The Atlantic Council is proud to announce the 2021-2022 Korea Foundation Journalist Fellowship Program. In partnership with the Korea Foundation, the Atlantic Council’s Asia Security Initiative, housed within the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, will recruit the program’s third annual class of Fellows in 2022. The Atlantic Council Korea Foundation Journalist Fellowship is a unique opportunity for early/mid-career, US-based journalists working in US media to make a reporting trip to South Korea. There, they will meet with leading experts and government officials in Seoul and Washington, DC to develop a deeper knowledge of South Korea’s evolving role in Indo-Pacific geopolitics and across the world, as well as the most critical economic and security issues within and beyond the Korean Peninsula.

By directly engaging with leading experts and policy shapers in Seoul and Washington, DC, Fellows will gain a better understanding of the current status and future of the US-ROK alliance. This includes shifting geopolitical and economic perceptions that will affect the US-ROK relationship in years to come and evolving national security perspectives within both countries – particularly in response to US-China strategic competition. Fellows will also have the special opportunity to gain unique insight on key political, economic, and other pressing issues within and beyond the Korean Peninsula in meetings with high-level ROK officials from the incoming presidential administration following this year’s presidential election.

The overarching theme for the 2021-2022 program is South Korea’s rapidly evolving role within the shifting geopolitical and economic landscape of the Indo-Pacific. From the deepening of the US-ROK alliance in key areas such as critical technologies and trade, to the rapid increase in private investments made by South Korea’s leading firms in the United States and throughout the region, to Seoul’s growing “soft power” influence in pop culture worldwide, international media coverage of South Korea’s heightened presence within the region and the globe has expanded significantly. In the same vein, the 2021-2022 program will also cover a wide set of key policy issues, including: heightened tensions between North and South Korea driven by recent nuclear missile tests conducted by Pyongyang; the results and policy implications of this year’s upcoming presidential election in the ROK in March; Seoul’s stance on new regional multilateral security mechanisms such as the Quad and AUKUS; prospects for US-ROK-Japan trilateral cooperation; and other non-traditional security issues such as supply chain resiliency, energy security, digital trade, and emerging and advanced technologies.


The program will host three to five journalists interested in learning more about the Republic of Korea and its broader geopolitical environment. The Fellowship will begin in April 2022 and will include three private roundtables in Washington, DC, as well as a delegation trip to the Republic of Korea. The Fellowship application will be open from Monday, February 14 until Friday, April 1. The Atlantic Council plans to host two private roundtables with US officials and/or experts prior to the delegation trip to Seoul, which is tentatively scheduled to take place in May or June 2022 (COVID-19 regulations and conditions permitting). The trip schedule will be finalized after the selection process for Fellows is completed. The delegation will meet with high-level government officials, business leaders, and experts in the Republic of Korea, as well as have the chance to take a planned visit to the DMZ and/or partake in cultural activities depending on COVID-related regulations. A final wrap-up roundtable will occur after the conclusion of the delegation trip and will be held in Washington, DC. Contingent on their selection as Fellows, participating journalists will commit to attending all three roundtables and joining the delegation on the ground in Seoul. Fellows should be prepared to research at least one long-form story during the program and are encouraged to publish at least one article/broadcast piece after the Fellowship. The Fellowship will cover travel, lodging, meals, and transportation expenses for the trip to Seoul. For Fellows who work outside of Washington, DC, the Fellowship will cover the cost of domestic flights to Washington, DC and hotel accommodations for the private roundtables.

The roundtables will feature a panel of leading experts, opinion leaders, and government officials with experience working on economic and security issues in the Indo-Pacific. The roundtables are an opportunity for Fellows to learn more about significant issues affecting the Korean peninsula and the region and to benefit from the expertise of career foreign policy experts before the trip to Seoul. Fellows will be expected to stay up to date on any developments pertinent to US-ROK relations and to actively participate during the roundtable discussions.

The Fellowship program is contingent on COVID-19 conditions, and therefore may be held in a virtual format.

2021-2022 Program – Korea and the Shifting Geopolitical Landscape in the Indo-Pacific

As both the United States and the Republic of Korea seek deeper engagement in the face of ongoing geopolitical shifts in the Indo-Pacific—in part due to US-China strategic competition—Washington and Seoul have recognized the need to broaden cooperation both on the Korean peninsula and beyond. This year’s program aims to go beyond traditional security and economic issues, exploring additional new areas such as Korea’s evolving “soft power” within the Indo-Pacific and across the globe. Given the ever-expanding “soft power” capabilities of South Korea — as proven by BTS, Parasite, Squid Game, and more — analysis of the shifting geopolitical landscape is no longer solely limited to conventional security, but also in areas such as popular culture. As such, journalists and the media will play a key role in ensuring that both policymakers and the public are well-informed and engaged with the issues most relevant to the future of the US-ROK alliance and the Indo-Pacific region as a whole.

Furthermore, Fellows will have the opportunity to gain critical insights and shape understanding on US-ROK cooperation in non-traditional areas such as supply chain resiliency, energy security, digital trade, and critical emerging technologies. These issues are now considered key to the future of the US-ROK alliance and regional stability within the Indo-Pacific, alongside long-established areas of cooperation such as traditional security issues, including denuclearization, multilateral alliance networks, and the push to increase domestic capabilities. During the Fellowship, selected participants will be provided with opportunities to meet with senior officials from Korea’s new presidential administration, seasoned journalists, and opinion leaders. This will enable Fellows to contribute to the ongoing dialogue taking place both on and about the future of the Korean peninsula, the US-ROK alliance, and Korea’s future role within the shifting geopolitical landscape of the Indo-Pacific.

Key questions will be raised such as:

  • What has driven Kim Jong-un to launch seven missile tests in January of this year, including the longest-range missile since 2017 and how will the United States and Korea respond?
  • What effect will the recent increase in FDI on the part of Korea’s leading tech giants have on supply chain resiliency, emerging technologies, and the newly announced Indo-Pacific Economic Framework?
  • How will the new Korean administration handle President Biden’s push for increased regional cooperation in the face of US-China strategic competition within the Indo-Pacific?

In addition, this year’s program will provide selected Fellows with exclusive opportunities to gain new perspectives on the policies of the incoming ROK presidential administration and critical issues most relevant to the future of the US-ROK alliance and the Indo-Pacific region as a whole.

February 14

Application window opens for Atlantic Council Korea Journalist Fellowship Program

April 1

Application window closes for Atlantic Council Korea Journalist Fellowship Program

Early April

Final selection of 2022 Class of Fellows

April/May (TBC)

First and second roundtables in Washington, DC

June (TBC)

Delegation trip to Seoul, South Korea


Final wrap-up roundtable in Washington, DC


Program eligibility

Early- to mid-career journalists based in the United States and working in US media with experience covering foreign policy, international security, or Asian politics are eligible to apply. Candidates will have the following background:

  • A working journalist with at least 3-5 years of experience in media (radio, TV, print, digital) and a portfolio of published/broadcast work.
  • A keen interest in covering policy, security, technology, culture, global trends, and/or economic and trade-related issues, with the ability to show past work in one of these areas.
  • No Korean language skills are required.

Application and selection process

A complete application package will include:

  • A résumé of not more than one single-sided page in length;
  • A cover letter of not more than one single-sided page in length that includes the applicant’s area of interest for the Fellowship;
  • One letter of recommendation;
  • Two references (One reference may write the letter of recommendation);
  • Three examples of work, such as published articles, reports, news reels, etc., including links where applicable.

How to apply

Please send all application materials, other than letters of recommendation, in a single email to KFJournalistFellows@AtlanticCouncil.org by the deadline. Letters of recommendation should be sent directly by the recommender. Applicants are responsible for ensuring that their recommenders send their letters in before the deadline.

Expectations for Fellows

  • Fellows should be prepared to research at least one longer story during the course of the Fellowship based on interests outlined in their applications.
  • Fellows must commit to participating in the three private roundtables in Washington, DC and are obligated to join the delegation trip to Seoul (COVID-19 regulations allowing).
  • Fellows will be encouraged to publish at least one article or broadcast piece during or after the Fellowship. Editorial control and decisions remain with the Fellows.

Indo-Pacific Security Initiative

The Indo-Pacific Security Initiative works with US, allied, and partner governments and other key stakeholders to shape strategies and policies to mitigate the most important rising security challenges facing the region, including China’s growing threat to the international order and North Korea’s destabilizing nuclear weapons advancements. IPSI also addresses opportunities for cooperation in the region, such as transforming regional security architectures, harnessing emerging technologies, and developing new mechanisms for deterrence and defense cooperation.