Dr. Katharine H.S. Moon

Edith Stix Wasserman Professor of Asian Studies; Professor of Political Science
Wellesley College
NCNK Advisory Committee



Katharine (Kathy) H.S. Moon is the inaugural holder of the SK-Korea Foundation Chair in Korea Studies and senior fellow at the Brookings Institution's Center for East Asia Policy Studies. She also is a professor of Political Science at Wellesley College and holds the Edith Stix Wasserman Chair of Asian Studies. Moon came to Brookings in summer, 2014. She received her B.A., magna cum laude, from Smith College and a Ph.D. from Princeton University, Department of Politics. She was born in San Francisco.

Moon’s research includes the U.S.-Korea alliance, politics of East Asia, inter-Korean relations, socio-political changes in North Korea, as well as democratization, human rights, women and gender politics, and comparative social movements in East Asia (“Influencing South Korea's Democracy: China, North Korea, and Defectors” 2014; “Beyond Demonization: A New Strategy for Human Rights in North Korea,” 2008; “Resurrecting Prostitutes and Overturning Treaties: Gender Politics in the South Korean ‘Anti-American’ Movement,” 2007); nationalisms in East Asia, migration and identity politics; Korean-Americans and U.S. foreign policy (“Challenging U.S. Hegemony: Asian Nationalism and Anti-Americanism in East Asia, 2007; “Ethnicity and U.S. Foreign Policy: Korean Americans,” 2012).

Kathy Moon is the author of Protesting America: Democracy and the U.S.-Korea Alliance (University of California Press/GAIA, 2013), which illustrates how democracy has given rise to Korean civil society activism around the politics of the U.S.-Korea alliance and U.S. overseas bases and the institutional and procedural changes needed to improve the management of the alliance. Kathy Moon also authored Sex Among Allies: Military Prostitution in U.S.-Korea Relations (Columbia University, 1997; Korean edition by Sam-in Publishing Co., 2002), which explains how foreign policy decisions affect local communities and the lives of poor and marginalized women.

Moon’s analytical approach is to bridge domestic politics and foreign policy. Her current research addresses the impact of demographic change in South Korea on Korean democracy and foreign policy, especially defectors from North Korea and foreign nationals who live and work in South Korea for the long-term. She is also editing a volume on Korean-Americans as new ethnic players in American politics and in U.S.-Korea relations.

Katharine Moon has received numerous scholarly fellowships (e.g., Henry Luce Foundation, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, The George Washington University, Senior Fulbright research grant, American Association of University Women, National Bureau of Asian Research-Woodrow Wilson Center NARP grant, the Social Science Research Council) and has served in the Office of the Senior Coordinator for International Women’s Issues in the U.S. Department of State and as a trustee of Smith College.