Jongjoo Lee is a visiting fellow with the Asia Security Initiative at the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security. She is also a director-general level senior executive at the Ministry of Unification (MOU), a leading South Korean government agency in charge of crafting policy on North Korea and of unification in the Republic of Korea. Most recently, Lee served as the spokesperson for the MOU, delivering daily press briefings for domestic and international media on issues related to North Korea. She also served as the director-general of Humanitarian Cooperation, which promotes humanitarian assistance toward North Korea and works to resolve humanitarian issues between the two Koreas—including the separation of families and North Korean defectors. Lee also worked as assistant secretary to the president for unification policy at the South Korean Office of National Security, where she was involved in various inter-Korean negotiations as a negotiator and a strategist, including the most recent inter-Korean summits.
Lee holds a BA in sociology from Korea University, MPA from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and a PhD from the University of North Korean Studies. Her main area of focus is North Korea’s national security policy and North Korea-South Korea relations. She has published works such as A Study on Transition of North Korea’s Nuclear Policy (2009-2017): Toward a Full-fledged Internal Balancing and “A Study on Kim Jong-un’s Coercive Diplomacy and Nuclear Weapons.”