I am a political economist working on the geoeconomics of conflict in the digital economy, observing East Asia, the U.S., Europe and the Gulf. I focus on trade, energy and tech conflicts among nation states as they navigate their distinctive paths into the digital future.

My grand theme of research is why countries fight and how, using what. I study why countries have different policy outcomes by analyzing governance structures – domestic institutions, leaderships, and bureaucracies that shape the policy formation process.

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For the 2023-2024 academic year, I am a Visiting Fellow of the Middle East Council on Global Affairs (formerly Brookings Doha Center) to conduct my project, ‘South Korea-GCC Relations: Energy, Technology, Security,’ in Doha, Qatar, while serving as Expert PI (Principal Investigator) of the Emerging Technologies Workshops, a multi-year project for the Small States Research Program at Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q). Remotely, I will be affiliated with the Institute for Middle East Studies (IMES) at the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University in Washington, DC for database access.

I am an inaugural Asia Fellow of the International Strategy Forum at Schmidt Futures (2022 cohort) and a Nonresident Fellow at the National Bureau of Asian Research in Washington, DC. I also contribute my expertise to the experts group at the Center for East Asia Policy Studies of the Brookings Institution. I served as a 2021-2022 Fung Global Fellow (Early-Career Scholar Track) at the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies (PIIRS) at Princeton UniversityAt Princeton, I conducted two major projects – one on the weaponization of the semiconductor supply chains in the global chip shortage, and another on the varied levels of country access to vaccines and the governance of vaccine procurement. 

I am focusing on finalizing my first book manuscript, DIGITAL TRADE WARS & CURRENCY CONFLICT: China, South Korea and Japan’s Responses to U.S. Protectionism since COVID-19. The book is currently supported by the International Strategy Forum (ISF) Fellows Individual Impact Grant of Schmidt Futures and has also been enriched by the Next Generation Researcher Grant of the National Research Foundation of Korea. Using a framework of institutional variance in the differing levels of balance amongst the three entities – state-bureaucracy-industry – across jurisdictions, my book manuscript attempts to answer why the three East Asian economies display different policy responses upon encountering U.S. protectionism since the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing on the cases of semiconductors, EVs and batteries, data governance, and digital currencies. It provides a mechanism for predicting their policy moves in digital transformation. The early phase of the book project been enriched by the Next Generation Researcher Grant of the National Research Foundation of Korea. Academic Book Publication Program at the Research Information Service of the National Library of Korea, where I also serve as member of the foreign reserves acquisition recommendation committee.

Outside academia, I advise public and private sectors with analyses at global, regional, and domestic levels. I also advise and consult for governments, the policy think-tanks, and businesses, most recently having served as a consultant on central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) for the South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs; as a member of the Democracy in Asia Project of the Brookings Institution; and as a consultant for EY Japan on the implementation of legislations regarding artificial intelligence (AI). I engage actively with media by providing expert commentary to various international media outlets and contribute my analysis to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), the research and analysis division of Economist Group. I also serve as an expert for global consulting firms Duco Experts and Enquire.AI.

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