Ambassador (ret.) Kathleen Stephens is the President and CEO of the Korea Economic Institute of America (KEI). A former U.S. Foreign Service Officer, she served as U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Korea from 2008 to 2011. Her other overseas assignments included postings to China, 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. Charge ‘d Affaires (2014-2015).
Ambassador Stephens also served in a number of policy positions in Washington at the Department of State and the White House. These included 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.
She was a William J. Perry Fellow for Korea at Stanford University between 2015 and 2018. She is currently board chair of The Korea Society, a Mansfield Foundation Distinguished Fellow, Pacific Century Institute board chair, and vice-chair of the board of trustees for The Asia Foundation.