Amb.. Seokyoung Choi is carrier diplomat who worked in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for more than 36 years and retired in December 2016. Since March 2016, he gives lecture as visiting professor at GSIS (Graduate School of International Studies) in the Seoul National University. Since February 2016, he works as a member of the trade commission of the Asia Society. Since October 2015, he works as a member of the advisory group of UNCERF (UN Central Emergency Response Fund) nominated by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-mun.
From September 2012 to September 2015, he served as the Republic of Korea’s Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and Permanent Representative to the Office of the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Geneva. From October 2013 he served as one-year-term Chairman of the Executive Committee of the UNHCR and from March 2014 to February 2015 as Chairman of the Council for Trade in Services of the WTO. Since March 2013, he holds the Chairmanship of the Working Party on the Accession of Uzbekistan to the WTO.
From June 2010 to July 2012, he served as Deputy Minister for Trade of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade cum Chief FTA Negotiator. During this period, he successfully supervised Korea’s FTA negotiations and their ratification process, including those of Korea-EU FTA and Korea-US FTA in 2011 and 2012 respectively. Between April 2009 and June 2010, he served as Ambassador for DDA (Doha Development Agenda) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Between 2006 and 2009, he served as Minister for Economic Affairs and Trade in the Korean Embassy to Washington, DC, USA.
In 2004, he served as Deputy Executive Director of the APEC Secretariat in Singapore. He further served as Ambassador and the 13th Executive Director of the APEC Secretariat in 2005. He managed 70 staff and around 250 projects with an annual budget of US$ 10 Million. From 2002 to 2003, in his capacity as Deputy Director General of the Multilateral Trade Bureau of the Korean Foreign Ministry and Trade, he served as Korea’s Deputy Senior Official to APEC and as Representative to the CTI (Committee on Trade and Investment).
From 1999 to 2002, he worked as Counselor and Chief of Economic Section at the Korea’s Permanent Mission to the UN in New York. From 1994 to 1997, he worked as Counselor of Korea’s Permanent Mission to the UN in Geneva. After joining the Korean Foreign Ministry in 1979, he served various diplomatic postings including in Germany, the United States, Switzerland and Kenya.
He graduated from Seoul National University with a BA degree in 1979. He studied the political science and German as foreign language at the University of Heidelberg in Germany between 1983 and 1985. He graduated from KDI School of Public Policy and Management in 2004 with MBA degree in Finance.
He is author of numerous articles in the fields of trade, environment and APEC. He published two books: one in English on the open regionalism of APEC; the other in Korean on his experience of the Korea’s FTA negotiations and beyond. He is holder of the Service Merit Medal and the Order of Service Merit (Yellow Stripes) from the government of the Republic of Korea.
He is married to Youngin Choi and has a son who is a graduate of the Amherst College in MA, U.S.A. and a daughter who is a graduate of the William and Mary College in VA, U.S.A.
Last update: February 15, 2016