BLACKSBURG, Va., April 25, 2008 – Tae-sik Lee, the Republic of Korea ambassador to the United States, will deliver the keynote address at Virginia Tech’s 2008 Graduate Commencement ceremony on Friday, May 9, at 3 p.m. at Cassell Coliseum.
Approximately 1,000 Virginia Tech graduate and professional students are expected to complete their degree requirements and participate in commencement ceremonies
Lee is a career diplomat whose service for his country covers four decades and four continents. After passing the High Diplomatic Service Examination and joining the ministry in 1973, Lee served in various locations around the globe including Liberia, the Philippines, Austria, Yugoslavia, and the European Union, among others.
He has also held several senior level positions throughout the Korean government, including director-general of the International Trade Bureau at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and deputy executive director of the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization.
In 2000, his first Ambassadorial posting was as Ambassador to Israel, where he served until 2002 when he was called back to serve as the deputy minister for foreign affairs. In his capacity as the deputy foreign minister, he led Korean delegations in various security negotiations and consultations, particularly those addressing North Korea’s nuclear issue.
In 2003, he became the Korean Ambassador to the Court of St. James’s (United Kingdom). In 2005, he was posted back to Seoul as the vice minister of foreign affairs and trade.
Lee became Korea’s Ambassador to the United States in October 2005, presenting his credentials to President Bush in November 2005. Lee had served in the Korean Embassy in the United States before, as a first secretary from 1981 to 1984.
Lee is a native of the Republic of Korea. He pursued his academic studies in Korea and the United States, graduating from the Department of International Relations at Seoul National University in 1970 and the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University in 1988. Lee is married with three sons.