June 2022 NextGen Leaders Trade and Economics Delegation
June 27–July 1, 2022
The June 2022 Trade and Economics Delegation of the U.S.-ROK Next Generation Leaders Program (NextGen) included nine rising Asia policy professionals from diverse backgrounds spanning trade, energy, technology, and environment. The delegation was led by Tami Overby (Albright Stonebridge Group), former senior vice president at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and former president and CEO of the American Chamber of Commerce in Korea. Participants met with a variety of stakeholders in South Korea to discuss the U.S.-ROK trade relationship and South Korea’s domestic economic environment.
During the program, delegates participated in meetings and briefings with representatives from the ROK government, trade and industry groups, the private sector, and the think tank community to enrich their understanding of the Yoon Suk-yeol administration’s trade policies and the economic realities on the Korean Peninsula.
These engagements included a meeting with Prime Minister Han Duck-soo, who provided an overview of the Yoon administration’s foreign policy objectives and elaborated on President Yoon’s vision of South Korea as a “global pivotal state.” Prime Minister Han then fielded questions from participants about the impact of the changing geopolitical environment, South Korea’s approach to regional relations under President Yoon, and the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework.
The delegates also had a briefing with the presidential secretary for economic security, Wang Yun-jong, and met National Assembly members Kim Han-jung and Ji Seong-ho, who provided a comprehensive overview of domestic economic affairs and their intersection with trade policy. In a visit to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, participants had an opportunity to discuss ROK trade priorities with the director general for trade, legal affairs, and public relations. In a meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the deputy minister for economic affairs led an in-depth discussion on bilateral relations between the ROK and the United States and the role of the United States in South Korean foreign policy.
Alongside the meetings and briefings with the South Korean officials, delegates visited the U.S. Embassy for a country briefing hosted by the acting deputy chief of mission, who offered helpful insights into the U.S.-ROK economic relations.
NexGen delegates also met with a broad range of experts from industry, academia, and journalism. The group met with James Kim, the chairman and CEO of the American Chamber of Commerce in Korea, and Ambassador Eric John of Boeing Korea. Both presented perspectives from U.S. industry on U.S.-ROK trade and economic relations. Delegation participants also met the representatives from major companies in South Korea, such as CJ Entertainment and Samsung Electronics, and learned about their approaches toward economic resilience and supply chain security.
The group held a roundtable with Jiae Sohn and Eunjung Lim, experts specializing in journalism and energy economics, and a discussion at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies focused on emerging technology and domestic economic issues. The group also engaged with foreign journalists from the Economist, the Washington Post, and NK News. Finally, the group heard from Lieutenant General (ret.) Chun In-bum and joined a welcome lunch with the executive vice president of the Korea Foundation, Rhee Jong-kook.
While in Seoul, participants had an opportunity to gain a deeper appreciation of Korean culture by visiting popular museums and historical sites, including the National Museum of Korea and Deoksu Palace. They were also able to attend a local baseball game and explore the largest underground shopping mall in Asia, Starfield COEX Mall.
Participants’ titles and institutional affiliations as of the time of the delegation.
Business Program Manager, Microsoft
Zach Balin is a Business Program Manager in the Office of the President at Microsoft, where he supports executive communications and manages a variety of strategic projects. This includes the AI for Cultural Heritage program, which partners with governments and other stakeholders to digitally preserve bedrocks of culture around the world, and the Growing Home initiative, which works with local communities to help expand opportunity across rural America. Prior to joining Microsoft, he worked as a project manager and research assistant in the John L. Thornton China Center at the Brookings Institution and as an international affairs specialist at the U.S. Department of Justice. Zach holds an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management, a bachelor’s degree in English from Princeton University, and a certificate in advanced Mandarin from Tsinghua University. He enjoys reading, running, traveling, and photography.
Energy Attaché and Deputy Director for the U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Embassy Tokyo, Japan
Yasmin Fouladi represents the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) office at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, Japan. In this role, she advances U.S. energy and science interests through engaging with the Government of Japan, leading Japanese research institutions, and Japanese companies. While in Japan, Ms. Fouladi has advanced U.S. science and technology interests abroad and has created bilateral agreements from the bottom-up that have displayed U.S. critical and emerging technological leadership to the world. Prior to her assignment in Tokyo, Ms. Fouladi was a Senior Asia Energy Researcher at DOE, responsible for briefing the Secretary of Energy and the Deputy Secretary of Energy on Asia energy issues. She also prepared research reports on Asia energy issues for the U.S. President and other Cabinet members. In addition, Ms. Fouladi completed short-term details to DOE’s Office of Asian Affairs in the Office of International Affairs and to DOE’s attaché office in the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, China. Before joining DOE, Ms. Fouladi gained experience in U.S.-Asia relations at various organizations, such as The Asia Group, the U.S. Department of State, the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy, the National Committee on United States-China Relations, and the U.S.-Asia Institute. Ms. Fouladi has a Bachelor’s degree with honors in Asian Studies and English from Cornell University and a Master’s degree in Asian Studies with a focus on Politics & Security and Energy & Environment from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. She has studied Chinese, Korean, and Japanese languages, and has received post-graduate training in energy engineering, climate change studies, computer science, and quantum computing.
Consultant, Boston Consulting Group
Blaine Johnson is a Consultant with the Boston Consulting Group’s Federal practice, where she focuses on energy, climate, and public sector work from San Francisco, CA. Previously, Blaine served as the China and Asia Policy Analyst on the national security team at the Center for American Progress, conducting primary source and field research on Chinese energy, environment, and global governance policies and developing strategy and policy recommendations for the U.S. government. Outside of work, Blaine serves as the Community Outreach Coordinator of the Critical Language Scholarship Alumni Society and hosts Mandarin language events as part of NatSecGirlSquad. Blaine has a master’s degree from Fudan University’s School of International Relations and Public Affairs and a bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College. Blaine speaks Spanish and Mandarin Chinese.
Research Analyst, Center for Security and Emerging Technology
Ngor Luong is a Research Analyst at Georgetown University’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET), focusing on China’s science and technology ecosystem, AI investment trends, and AI diplomacy in the Indo-Pacific region. She is also a Nonresident Fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Global China Hub where she focuses on China’s tech, economy, and business. Prior to CSET, Ngor worked at the Center for American Progress, where she researched China’s industrial policy and 5G. Her work and commentary have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Nikkei Asia, the Diplomat, among other outlets. She is a co-author of the forthcoming Routledge-published “Chinese Power and Artificial Intelligence.” Ngor received a BA magna cum laude in International Politics and Economics from Middlebury College. She is enrolled as an M.A. candidate in Georgetown University’s Security Studies program with a concentration in technology and national security.
Oyintarelado (Tarela) Moses
Data Analyst, Global China Initiative
Oyintarelado (Tarela) Moses is a data analyst and database manager for the Global China Initiative at the Boston University Global Development Policy (GDP) Center. Prior to joining the GDP Center, she worked on the international relations team of the Export Import Bank of the United States as a policy analyst. She also worked at the China Africa Research Initiative as a research assistant and interned at the US Development Finance Corporation as a political risk insurance graduate assistant. At these institutions, she researched and analyzed political risks, development finance and the global export credit market. Tarela earned a M.A. in China Studies and International Economics from Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), a certificate in Chinese and American Studies from the Hopkins-Nanjing Center and a B.A. in Political Science and Chinese Language from Duke University.
Policy Analyst, U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission
Emma Rafaelof is a Policy Analyst on the Economics and Trade team at the Commission. Before joining in 2020, Emma was a senior manager of policy for Asia at the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) where she focused on the cybersecurity, privacy, global standardization and international trade. Emma also previously interned at the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Office of China Affairs focusing on technology policy and intellectual property issues in the U.S.-China bilateral relationship. She holds a M.A. in Asian Studies from George Washington University and a B.A. in Chinese, English, and Asian Studies from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Manager for Japan and Korea, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Alexis Ayano Terai is Manager for Japan and Korea at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, where she helps advocate for U.S. business interests and promote stronger economic ties with Asia. Before joining the Chamber, she most recently served as Research Assistant to Dr. Michael Green at Georgetown University and as Analyst at The Asia Group. Previously, Alexis was Program Manager at the U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress (FMC), where she managed bipartisan Congressional roundtables and delegations for Members of Congress and senior Congressional staff. At FMC, she also oversaw the launch of The Congressional Study Group on Korea, a U.S.-ROK legislative exchange program. Her prior experiences include working for a member of Japan’s National Diet, and the Foreign Commercial Service at the U.S. Embassy Tokyo. Alexis holds a BA from Macalester College and MA in Asian Studies from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. She also studied at Sciences Po Paris, and speaks Japanese and French.
International Trade Specialist, International Trade Association
Sagatom Saha leads on cleantech competitiveness at the U.S. Department of Commerce. He spent the last year as a special advisor in the Office of the U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate (SPEC). In this role, he was chief of staff to Secretary Kerry’s clean energy team and led on cleantech competitiveness, nuclear energy, industrial decarbonization, Ukraine and Eastern Europe, and India. Sagatom was also a Fulbright researcher in Kyiv, Ukraine, where he advised the Ukrainian Parliament and cabinet ministries on strategies to advance energy reform. Sagatom previously helped direct the Council on Foreign Relations’ Program on Energy Security and Climate Change, managing its geopolitics portfolio. He has written more than 50 op-eds and policy papers in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Axios, Scientific American, and Fortune, among others. He has been named a Grist 50 Fixer, New America Asian American and Pacific Islander Next Generation National Security & Foreign Policy Leader, Stanford U.S.-Russia Forum Fellow for Climate and Environment, and Climate Security Fellow for the Climate and Security Advisory Group. Sagatom holds a master’s degree from the Princeton School of Public Affairs and a bachelor’s degree in international studies and business administration from American University.
Analyst, Congressional Research Service
Liana Wong is an Analyst at Congressional Research Service (CRS) in the Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division: International Trade and Finance section. At CRS, she provides research and analysis on various U.S. trade policy issues, including rules of origin in free trade agreements, trade remedies, U.S. customs trade enforcement and facilitation, trade preference programs, general U.S. import policy, and U.S.-Vietnam trade issues to Members of Congress, congressional committees, and their staff. Prior to CRS, she interned at the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of International Affairs with the South and Southeast Asia team and spent one year teaching English in Daegu, South Korea. Liana holds a Master of International Affairs from the University of California, San Diego with a specialization in international economics and a Bachelor of Art in Business Economics from the University of California, Irvine, where she spent a summer studying abroad in South Korea. She speaks Cantonese and has intermediate proficiency in Korean.
Senior Advisor, Albright Stonebridge Group
Tami Overby is a Senior Advisor in the East Asia & Pacific practice at ASG, where she draws on more than three decades of experience working in Asia to advise clients on investment and trade issues in Korea and across the region.
Ms. Overby most recently served as Senior Director at McLarty Associates. Previously, she was Senior Vice President for Asia and President of the U.S.-Korea Business Council at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, where she represented U.S. businesses during negotiation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), directed the Chamber’s work with the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), and helped companies navigate market access and investment issues throughout the region. Earlier in her career, Ms. Overby spent 14 years as President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Korea, where she helped grow the bilateral trade relationship and supported the completion and ratification of the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement.
Ms. Overby sits on the boards of the Korea Society and the U.S.-Asia Institute and is on the Advisory Council of the Korea Economic Institute.
She received her B.S. in Business Administration and Management from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.
She is based in Washington, D.C.
Assistant Director, Center for Innovation, Trade, and Strategy, The National Bureau of Asian Research
Doug Strub is Assistant Director with the Center for Innovation, Trade, and Strategy at NBR. He manages and supports research for Trade Center projects focusing on Asian economic, trade, innovation, and intellectual property policy issues. Prior to joining NBR, Mr. Strub spent five years in China working for the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai, writing reports for the World Bank in Beijing, and studying Mandarin in Guilin and Wuhan. He received his MA in International Affairs from the George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs.
Program Advisor, The National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR)
Julia Oh is a Program Advisor at National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR) based in Seoul, South Korea and a Program Manager at the International Republican Institute, Korea. At NBR, Julia provides guidance on Korea Programming, business development, and strategic relationship building. She was previously a resident fellow at NBR’s DC office. Prior to joining NBR, she worked for the ROK government in London, the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency. She interned for one year in a separate research role for the Korea Economic Institute of America in DC, and the United Nations office for Disarmament Affairs in NYC. While completing her MA, she contributed to the Centre for Science and Security Studies (CSSS) in London. Julia holds a BA in Communications from University of Delaware and an MA in International Relations from the Department of War Studies at the King’s College London, where her dissertation focused on the role of North Korea’s nuclear weapons program in domestic propaganda.
Program Coordinator, The National Bureau of Asian Research
Sanghyun Han is an Assistant Group Rapporteur at National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR) and a Consultant at Asia Security Initiative, Atlantic Council. Prior to joining, he worked at the Atlantic Council, Institute of International Studies, Institute of Foreign Affairs and National Security, and East Asia Foundation. He is the author of two book chapters on EU space strategy and export control policy on emerging technologies as well as published a peer-reviewed article on US export control policy. Sanghyun holds a B.A. in International Studies from the Catholic University of Korea and will pursue Ph.D. in International Affairs, Science, and Technology from Sam Nunn School of International Affairs, Georgia Institute of Technology after graduating with M.A. in International Relations at Seoul National University.
Senior Project Manager, Political and Security Affairs, The National Bureau of Asian Research
Melanie Berry is a Senior Project Manager with the Political and Security Affairs group at NBR. In this position, she manages projects related to U.S. engagement with allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific, focusing on Northeast Asia and Oceania. She previously worked as an intern with the Political and Security Affairs group from 2017 to 2018.
Prior to joining NBR, Ms. Berry was a Senior Associate at The Asia Group, where she provided clients with analysis and advice on Japan’s political dynamics, regional trade and defense strategy, and market and regulatory trends, as well as U.S.-Japan alliance relations. She also worked in Japan as an intern at the Asia Pacific Initiative in Tokyo and as an Assistant Language Teacher with the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program in Gunma Prefecture.
Ms. Berry holds an MA in Asian Studies with a concentration in Politics and Security from Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. She also graduated from the University of Virginia with a BA in History and Japanese Language and Literature and attended the Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies at Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan.
Project Associate, Political and Security Affairs, The National Bureau of Asian Research
Darlene Onuorah is a Project Associate with Political and Security Affairs at NBR. She supports various projects such as the Strategic Asia Program, the U.S.-ROK Next Generation Leaders Program, and grant proposals.
Prior to joining NBR, Ms. Onuorah was a Japan Security Policy intern for the Stimson Center in Washington D.C., where she researched and analyzed Japanese security issues and provided publications and events support for the Japan Program. Ms. Onuorah also worked for the Embassy of Japan in the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program office, helping to review and process thousands of JET applications. She has also held legislative and policy internships back in her home state of Texas.
Ms. Onuorah holds a master’s degree in international affairs with a concentration in U.S. foreign policy from the George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs and a bachelor’s degree in Global Studies from St. Edward’s University in Austin, TX. Ms. Onuorah speaks Japanese, and her research interests include U.S.-Japan relations, Japanese defense policy, and East Asian political and security affairs.
Korea Foundation Research Fellow, Political and Security Affairs, The National Bureau of Asian Research
Eunwoo Joo is a Korea Foundation Research Fellow with Political and Security Affairs at NBR. In this role, she provides research and logistical support for various projects such as the U.S.-ROK Next Generation Leaders Program and carries out an independent research project.
Prior to joining NBR, Ms. Joo worked as a research assistant in several research projects dealing with a variety of international affairs issues. Ms. Joo holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in Political Science and International Relations from Ewha Womans University. Her research focuses on nontraditional threats to national security, including cybersecurity, information warfare, and psychological warfare. Her MA thesis, titled “Is Cyberwarfare Really a Weapon of the Weak? Evaluation in Four Different Domains of the U.S.-Iran Asymmetric Cyberwarfare,” received an Outstanding Thesis Award. She has also co-authored several journal articles addressing the topics like psychological warfare against North Korea and ROK’s digital diplomacy.
Intern, Political and Security Affairs, The National Bureau of Asian Research
Mary Black completed an internship with the Political and Security Affairs team at NBR. In addition to her support of the U.S.-ROK Next Generation Leaders Program, she assisted with conferences, prepared research and current events reports to staff, and conducted a Q&A.
Mary is a senior at the U.S. Air Force Academy majoring in Foreign Area Studies with East Asia and Military Strategy focuses and minoring in Japanese and French. She serves as her squadron academic officer responsible for mentoring fellow cadets in academic growth. She staffs several Academy clubs and events including the National Character and Leadership Symposium that welcomes subject matter experts to discuss honorable living with the 4,000-strong cadet wing. As part of the selective Martinson Honors Program, Mary dedicated her research to the Indo-Pacific strategic landscape, focusing on relations between Japan and South Korea. Recently, she presented her research paper, “K-Pop Soft Power: How the South Korean Government Rides the Hallyu Wave.” She has conducted research with faculty from the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies and has traveled to South Korea. She maintains intermediate language proficiencies in Japanese and French while also self-studying Korean and Russian. Mary graduates in June 2023 with a Bachelor of Science as a commissioned U.S. Air Force officer entering the intelligence career field.