My nickname at my previous career was a “Queen maker,” instead of “king maker.” As a public diplomacy specialist, I served for the mission of the bilateral relationship for 20 years at the U.S. Embassy Seoul. My work included nominating promising Korean opinion leaders for “International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP)” where counterparts from both countries meet and learn from each other and the U.S. government covers full expenses. It was a privilege for me to discover potential woman leaders who have led community building in silence and shed lights on them for their community prosperity. All the cards over years were given to women across the country in my portfolio. I was honored to be the first specialist that nominated the first physically-challenged NGO activist. When she came back after her business travel to the U.S., she said she could see so many cool things that she was eager to apply to Korean society. I was sincerely moved by her feedback as she is blind. She saw everything by her heart.
I heard some whispering in my heart when I was about to celebrate my 20th anniversary at the Embassy. Entrepreneurship. I could not resist it. Without any preparation, I concluded my service with 20 years and one more week. Over the three years and ten months, I underwent my transformation by becoming a certified coach and emotional intelligence trainer, taking a variety of leadership training, launching my own business and more. I often dream of an empowering cabin where women get together and recharge themselves by being just together. For now the IWL’s Open Call is the place for me. I want to spread it to my country too.
Since September 1, 2022, I joined a local university as a visiting professor in the Office of International Affairs. My university is eager to transform its learning environment by exchange programs, which resonates very well with my mission on this earth. I design empowerment programs, domestic and international, where university students can take leadership training. I have a feeling that I am given an opportunity to grow the IWL tree, the “Legacy project,” which we, the IWL alumnae, are given in the week of Session 9-10.
I am very curious about what will open to me in this alumnae community. I am grateful for every path in this journey.
Inclusive Society for All
My country is undergoing “democratization” not politically but culturally. Today’s parents are still discouraging their daughters from seeking a higher education despite their high academic records, pursuing careers, and being ambitious in their work and life while encouraging them to get married right after university graduation, to take plastic surgeries to look as good as others, to feel guilty for being a better daughter, perfect wife and mom and more.
When I was 11-12 years old, my mom told me that the moment when she found out that she gave birth to a girl, me, she almost begged nurses to put me back into her womb and start the whole process again. I felt stuck at that moment and spent my entire life to hear my parents’ recognition toward my existence. No success at my age of 52. When I let go of this desperation a couple of years ago, I could embrace myself whole-heartedly. And this painful acceptance presented me an awakening moment to recognize why I am here doing what I am doing. No discrimination.
I believe when everybody receives unconditional love and support for who they are, each of us will pursue what we are supposed to accomplish in our life. Then, a better world is realized by all. No discrimination. Just inclusion. My vision is “Inclusive Society for All.”
Hobbies & Interests:
I love arts. Art exhibitions are where my creativity is uncovered by itself. I love listening to my inner mind, talking to myself, uncovering what stayed within my mind until that moment and imagining what is beyond my thoughts.
I also love nature. In the woods, I feel that all of my senses are waking up and talking to me. I love feeling myself on the earth, with the earth and in the earth. And sky! I open my day talking to the sky how grateful I am for the moment. During the day several times I look at the sky and enjoy taking deep breath.
I love traveling with my family, friends, colleagues, and youth and I enjoy witnessing the growth while just having fun. Being in a new environment lets me meet and discover myself. In an unexpected situation how I am responding to it is always a joy to me.
In my mother tongue, I have an e-book titled “Ready for fun?”