Skip to Content

Search: {{$root.lsaSearchQuery.q}}, Page {{$}}

CANCELED - Ambassadors’ Dialogue: U.S.-Korea Relations in the Indo-Pacific Era

Featuring Ambassadors Hyundong Cho (ROK-US) and Philip Goldberg (US-ROK), and former Ambassadors Kathleen Stephens (US-ROK) and Dan Shields (US-Brunei)
Monday, October 2, 2023
10:30 AM-12:00 PM
Kuenzel Room Michigan Union Map
This event has been canceled due to the upcoming Federal government shutdown. We are hoping to postpone the Ambassadors' Dialogue to Spring 2024.

Please note: This session is planned to be held both in-person and virtually EST through Zoom. This webinar is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Once you've registered, the joining information will be sent to your email.

Register at:

Over the last seven decades, the United States and the Republic of Korea have built and deepened their security alliance, economic partnership, and people-to-people ties. With the recent development in U.S.-Korea-Japanese trilateral cooperation and growing confrontation with China, Russia, and North Korea, what would the next decades of U.S.-Korea relations look like?

Please join the Nam Center for Korean Studies and the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy's Weiser Diplomacy Center as we welcome distinguished diplomats from two countries to the University of Michigan Ann Arbor.

A panel discussion among ambassadors will include the South Korean Ambassador to the U.S., Hyundong Cho, the United States Ambassador to South Korea, Philip Goldberg, and former U.S. Ambassador to South Korea and President of the Korea Economic Institute (KEI), Kathleen Stephens. The panel will be moderated by Weiser Diplomacy Center’s Visiting Policy Practitioner and former U.S. Ambassador to Brunei Dan Shields.

Four ambassadors will share their unique perspectives on the significance of the U.S.-Korea security alliance for not only bilateral relations but also the broader Indo-Pacific region and the ever-evolving economic partnership between the two nations, including the ties between Korea and Michigan.

This event is part of KEI’s Ambassadors' Dialogue Program, which brings ambassadors to different U.S. cities to discuss the importance of the U.S.-Korea relationship. Don't miss this unique opportunity to meet and hear directly from the current and former ambassadors!

Ambassador profiles:

Hyundong Cho:
Republic of Korea Ambassador to the United States

Ambassador Hyundong Cho, the 28th Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to the United States of America, has had a distinguished career in the Korean Foreign Service. Most recently, he served as the First Vice Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) from May 2022 to April 2023. He passed the 19th foreign service exam in 1985 and held various positions, such as the Second Secretary at the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Korea in Geneva in 1991 and the First Secretary of the Korean Embassy in Mongolia in 1993. Ambassador Cho also served in the United States multiple times, as the First Secretary at the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Washington DC in 1999, Director at the North American Division III of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in 2003, and Deputy Chief of Mission of the Korean Embassy in the United States in 2013.

In addition to his roles in the United States, Ambassador Cho has held various positions within the Korean Foreign Service. He served as the Chief Human Resource Officer at the General Affairs Division of MOFAT, Senior Administrator at the Institute of Foreign Affairs and National Security under the Lee Myung-bak administration, Director of MOFAT's North Korea Nuclear Diplomacy Planning Division, Assistant Secretary, Director-General for the Office of the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Public Diplomacy Ambassador at the MOFA under the Park Geun-hye administration.

Ambassador Cho's expertise also extends beyond diplomacy. He served as the Head of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) Investment and Technology Promotion Office (ITPO). Ambassador Cho earned his B.A. in Spanish from Hankuk University of Foreign Studies.

H.E. Philip S. Goldberg:
United States Ambassador to the Republic of Korea

Philip S. Goldberg was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Korea on May 5, 2022. He served until recently as U.S. Ambassador to Colombia. In 2018, Ambassador Goldberg served as Charge d’affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba, followed by a year as a Diplomat in Residence at Georgetown University.

From 2013-2016, Ambassador Goldberg served as U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines. Prior to that assignment, he served as Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (2010-2013); U.S. Ambassador to Bolivia (2006-2008); Chief of Mission in Pristina, Kosovo (2004-2006); and Charge d’affaires and Deputy Chief of Mission in Santiago, Chile (2001-2004). From 2009-2010, Ambassador Goldberg was coordinator for the implementation of UN sanctions on North Korea. His other overseas tours included Bogota, Colombia, where he served as the Plan Colombia coordinator, and Pretoria, South Africa.

Ambassador Goldberg was a senior member of the State Department team handling the transition from the Clinton to Bush administrations and served as acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs (2000-2001) and Special Assistant and Executive Assistant to Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott (1996-2000). As the Bosnia Desk Officer and Special Assistant to Ambassador Richard Holbrooke (1994-1996), Ambassador Goldberg was a member of the American negotiating team in the lead-up to the Dayton Peace Conference and Chief of Staff for the American delegation at Dayton.

Ambassador Goldberg holds the personal rank of Career Ambassador, the highest rank in the U.S. Foreign Service. He has received numerous awards, including Presidential Distinguished and Meritorious Service Awards; the Department’s Distinguished Honor Award and the Silver Seal Medallion for Meritorious Service in the U.S. Intelligence Community.

Ambassador Goldberg is a native of Boston, Massachusetts, and a graduate of Boston University. Before joining the Foreign Service, he served as a liaison officer between the government of the City of New York and the United Nations and Consular Community.

Kathleen Stephens:
President & CEO, Korea Economic Institute of America
United States Ambassador to the Republic of Korea (2008-2011)
Chair, Board of Directors, The Korea Society

Ambassador (Ret.) Kathleen Stephens was a career diplomat in the United States Foreign Service, 1978-2015. She was U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Korea 2008-2011, the first woman and first Korean-speaker in that position. Other overseas assignments included postings to Trinidad and Tobago, China, Korea, former Yugoslavia, Portugal, Northern Ireland, where she was U.S. Consul General in Belfast during the negotiations culminating in the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, and India, where she was U.S. Chargé d’Affaires (2014-2015).

In Washington, Ambassador Stephens served in senior policy positions at the Department of State and the White House, including acting Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs (2012), Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs (2005-2007), Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs (2003-2005), and National Security Council Director for European Affairs at the Clinton White House.

Stephens was William J. Perry Fellow for Korea at Stanford University’s Shorenstein Asia Pacific Research Center, 2015-2018. She has been President and CEO of the Korea Economic Institute of American (KEIA) since 2018. She is board vice-chair of The Asia Foundation.

Ambassador Stephens’ U.S. government awards include the Presidential Meritorious Service Award (2009) and Linguist of the Year (2010). Other awards related to Korea include the Gwanghwa Medal of Diplomatic Merit, the Sejong Cultural Award, the Korean-American Friendship Association Award, the Kevin O’Donnell Distinguished Friend of Korea, AmCham Korea’s Outstanding Achievement Award, and in 2022 the First Baek Bum Kim Koo Award.

Stephens studied at Prescott College, University of Hong Kong and Oxford University, and holds a BA Honors from Prescott. She holds a Master’s degree from Harvard University’s Kennedy School. In the 1970s she was an Outward Bound instructor in Hong Kong, and a Peace Corps volunteer in Korea.

Daniel Shields:
Visiting Policy Practitioner, Weiser Diplomacy Center
United States Ambassador to Brunei (2011-2014)

Ambassador (Ret.) Daniel Shields is a visiting policy practitioner at the Ford School's Weiser Diplomacy Center. He consults, teaches courses and conducts simulations relating to diplomacy and U.S.-Asia relations.

From 2015-18, while on detail from the U.S. State Department as the Diplomatic Advisor to the Commandant at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, he helped educate future strategic leaders on how to integrate the diplomatic, informational, military and economic (DIME) instruments of power to achieve national security objectives. He served as the U.S. Ambassador to Brunei from 2011-14, handling sensitive South China Sea-related issues in connection with Brunei’s hosting in 2013 of the various Summits involving the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Ambassador (Ret.) Shields led two other U.S. diplomatic Missions in Southeast Asia as Chargé d’Affaires (at times when no Ambassador was in place.) In response to an urgent request from the State Department, he temporarily left the Army War College for six months in 2017 to serve as the Chargé at the U.S. Mission to ASEAN in Jakarta, traveling to Manila to support participation by the President and Cabinet Secretaries in the ASEAN-related Summits. His other Chargé duty was for 15 months, mainly in 2009, when he led Embassy Singapore in supporting then-President Obama’s participation in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings.

His early to mid-career assignments were mainly in Japan and China, including as Political Minister Counselor at Embassy Beijing from 2004-07. He speaks Japanese and Chinese. His first tour in the Foreign Service was as a Vice Consul at Embassy Manila from 1985-87, where he witnessed firsthand and reported on the People Power demonstrations and the fall of the Marcos regime.

If there is anything we can do to make this event accessible to you, please contact us at Please be aware that advance notice is necessary as some accommodations may require more time for the university to arrange.
Building: Michigan Union
Event Type: Lecture / Discussion
Tags: International, International Affairs, Korea
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Nam Center for Korean Studies, International Institute, Asian Languages and Cultures, Weiser Diplomacy Center