The Korea Herald


Profiles of new ministers

By 로컬편집기사

Published : May 6, 2011 - 21:04

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Bahk Jae-wan
Strategy and finance

Bahk began his career as a government official at the Prime Minister’s Office after he passed the civil service examination in 1980.

He then moved on to the Board of Audit and Inspection, the nation’s top inspection body, before he became a public management professor at Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul.

The holder of a Ph.D. in public policy from Harvard University began his career as a politician in 2004 as a lawmaker of the then opposition Grand National Party, who was elected under the proportional representation system. He later served the secretary general of the GNP.

Bahk later headed a task force in President Lee’s transition team, assigned to reform financial policies, and became the Lee administration’s first senior presidential secretary for political affairs in January 2008. He has served labor minister for the past 10 months.

Known as one of Lee’s closest aides, Bahk had actively advocated the benefits the four-river project to opposing local governments until he moved to head the Labor Ministry.

To be formally appointed, the nominee must pass the parliamentary confirmation process, where lawmakers conduct hearings and a floor vote. He is married with a son and a daughter.

Suh Kyu-yong 
Agriculture, fisheries and food

Suh, 61, is a veteran bureaucrat who devoted his most career to farming policy. He served as vice minister of the ministry during the Kim Dae-jung government from 1998 to 2002.

After he began his official career in 1973, he worked at the ministry, and at ministry-affiliated organizations such as the Rural Development Administration.

After leaving the officialdom in 2002, he served as auditor at the Korea Racing Authority and as publisher of an agricultural newspaper.

While working at the Agriculture Ministry, he served as chief of the food bureau, horticulture bureau and assitant minister.

Born in Cheongwon, North Chungcheong Province, he graduated from Korea University. He is known to be a hard worker and have a deep sense of responsibility. He also led a campaign to promote home-grown agricultural products as head of the civic group Local Food Headquarters. 

Yoo Young-sook

Yoo, who served as the first female head of the Korea Institute of Science and Technology and then as the leader of its research division, was named to succeed Environment Minister Lee Man-eui.

Born in 1955 in Gangwon Province, Yoo earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry at Ewha Womans University in 1977 and received a doctorate in biochemistry in Oregon State University in 1986.

After receiving her Ph.D. from Stanford University, Yoo worked at KIST since 1990 as a specialist in biopolymer analysis using capillary tube electrophoresis and mass spectrometry.

Her work involves cellular signal transduction and the development of cellular disease treatment. She is a prolific researcher with about 260 papers, books, patents and science publications at home and abroad. She was elected as an editor of an internationally prestigious scientific journal, Electrophoresis, thanks to her extensive research work.

Yoo has also served as vice chairperson of the Korean Society for Molecular and Cellular biology, director of the National Research Foundation of Korea, chairperson of the Women’s Bio Forum, and member of the Female Scientist and Engineer Development Council of the Ministry of Science and Technology.

She has significantly boosted the exchanges among female scientists and engineers in Korea.

Lee Chae-pil
Employment and labor

Lee, vice minister of employment and labor, has been nominated for the ministerial post.

The 55-year-old veteran bureaucrat has held major posts in the labor ministry.

The Ulsan native was a model to those around him. He contracted polio in his childhood, earned his high school diploma by teaching himself and taking the qualification examination, and entered the Yeungnam University in North Gyeongsang Province.

The labor minister nomine received his master’s degree from the Public Administration Graduate School of Seoul National University. He began public service through the state examination to hire mid-level civil servants.

His jobs at the labor ministry covered industrial safety, career development, cooperation between labor and employers, policy coordination and policy formulation.

In 2009, he was a crucial working-level coordinator in the process of revising labor union and labor mediation laws. He is evaluated highly for leading the recent three-way negotiation among labor, employers and the government.

He is also regarded as a suitable man for the task of creating jobs, a high priority policy of the labor ministry.

Kwon Do-yup
Land and maritimes affairs

Kwon, 58, is an expert in housing and urban planning who has already served as vice minister of the Ministry for Land and Maritime Affairs.

He earned his reputation in officialdom through his exemplary working attitude and leadership in the ministry.

Born in Uiseong, North Gyeongsang Province, he started his bureaucratic career in 1978 as a local tax official.

Since moving to the ministry in 1982, he has held major posts such as head of the housing bureau and the policy planning office.

In 2007, he left the ministry and became the CEO of the state-run Korea Expressway Corp. in 2009.

He became the vice minister of the ministry when the Lee Myung-bak administration took office in 2008 and promoted President Lee’s major policies such as the restoration of the nation’s four major rivers.

He is a graduate of Seoul National University, where he studied civil engineering.