2020 New NCNK Members

September 29, 2020

The National Committee on North Korea (NCNK) is pleased to announce the newest cohort of our membership. These new members bring a diverse array of new perspectives to our organization, with backgrounds ranging from humanitarian assistance work, to peace advocacy, to academic scholarship. Brief biographies of our new members are listed below; check out our Member Directory for their full profiles. 

Jennifer Deibert is the North Korea Program Director for the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) and is based in South Korea. Deibert is responsible for MCC’s humanitarian programs in North Korea, including support for pediatric hospitals in the country. She has also led agricultural exchange delegations from DPRK to Canada.

Dr. Justin Hastings is a Professor in International Relations and Comparative Politics in the Department of Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney. Dr. Hastings is an expert on North Korea illicit networks and is the author of A Most Enterprising Country: North Korea in the Global Economy.

Daniel Jasper is the Asia Public Education and Advocacy Coordinator for the American Friends Service Committee. His role is to bring lessons learned from AFSC’s programs throughout Asia back to policymakers in Washington. His current work focuses heavily on the humanitarian, peacebuilding, and people-to-people aspects of U.S.-North Korea relations.

Catherine Killough is the Advocacy and Leadership Coordinator at Women Cross DMZ, a global movement led by women mobilizing for peace on the Korean Peninsula and an end to the Korean War. Previously, she was the Roger L. Hale fellow at Ploughshares Fund, where she organized the North Korea Advocacy Working Group, a coalition of arms control, peace, humanitarian, and national security groups working in support of diplomacy between the US and North Korea.

Dr. Abraham Kim is the Executive Director of the Council on Korean Americans and drives CKA’s mission to develop more impactful global Korean American leaders. Dr. Kim has a long record of policy work at the Eurasia Group, the Mansfield Center, and the Korea Economic Institute.

Ae Kyung Lee is the CEO and President of Cura Mission, an NGO that provides humanitarian assistance to children and persons with disabilities in North Korea. For the past 15 years, she has focused on providing humanitarian aid resources to the people of North Korea, Nepal, Bangladesh and Mexico. She has taken over 30 trips to Rason, Pyongyang, and rural provinces in North Korea to monitor humanitarian aid distribution.

Paul Kyumin Lee is the President of Divided Families USA, an NGO that advocates for a formal mechanism for Korean Americans to reunite with their relatives in North Korea. Lee also co-produces the Divided Families Podcast, a platform for connecting stories of family separation. Lee works as a Program Assistant for Youth Programs at the U.S. Institute of Peace, and previously worked in the China and North Korea program at USIP.

Katerina (Kate) Parsons is the Legislative Associate for International Affairs for Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), an organization that has provided humanitarian assistance to North Korea for more than 25 years. She traveled to North Korea with MCC in 2019, and works in Washington D.C. on foreign policy related to North Korea, including humanitarian access and peace on the Korean Peninsula.

David Philips is the Deputy Director of International Projects at Samaritan’s Purse, a nondenominational Christian organization actively working in the DPRK since 1998. Philips has more than 19 years of field-level experience in humanitarian relief and development, including working in complex humanitarian situations, such as Haiti, Sudan, South Sudan, the Colombia/Venezuela border crisis, the Syria refugee crisis, and North Korea, as well as rural-development projects in Zambia and Kenya.