Who am I ?


I was born in suburban Seoul, Korea on October 10, 1924. After receiving my B.A. in political science from Kookmin University, Seoul, in 1950, I worked as a junior economist with the Bank of Korea for the period of 1952-54 before re-entering academic life in 1954.

While teaching economics at Kookmin (1954-64), I was granted leave to pursue postgraduate studies first at Seoul National University (M.A. in economics, 1956) and later at Oklahoma State University (M.S. in economics, 1960, and Ph.D. in economics, 1961). I have also done postdoctoral work at the Graduate School of Business, Stanford University in 1968-69.

In 1964, I accepted an appointment as professor of Economics at Sogang University, Seoul, and in 1969 was named Finance Minister by then President Park Chung Hee. I happened to be one of the youngest men ever to hold this key portfolio (age 45 at time of appointment) as well as being the longest-serving Finance Minister in the history of the Republic of Korea (five years)

In 1974, President Park asked me to oversee Korea's economic development program in the capacity of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economic Planning, posts which I held concurrently until 1978. I was named later by President Park in January 1979 as his Special Assistant for Economic Affairs.

The summit of my government career was reached in September 1980 when I was appointed as Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea by then President Chun Doo Hwan. Following my tenure as Prime Minister, I served as a member of the President's Advisory Council on State Affairs during 1982 and 1983.

In 1984, I was elected to the Board of Directors of the World Trade Centers Association. I was also a member of the Standing Committee of the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC) for the period of 1983-1993. I was a member of the Board of Governors of the East-West Center based in Honolulu, Hawaii, during 1984-1993.

I am a former Chairman of the Korea International Trade Association -- the central association of all Korean trading firms -directing the KITA's wide-ranging activities (1983-1991). I also served concurrently as the Chairman of the Korea-U.S. Economic Council, which promotes economic cooperation between the United State and Korea.

I am former Chairman of the Korea Sanhak Foundation established by KITA to provide financial assistance to professors and graduate students in the interest of promoting cooperation between business and academic communities. I remain involved with the KITA as advisor.

Currently I am Chairmen of Korea-Japan Cooperation committee and Korean Forum for Progress.