2023 marked the 70th anniversary of the alliance between the United States and South Korea. From the deterrence of North Korea to K-Pop, it’s clear that the two countries share many strategic interests and are closer than ever. Thanks to the support of the Korea Economic Institute, and in cooperation with the World Affairs Councils of America, WorldBoston is pleased to mark this milestone with a special event to take a closer look at this critical alliance.
Join us on Wednesday, February 7th for an expert panel discussion, live audience Q&A, networking, and light refreshments. The panel will feature Mark Tokola, Vice President of the Korea Economic Institute of America; Zachary Barter, Desk Officer in the DPRK Unit within the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs at the State Department; and Jaehui Kim, Consul General of the Republic of Korea in Boston.
This program will take place in-person only, and advance registration is required. We cannot accommodate walk-ins.
Mark Tokola is Vice President of the Korea Economic Institute of America in Washington, DC. He retired as a U.S. Senior Foreign Service Officer with the rank of Minister-Counselor in September 2014. His last posting was as Minister Counselor for Political Affairs at US Embassy London. Previously he had served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the American Embassies in Seoul, Republic of Korea; Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia; and, Reykjavik, Iceland. Among his other postings were two tours at the US Mission to the European Union in Brussels, Minister-Counselor for Economic Affairs at Embassy London, and Economic Counselor at US Embassy The Hague. He also served as Director of the Iraq Transition Assistance Office (ITAO) in Baghdad from 2007-2008. Mr Tokola received the State Department’s Superior Honor Award for his work on implementing the Dayton Peace Accords while serving as Political Counselor in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina from 1997-1999. He holds a BA in International Relations from Pomona College in Claremont, California, and an LL.M. in European Community Law from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. Mr. Tokola serves on the Board of Governors of DACOR: An Organization of Foreign Affairs Professionals, and on the Board of Trustees of the Bacon House Foundation.
Mr. Tokola’s spouse is Dr. Nancy S. Tokola, a physician who graduated from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. She holds post-doctoral degrees from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Belgium) in Medical and Pharmaceutical Research and from the University of Groningen (Netherlands) in Humanitarian Action. She was the first American recipient of a European Union Marie Curie Fellowship. Mr. and Dr. Tokola have four children.
Zachary Barter currently works as a Desk Officer in the DPRK Unit within the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs. In this role, he coordinates U.S. policy on DPRK human rights, humanitarian, and consular issues. Prior to beginning his assignment in Washington, Zach spent four years as a Political Officer in Astana, Kazakhstan, covering security issues and Kazakhstan’s foreign relations. He previously served as a Staff Assistant to the U.S. Ambassador to China, a Visa Officer in Beijing, and Deputy Director of the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Section in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. He speaks Chinese and Russian. Zach is originally from Denver, Colorado and holds degrees in political science and international relations from Brown and Harvard.
Jaehui Kim has been the Consul General for the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Boston since June 2023. He has enjoyed a distinguished two-decade career in the Republic of Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, serving in Russia, Israel, the European Union, and many other diplomatic posts around the world. His service has been recognized by citations from the Prime Minister and the President. Mr. Kim is a graduate of Yonsei University, where he majored in Political Science and International Studies.