Amb. Kathleen Stephens is a former American diplomat. She was U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Korea 2008-2011. She has been President and CEO of the Korea Economic Institute of America, based in Washington, DC, since September 2018. She is also a Mansfield Foundation Distinguished Fellow, Pacific Century Institute board chairman, vice-chair of the board of trustees for The Asia Foundation, and on the board of The Korea Society. She was William J. Perry Fellow for Korea at Stanford University from 2015 to 2018.
Amb. Stephens' other overseas assignments included postings to China, former Yugoslavia, Portugal, Northern Ireland, where she was U.S. Consul General in Belfast during the negotiations culminating in the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, and India, where she was U.S. Charge d Affaires (2014-2015). Amb. Stephens also served in a number of policy positions in Washington at the Department of State and the White House.
Amb. Stephens holds a B.A. in East Asian studies from Prescott College and a master's degree from Harvard University. She also studied at the University of Hong Kong and Oxford University. After college, she was a Peace Corps volunteer in South Korea (1975-1977).