Ambassador Han was appointed by President Lee, Myung-bak as the new Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the United States of the America on January 18, 2009. He presented his Letter of Credence to President Barack Obama on May 20, 2009.
Before the appointment, Ambassador Han served as the 38th Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea after his nomination was approved by the National Assembly on April 2, 2007, and he worked in that capacity until February 2008.
Prior to serving as Prime Minister, Ambassador Han held numerous high-ranking positions in the Korean government. In 2006, he was named Chairman of the Presidential Committee on Facilitating KORUS FTA following his service as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Economy. Before being named Minister of Government Policy Coordination in early 2004, he worked as President of the Korea Institute for Industrial Economics and Trade.
As Korea’s Permanent Representative to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Ambassador Han went to Paris in 2001 before returning to Seoul later that year to serve at the Blue House, first as Senior Secretary to the President for Policy and Planning and later as Senior Secretary to the President for Economic Affairs.
Ambassador Han was the Minister for Trade at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade from 1998 to 2001. Previously, he was Assistant Minister for International Trade and Vice Minister at the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy. From 1993 to 1994, he served as Secretary to the President for Economic Affairs.
During his distinguished career in government, Ambassador Han has made many contributions to the development and modernization of the Korean economy. Deregulation, market opening and strengthening of the market economy have been the three pillars of his philosophy and framework for the economic policy of Korea.
Ambassador Han earned a B.A. in economics from Seoul National University, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University. He has been awarded two Order of Public Service and Merit Medals. Ambassador Han is married to Choi, Ah Young.