Skip to content

James A. Kelly Korea Fellowship

The James A. Kelly Korean Studies Fellowship Program will promote academic study, research, and professional career paths focused on Korean Peninsula studies by young Kelly Fellows.

It recognizes the exemplary efforts of Jim Kelly to improve US-ROK relations and encourage the DPRK to denuclearize and join the international community of nations.

The overall objective of the fellowship is to promote stronger US-ROK, US-DPRK, and inter-Korean relations through a variety of Pacific Forum programs. The fellowship makes a deliberate effort to encourage the study of Korean economic and security issues, with particular focus on raising awareness among the next generation of scholars and officials in the US, ROK, and worldwide about the vital role the Korean Peninsula plays in regional and international affairs.

Kelly Fellows will develop their knowledge of Korean Peninsula issues through participation in the Pacific Forum’s Young Leaders program, research under the guidance of Pacific Forum senior staff, and the continuing series of U.S.-ROK and broader tri-/multilateral forums.

Applications are currently closed for the Kelly Fellowship.

Eligibility and How to Apply:

  • Open citizenship
  • Have completed their undergraduate education and
    • Have several years of experience in Indo-Pacific security issues, or
    • Has completed or is completing their graduate education (master’s or doctoral)
  • Proficient in English (verbal and written skills)
  • For non-U.S. citizens, applicant must possess or be eligible for an extended stay visa

To apply for the Kelly Fellowship, please complete the Resident and/or Non-resident Kelly Fellowship online application form and include all materials listed below. All materials must be written in English. Any statement in your application that is found to be false will be grounds for disqualification.

  • A cover letter detailing interests and why the Kelly Fellowship will contribute to the applicant’s professional development
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • A letter of recommendation
  • A description of a research project to undertake as a Kelly Fellow (not to exceed 1,500 words)​

Important Notice: Pacific Forum is closely monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and following the latest guidance from the Office of the Mayor, City and County of Honolulu and the State of Hawaii emergency order currently in effect. We anticipate the Resident Kelly Fellowship to be a hybrid program with a virtual start on Jan. 1, 2021, with possibility of conversion to an in-person resident fellowship at Pacific Forum offices in Honolulu if and when conditions permit.

Current Resident Fellows:

Daniel Mitchum (USA) has spent the last 12 years living and working in South Korea. He holds a dual BA in Global Politics and East Asian Studies from State University of New York, Albany and an MA in International Cooperation from Yonsei University’s Graduate School of International Studies, Seoul. The majority of Daniel’s master’s research was focused on North Korea, culminating in his thesis which explored the embeddedness of nuclear weapons within the DPRK regime. Daniel has previously worked with organizations such as Liberty in North Korea to aid North Korean refugees in acculturation, the North Korea Review academic journal as a blog writer and copy editor, as well as World Vision Korea as an assistant in HIV/AIDS awareness outreach. Beyond the Korean peninsula, Daniel’s research interests include East Asian geopolitics, the rise of China, and America’s East Asian alliance system.

Current Non-resident Fellows:

Michael Buckalew works as an executive legal assistant at Davis, Wright, Tremaine, LLP, where he conducts legislative and regulatory tracking and provides research project management support to the Banking and Financial Services Practice Group. Previously, he researched money-laundering, cryptocurrency and fintech and provided other assistance to Financial Institutions Advisory group at White & Case, LLP. Michael earned a masters’ degree in International Studies from Korea University focusing on U.S.-Japan-South Korea trilateral relations and North Korean related security issues. Michael has published works in the National Interest, the Huffington Post, the East-West Center’s Working Paper series, the S/N Korean Humanities Journal and the Sejong Digest. He is also research proficient in Japanese and Korean. His current research interests include: the U.S. Bank Secrecy Act / Anti-Money Laundering laws and regulations, U.S. sanctions policy, U.S. alliances in the Asia-Pacific, Asia-Pacific territorial disputes and historical issues, and North Korean politics and history.


Teodora Gyupchanova (BGR) is a researcher at Database Center for North Korea Human Rights (NKDB), where she manages the international cooperation work of the organization. She holds a BA degree in Korean Studies from Sofia University, Bulgaria and a Master’s degree in International Cooperation from the Graduate School of International Studies, Yonsei University. Teodora has previously completed a traineeship in the Seoul office of International Crisis Group and has worked in the ROK Prime Minister’s Office. She is a contributor to NKDB’s White Paper on North Korean Human Rights (2014-2019 editions). As a non-resident Next Gen Korea Fellow at the Economic Policy Institute Teodora is researching the potential role of Bulgaria as an EU country in inter-Korean relations. Her additional research interests include human rights, human security, compliance of the North Korean government with international treaties and its participation in international organizations.