NATIONAL

Ban mulls heading to Harvard

By KH디지털2
  • Published : Feb 10, 2017 - 14:41
  • Updated : Feb 10, 2017 - 17:51

Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who recently decided he would not run in this year’s presidential election, is considering taking an academic position at Harvard University, Ban’s associate confirmed Friday. 

Ban received the professorship offer last year from the Harvard Kennedy School, where he studied and obtained his master’s degree in public administration in 1984, according to his spokesperson Lee Do-woon.

Should he decide to take the offer, he would be named a distinguished service professor, a position often offered to those who have served in prominent positions in international organizations.
Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon answers reporters’ questions at Incheon Airport on Thursday, before leaving for Kenya to visit his daughter. (Yonhap)
Ban was named Humanitarian of the Year by the Harvard Foundation in 2014 for his “remarkable leadership at the United Nations.” 

“(Ban) has not yet made up his mind, but the school suggested that he may join whenever he pleases,” Lee said.

The school renewed its invitation in January, after Ban completed his two consecutive terms as UN chief officially on Dec. 31. The offer, however, was shelved, as Ban returned home to Korea to explore launching a presidential bid.

After 20 days of a hectic schedule in what appeared to be the run-up to an election campaign, Ban suddenly declared he would not run on Feb. 1.

His dropout came amid falling poll numbers, as well as his stance gap with conventional political power groups, especially the conservative camp that sought to recruit Ban as a presidential candidate.

After some days out of public sight, the former top diplomat left for Kenya on Thursday to visit his second daughter, Hyun-hee, an employee at UNICEF, and son-in-law Siddharth Chatterjee, head of the United Nations Population Fund in Kenya. He is expected to return on Feb. 16.  

By Jo He-rim (herim@heraldcorp.com)