Katharina Zellweger has been the Pantech Fellow in Korean Studies at the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center at Stanford University since 1 November 2011. She is a senor aid manager with over 30 years of experience in the field in Hong Kong, China and North Korea.
Zellweger lived and worked in Pyongyang, for five years (2006-2011) as the North Korea country director for the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). In her posting Zellweger focused on sustainable agricultural production to address food security issues, income generation to improve people’s livelihoods, and capacity development to contribute to individual and institutional learning.
Before joining SDC, Zellweger worked for almost 30 years for the Catholic agency Caritas in Hong Kong where she developed pioneering Caritas involvement in China and in North Korea. Her work in North Korea was coordinated through Caritas-Hong Kong.
In December 2005, Zellweger received the Bishop Tji Hak-soon Justice and Peace Award from a South Korean foundation established to promote the social justice vision of Tji. In 2006 in recognition of her work in North Korea she was made a Dame of St. Gregory the Great by the Vatican.
Zellweger has recently been offered a fellowship at Stanford. She will be heading to California in January 2013, where she will be teaching a class on North Korea and writing her book.