Brookings to tap female professor as Korea studies chair

By Lee Chi-dong

WASHINGTON, Nov. 14 (Yonhap) -- The Brookings Institution, a top U.S. think tank, is expected to pick Katharine Moon, a female Korean-American professor, as its first Korea studies chair, an informed source said Thursday.

The Washington-based institution is preparing to launch a chair position for Korean studies in partnership with the Korea Foundation and SK Group, a South Korean conglomerate.

"Brookings has been in search for a figure to lead the program. It has drawn up a short list of Korea experts in the U.S. For now, professor Moon is a favorite," the source told Yonhap New Agency, requesting anonymity.

Moon, assistant professor of political science at Wellesley College, was born in California and spent her early childhood in Seoul.

She has written a number of books, including "Protesting America: Democracy and the U.S.-Korea Alliance," and "Sex Among Allies: Military Prostitution in U.S.-Korea Relations."

The Brookings Institution is known as one of the top two American think tanks, along with the Heritage Foundation.

Its move to create the Korea chair reflects ever-growing interest in issues on both North Korea and South Korea among U.S. research institutions, said the source.

"There are many think tanks here hoping to create such a Korea chair position. But raising funds is a problem," the source said.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies has Victor Cha, a professor at Georgetown University, as its Korea chair.

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