Brain Trust

CanKor is proud of the intellectual stimulus provided by its growing Brain Trust of North Korea experts who contribute a wide variety of viewpoints, perspectives, information, resources, links and papers of their own to expand CanKor’s scope and calibre.

Should you be interested in joining this illustrious advisory council of wise souls, open hearts and cunning minds, please contact us.

Aidan Foster-Carter

Aidan Foster-Carter

Britain’s leading Korea-watcher, and also Honorary Senior Research Fellow in Sociology and Modern Korea, Leeds University 

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Bern Jagunos

Bern Jagunos

Asia Program Coordinator, United Church of Canada

Areas of expertise: Bern works closely with faith-based Korean partners such as the (North) Korean Christian Federation Churches and the (South) Korean National Council of Churches and the Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea. Read More…

Brian Job

Brian Job

Professor, Political Science, Liu Institute for Global Issues, UBC, Vancouver, Canada

Areas of expertise: Brian’s work focuses upon the evolving security order of the Asia Pacific, on intrastate conflict, and on Canadian foreign and defence policy. Read More…

Charles Burton

Charles Burton

Professor, Political Science, Brock University, Canada

Area of expertise:  The fundamental question that I seek to resolve is how to alleviate poverty and to realize human rights in the context of repressive structures of political power and cultural legacies at cross purposes to liberal norms. Read more…

Chong-Ae Yu

Chong-Ae Yu

Consultant (current: Social Science Research Council in New York; research fellow at the Institute for Development and Human Security at Ewha Womans University in Seoul, Korea)

Area of expertise: Chong-Ae Yu is a specialist in international development and conflict resolution programs with 19 years of experience in working with non-governmental organizations in the US and in over 20 countries. Her areas of expertise include humanitarian relief, economic and social development, international affairs, and peace building. Read More… 

David Dewitt

David Dewitt

Associate Vice-President Research (Social Sciences & Humanities) and Professor of Political Science, York University, Canada

Area of expertise: Canadian foreign, security, and defence policy, international and regional security and conflict management in Asia Pacific and the Middle East, arms control and proliferation, and human security. Read More…

David Hawk

David Hawk

David Hawk

Human Rights and International Relations Expert

Areas of expertise: Hawk was the Executive Director of Amnesty International, USA during its formative stage in the mid-1970s. He also directed the UN human rights office, during the mid-1990s when it was the largest field operation of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Read More…

Donald Baker

Donald Baker

Professor, Department of Asian Studies, University of British Columbia, Canada

Area of expertise: Don teaches Korean history and religion in the Department of Asian Studies at the University of British Columbia. He has been observing Korean affairs closely since 1971. Read More…

Dwain Epps

Dwain Epps

Director of the Commission of the Churches in International Affairs (CCIA) of the World Council of Churches (retired)

Areas of expertise: Dwain was an active supporter of the church-based human rights movement in South Korea. In 1986, as Associate General Secretary for International Affairs of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA, he led the first official foreign church delegation to the DPRK. Read More…

Elliott Tepper

Elliot Tepper

Distinguished Senior Fellow, Norman Paterson School of International Affairs; Senior Research Fellow of the Centre for Security and Defence Studies at Carleton University, member of the Board of Director’s of Rights and Democracy, Canada

Area of expertise: Elliot has significant expertise on emerging and illiberal democracies and has produced studies on human rights in several states. Mr. Tepper is active with human rights organizations, especially in Asia. Read More…

Glen Davis

Glen Davis

Presbyterian Director of Denominational Formation, Vancouver School of Theology, Canada

Area of expertise: A minister of the Presbyterian Church in Canada, Glen worked for 15 years with the Korean Christian Church in Japan and became quite fluent in both Korean and Japanese. Read More…

Gordon Houlden

Gordon Houlden

Director, China Institute, Professor of Political Science, University of Alberta

Area of expertise: Twenty-two of his years in the Canadian foreign service were spent working on Chinese affairs for the Government of Canada. His last assignment before joining the University of Alberta in 2008 was as Director General of the East Asian Bureau of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. Read More…

Hannah Barraclough

Hannah Barraclough

Tour Manager and Cultural Projects, Koryo Tours

Area of expertise: Cultural exchange between the DPRK and the rest of the world, particularly through sports. Development of tourism in the country. Read More…

Hartmuth Kroll

Hartmuth Kroll

(Retired) Korea Desk Officer, Foreign Affairs Canada; Currently Consultant on Foreign Affairs

Area of expertise: Canada-North Korea relations, Asia-Pacific diplomacy.

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Hazel Smith

Hazel Smith

Professor of Resilience and Security, Cranfield University

Area of expertise: Professor Smith commentates for the international media on the DPRK, East Asian security, the United Nations and humanitarian assistance. Read More…

Jack Kim

Jack Kim

Advisor, Han Voice

Areas of expertise: Human rights, humanitarian aid, security issues on the Korean peninsula, reunification issues. Read More…

Jeremy Paltiel

Jeremy Paltiel

Professor, Department of Political Science, Carleton University, Canada

Areas of expertise: the politics, government and foreign policies of Asia (China and Japan) and development politics. Read More…

John Vivian Everard

John Vivian Everard

Former UK Ambassador to DPR (North) Korea, Expert appointed to Panel of DPRK Experts at UN Security Council

Areas of expertise: All things DPR (North) Korea Read More…

Karin Janz

Karin Janz

Rural Development Consultant (Germany)

Areas of expertise: development cooperation, esp. with North Korea, participatory approaches, natural resource management. Read More…

Katharina Zellweger

Katharina Zellweger 

former North Korea country director for the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).

Area of expertise: Humanitarian aid. Read More…

Ken Frost

Ken Frost

Phoenix Commercial Ventures founding member and director

Area of expertise: Joint ventures with DPR Korean partners, economic improvements and financial accounting reforms. Read More…

Kyung-Ae Park

Kyung-Ae Park

Korea Foundation Chair, Institute of Asian Research, University of British Columbia, Canada

Areas of expertise: North and South Korean Politics, US-Korea Relations, Gender and Development. Read More…

Lois Wilson

Lois Wilson

Canadian Senator (retired)

Areas of expertise: Human Rights, people-to-people exchanges. Read More…

Lutz Drescher

Lutz Drescher

East-Asia Liaison Officer, Association of Churches and Mission

Area of expertise: Support of the Peace and Unification Efforts of the Korean People. Read More…

Leonid Petrov

Leonid Petrov

Professor, University of Sydney, Australia

Areas of expertise: Korean History, Inter-Korean relations. Read More…

Matthew Reichel

Matthew Reichel

Matthew Reichel

Executive Director, East West Coalition and Pyongyang Project

Areas of expertise: DPRK domestic economy, social entrepreneurship, negotiation in the DPRK, educational exchange and collaboration, venture sustainability, North Korean decision-making, Chinese language, Chinese economic and social history. Read More…

Nigel Cowie

Nigel Cowie

President, European Business Association, Pyongyang, DPRK, Phoenix Commercial Ventures founding member and director

Areas of expertise: Banking, financial management, business ventures in the DPRK. Nigel Cowie is a director of Phoenix Commercial Ventures Ltd and Chairman of Hana Electronics. Read More…

Nick Bonner

Nick Bonner

Director of Koryo Tours, Filmmaker

Area of expertise: travel, consultancy and cultural exchanges with DPRK (visiting the country every month since 1993). Nick was appointed as travel specialist by Korea International Travel Company (the DPRK Government body). Read More…

Paul Evans

Paul Evans

Professor, Liu Institute for Global Issues; Director, Institute of Asian Research, Canada

Area of expertise: Canada-Asia relations. Paul Evans (PhD Dalhousie) was appointed to the directorship of the Institute of Asian Research on 1 September 2009. Read More…

Randall Ireson


Randall Ireson

Private consultant on rural and agricultural development issues

Areas of expertise: DPRK food and agriculture situation and policy, Rural and community development, Program management, Evaluation research. Read More…

Rita Bhatia

Rita Bhatia

Senior Regional Programme Advisor for United Nations WFP

Area of expertise: Public Health, Nutrition, Food Security, Assessments, Protection and international relations. As senior nutritionist in UNHCR HQ for the past several years, Rita has been involved in most major emergencies during the 90s and has either instigated or been involved in some of the most important developments in the emergency food and nutrition sector. Read More…

Roberta Cohen

Roberta Cohen

Roberta Cohen

Nonresident senior fellow in Foreign Policy at Brookings.

Area of interest: Human rights; humanitarian and refugee issues; internal displacement; North Korea.

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Rudiger Frank

Rudiger Frank

Professor of East Asian Economy and Society at the University of Vienna (also an Adjunct Professor at Korea University and the University of North Korean Studies, Kyungnam University, in Seoul)

Areas of expertise: socialist transformation in East Asia and Europe (with a focus on North Korea), state-business relations in East Asia, and regional integration in East Asia. Read More…

Victor Hsu

Victor Hsu

Visiting Professor, School of Public Policy and Management , Korea Development Institute (KDI), Seoul and Consultant on International Affairs for the National Council of Churches in Korea (NCCK).

Area of expertise: North Korea, humanitarian aid, terrorism and international relations in the Asia/Pacific region. Read More…

Executive Director of the East West Coalition and the Pyongyang Project

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