The Asia Foundation

The Asia Foundation
Addressing the Critical Issues Facing Asia - 60 Years
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Kathleen Stephens

Kathleen Stephens

U.S. Charge d'Affaires ad interim to India

2013-14 Koret Fellow in Korean Studies, Stanford University
Former U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Korea


Kathleen Stephens joined The Asia Foundation Board of Trustees in 2014, and is currently on hiatus.

She is the 2013-14 Koret Fellow at the Korean Studies Program (KSP) at Stanford University's Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center. Stephens recently completed 35 years as a career diplomat in the U.S. Foreign Service. She was Acting Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs in 2012, and U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Korea, 2008-2011.

Stephens has served in numerous posts in Washington, Asia, and Europe. From 2005 to 2007 she was Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs (EAP). While Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs (EUR) from 2003 to 2005, she focused on post-conflict and stabilization issues in the Balkans. She was Director for European Affairs at the National Security Council during the Clinton Administration. Stephens' overseas postings included service in China, Korea, Yugoslavia, Northern Ireland, Portugal, and Trinidad & Tobago.

Stephens graduated from Prescott College, and holds a master's degree from Harvard University, along with honorary doctoral degrees from Chungnam National University and the University of Maryland. Ambassador Stephens studied at the University of Hong Kong. She was a Peace Corps volunteer in Korea in the 1970s

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