Fellow Spotlight

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Su Hyun Lee (ROK) is resident Korea Foundation Fellow at Pacific Forum. She holds a BA in East Asian Politics and Culture from Yonsei University, and MA in International Cooperation from Yonsei University’s Graduate School of International Studies, Seoul. Su Hyun’s core interest in research lies on US-China Relationship, Chinese Foreign Policy, and Middle Power Diplomacy. In specific, she is interested in emerging security issues such as trade, technological warfare, and cybersecurity. Su Hyun has previously worked as an Intern in East Asia Foundation (EAF) where she focused on researching US-China technological hegemony. She had also worked as an intern in Salzburg Global Seminar (SGS) where she designed conferences on ‘Attaining Public Trust in Media’ and ‘Developing Law and Technology’. Apart from emerging security issues, she is also interested in environment and maintaining sustainable development.

We asked Su Hyun a few questions about herself and her fellowship experience.

How did you hear about Pacific Forum and why did you apply to become a fellow?

I first found out about our organization when I was studying for the final exam on ‘Chinese foreign policy’. I ran across commentary written by Ralph, President Emeritus of Pacific Forum. I read the insightful commentary all at once and that was the first time that I heard about the organization.
I have also participated in an internship sponsored by the Korean Foundation, where I learned more about the Pacific Forum Korean Foundation Fellowship.

Briefly describe the research project you are undertaking as a Pacific Forum fellow:

As a graduate student of East Asia International College, my research interest remains in ‘Chinese foreign policy’ and ‘US-China relations’. I am currently conducting research on the role of South Korea amidst US-China trade competition. Not only have I tried to identify the distinctive characteristics of the US-China trade war, I am also aiming to suggest relevant policies for the South Korean government as the United States and China are the top two biggest trading partners of South Korea.

Describe a Pacific Forum conference you attended and how it helped you in your career:

Throughout my fellowship I’ve had the valuable opportunity to attend a number of events and conferences which have broadened my perspective on security issues in the Indo-Pacific. I’ve also participated in organizing an event on ‘US-Singapore Tech & Innovation Virtual Dialogue’ which allowed me to grasp the entire procedure of preparing a seminar.

I particularly liked the first series of US-Singapore Tech & Innovation which is entitled, ‘Digital Connectivity, Security and Governance’. It was this series that really allowed me to grasp the ongoing dispute in cyberspace and seek a method to achieve digital connectivity, governance and security across the region.

Share something you read recently that you enjoyed:

Recently I read a book called ‘the Origin of Happiness’. Instead of focusing on the teleological approach of seeking happiness (finding the moral goal of our life and achieving it), the author focuses on methods that make us happy.

The key to happiness is not about being wealthy or achieving a high intensity of happiness. It is about finding small things that constantly make you happy. I felt really happy working in the Pacific Forum. I felt grateful to conduct research on topics that I was interested in and to have colleagues who are always willing to help me.

What are your future plans?

I will be looking for jobs where I could take advantage of the knowledge I have on international security. I hoping I could focus more on China as a region.

What is a fun fact about you?

When I was young I lived in Singapore which I enjoyed very much. After living in Hawaii, I am almost certain I would enjoy living on another island as well. I am hoping to live or to work in Hong Kong or Taiwan in the future.

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Fellows previously featured in Fellow Spotlight:

Daniel Mitchum

Jennifer Howe

Eugenio Benincasa

Shwe Yee Oo

Elliot Silverberg

Dong-hyeon Kim