Fellow at the Stimson Center and the Director of Stimson’s 38 North Program came to the USC Korean Studies Institute to talk to us about her journey of how she became involved in North Korean issues, how she founded 38 North, and also her take on the recent tensions on the Korean peninsula.

Korea: A New History of South and North | December 1, 2023 | AHN 100

Dr. Victor Cha, Professor of Government, and D.S. Song-KF Chair in the Department of Government and School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University talked to us about his new book Korea: A New History of South and North. The conversation covered a wide range of topics, from his experience writing the book, his time working in the White House, and his own knowledge of North and South Korea.

Boundless Winds of Empire: Rhetoric and Ritual in Early Chosŏn Diplomacy in Ming China | November 3, 2023 | AHN 100



Professor Sixiang Wang, a historian of Choson Korea and early modern East Asia at UCLA shared key insights from his book Boundless Winds of EmpireHe challenged misconceptions of the historical relationship between China and Korea.

USC Hangul Day 2023 | October 9, 2023 | Ahn House Front Lawn


The USC Korean Studies Institute co-hosted an event to celebrate the Korean language HangulKorean language students joined us for fun Hangul-themed crafts and contests and learned about Korean culture. This annual event is organized by the USC Korean Language department and co-hosted by USC East Asian Languages and Cultures, USC Korean Studies Institute, USC Korean Heritage Library, and Korean Cultural Center LA.

Hangeul Nal (Hangeul Day) info flyer

A Pulse on North Korea | September 11, 2023 | AHN 100



What is going on with North Korea these days?

Mr. Bob Carlin, a long-time expert on North Korea, along with Dr. David Kang, the Director of the Korean Studies Institute discussed what has been going on in North Korea since the Trump-Kim summit and the state of North Korea-US relations.

KSI Speaker Series info flyer for Bob Carlin's and Dr. David Kang's event