21st Century Council
Seok-Hyun HONG is the chairman and CEO of the JoongAng Media Network, the largest media group in Korea, with 26 media outlets spanning in newspapers, broadcasting, publishing, entertainment and digital media. In 1994 Mr. Hong took over the JoongAng Ilbo, Korea’s most-read daily, and since then the group has expanded into a global multimedia powerhouse through a wide range of innovations and reforms.
Having helped transform the media industry, Mr. Hong served as president of the World Association of Newspapers, a position to which he was elected in 2002 and re-elected in June 2004. He became president of the Korea Association of Newspapers from March 2003 to February 2005.
During his career, Mr. Hong has been active in public services. He worked as an economist at the World Bank from 1977 to 1983, primarily on the economies of Turkey and Malaysia. He was a senior fellow at the Korea Development Institute (KDI) from 1985 to 1986, playing a key role in the economic development of Korea through the 1980s. In 1983, he joined the Korean government, first as chief assistant to the minister of finance and then as principal assistant to the chief of staff of the president of the republic. He served as Korean ambassador to the United States in 2005.
Currently, Mr. Hong is the deputy chairman of Asia Pacific Group of the Trilateral Commission, a member of the Board of Trustees of the Asia Foundation, a trustee of the Board of Trustees of Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), chairman of Korea Baduk(Go) Association and president of the organizing committee of the World Culture Open (WCO).
Mr. Hong received his bachelor’s degree in electronics engineering from Seoul National University, and earned both a master’s in industrial engineering and a Ph.D. in economics from Stanford University.
Mr. Hong and his wife, Yun-Gyun Shin, have two sons and one daughter.