Mercy Corps Welcomes Amb. Joseph Yun as Senior Fellow for Humanitarian Diplomacy

Ambassador Yun to advise on North Korea humanitarian policy

WASHINGTON — The global organization Mercy Corps is pleased to welcome Ambassador Joseph Yun as its inaugural Senior Fellow for Humanitarian Diplomacy. Ambassador Yun will lead and advise Mercy Corps on its approaches to address the humanitarian crisis in North Korea.

Ambassador Yun retired from the State Department after a distinguished career, serving until 2018 as the U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Policy. He played a key role in reopening a line of communication between North Korea and the United States.

“Ambassador Yun’s record as a tough diplomat with a deep interest in alleviating humanitarian need will be invaluable to Mercy Corps’ work in the region,” says Neal Keny-Guyer, Mercy Corps’ Chief Executive Officer.

Ambassador Yun previously served as U.S. Ambassador to Malaysia from 2013-2016, forging the US-Malaysia Comprehensive Partnership Agreement to strengthen the relationship between the two countries. He also served as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs in 2011-2013 and held previous assignments in South Korea, Indonesia, Hong Kong, and France.

“Last year, the United Nations indicated that 18 million people in North Korea don’t know where their next meal is coming from and 41% of the country is undernourished,” says Ambassador Joseph Yun, Mercy Corps Senior Fellow for Humanitarian Diplomacy. “Diplomacy offers the best chance to alleviate the human suffering, as well as to halt and reverse the North Korean nuclear pursuits. I'm pleased to join Mercy Corps' efforts to build bridges and work towards a more peaceful and just future for all."

While not currently operational in North Korea, Mercy Corps has a long history of humanitarian assistance in the country. It was one of the first organizations to provide humanitarian assistance in 1995 amidst North Korea’s devastating famine. Over the years, Mercy Corps has helped meet the urgent nutrition and health needs of vulnerable families and communities in the country and supported efforts to build bridges through cross-cultural exchanges and dialogue.