US – Korean Relations in the 21st Century

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On October 20th from 6:30-7:45 pm Mountain Time, the Montana World Affairs Council will host an online discussion program of the World Affairs Councils of America in partnership with the Korea Economic InstituteThis event is open and free for the public. It will feature policy, business and thought leaders Angela Kerwin, Director of the Office of Korean Affairs, U.S. Department of State;  Mark Tokola, the Vice President of the Korea Economic Institute of America; and Hyunoh “Sean” Kim, a Korean diplomat currently serving at the ROK Embassy in Washington DC.  Our expert panel will discuss US-Korean relations, Asia Pacific regional trade and security questions. They will then field questions from participants during a Q and A period.


Click HERE to join the Zoom event


Meeting ID: 827 5539 6565

Passcode: 707278

Guest Speakers:

Angela Kerwin

Angela Kerwin is a career member of the U.S. Senior Foreign Service. She
assumed her current position as the Director of the Office of Korean Affairs at the
U.S. Department of State in July 2019. Immediately prior, Ms. Kerwin served as
the Consul General and Minister Counselor for Consular Affairs at U.S. Embassy
Seoul. Ms. Kerwin’s previous overseas postings include two tours in Mexico, one
as Principal Officer of the U.S. Consulate General Matamoros, and her first tour in
Mexico City. She also served as Visa Chief at U.S. Embassy Bogota, Colombia, and
in consular and political roles in India and the Dominican Republic. Within the
State Department, Angela served as an analyst in the Executive Office of the
Bureau of Consular Affairs. Ms. Kerwin earned a Juris Doctor from The Dickinson
School of Law and a Master’s degree in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War
College. Her undergraduate degree in Life Sciences is from Penn State.
Angela received numerous awards during her State Department career including
the Barbara M. Watson award for Consular Excellence and multiple Superior
Honor awards. Prior to joining the State Department, Angela practiced law in
Pennsylvania. She is a returned Peace Corps Volunteer, who served two years in
the Kingdom of Tonga. Ms. Kerwin has a 14-year old son, Lucas, who helps her
hone her negotiation skills on a daily basis.

Mark Tokola

Mark Tokola is Vice President of the Korea Economic Institute of America in Washington, DC. He retired as a U.S. Senior Foreign Service Officer with the rank of Minister-Counselor in September 2014. His last posting was as Minister Counselor for Political Affairs at US Embassy London. Previously he had served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the American Embassies in Seoul, Republic of Korea; Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia; and, Reykjavik, Iceland. Among his other postings were two tours at the US Mission to the European Union in Brussels, Minister-Counselor for Economic Affairs at Embassy London, and Economic Counselor at US Embassy The Hague. He also served as Director of the Iraq Transition Assistance Office (ITAO) in Baghdad from 2007-2008. Mr Tokola received the State Department’s Superior Honor Award for his work on implementing the Dayton Peace Accords while serving as Political Counselor in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina from 1997-1999. He holds a BA in International Relations from Pomona College in Claremont, California, and an LL.M. in European Community Law from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. Mr. Tokola serves on the Board of Governors of DACOR: An Organization of Foreign Affairs Professionals, and on the Board of Trustees of the Bacon House Foundation.

Mr. Tokola’s spouse is Dr. Nancy S. Tokola, a physician who graduated from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. She holds post-doctoral degrees from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Belgium) in Medical and Pharmaceutical Research and from the University of Groningen (Netherlands) in Humanitarian Action. She was the first American recipient of a European Union Marie Curie Fellowship. Mr. and Dr. Tokola have four children.

Hyunoh “Sean” Kim

Hyunoh “Sean” Kim is a Korean diplomat currently serving at the ROK Embassy in Washington DC. Upon joining the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Kim served in the Office of the Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs for six years working on the North Korean issue, he also served in various foreign posts, such as the ROK Consulate General in Honolulu and the ROK Embassy in the I.R. Iran. He holds B.A. degree in International Relations from the Johns Hopkins University and M.A. in political science from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

This program is sponsored by the Korean Economic Institute of America and the World Affairs Councils of America