Human Rights Advocate
Seohyun Lee is a North Korean defector and a human rights advocate, commentator, and YouTube creator. She was born and raised in central Pyongyang, where she received the most prestigious education in North Korea. Seohyun excelled academically and received numerous awards for her leadership skills. She enrolled at Kim Il Sung University in 2008 and studied abroad at China Dongbei University of Economics and Finance between 2010 and 2014. After experiencing a series of brutal purges by the Kim Jong Un regime, Seohyun
s family defected to South Korea and finally resettled in the United States in 2016. Since then, she has been committed to raising awareness of human rights abuses in North Korea and disseminating information to people inside the country. She has leveraged her unique position and experiences as a North Korean defector to become an effective policy advocate and human rights activist. Seohyun has given a TEDx talk titled "Our bubbles of certainty: A perspective from
my life in North Korea" and testified at the UN Security Council as a briefer in March 2023. She was awarded several scholarships, including the 2022 North Korea Freedom Scholarship from the Bush Foundation and the first recipient of the Otto Warmbier Scholarship. In Fall 2022, she began her graduate studies at Columbia University's School of Public Affairs (SIPA). Seohyun's ultimate goal is to free the North Korean people and work with different stakeholders in navigating North Korea policy issues.