Han Seung-Soo was Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea from 2008-09. He was recently appointed the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Disaster Risk Reduction and Water.
Prime Minister Han had a distinguished political, diplomatic and administrative career serving as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance (1996-97), Minister of Foreign Affairs (2001-02) and Minister of Industry and Trade (1988-90) before serving as Prime Minister.
He also served as Korean Ambassador to the United States (1993-94), Chief of Staff to the President of Republic of Korea (President Kim Young Sam) (1994-95), President of the 56th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in 2001 and 2002, Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General on Climate Change (2007-08) and Chairman of the 2009 OECD Ministerial Council Meeting in Paris.
He is currently on the UN Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation, is the founding Chair of the High-Level Expert Panel on Water and Disaster/UNSGAB and Chairman of the International Advisory Board of the International Forum of China. In 2010, he was appointed as an Independent Non-Executive Director of Standard Chartered PLC. He is also a member of the Club de Madrid, a group of more than 80 former Presidents and Prime Ministers of democratic countries, which works to strengthen democratic leadership and governance worldwide.
He was educated at Yonsei University, Seoul National University and the University of York, England. Before his election to the National Assembly in 1988, he had a distinguished academic career as professor of economics at Seoul National University (1970-88), and did research on economics at the Universities of York (1965-68), Cambridge (Emmanuel; 1968-70), Harvard (1985-86) and Tokyo (1986-87).