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Dr. Sue Mi Terry Joins CSIS as Senior Fellow for Korea Chair
Dr. Sue Mi Terry

Washington DC (Nov. 6, 2017): The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) is delighted to announce that Dr. Sue Mi Terry—a former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) analyst, policymaker, and academic researcher widely recognized as one of the world’s foremost authorities on North Korea—has been appointed senior fellow for the Korea Chair.

“Sue is an all-star analyst who is widely respected in the field of Korea studies," said John Hamre, CSIS president and CEO. "A fluent speaker of Korean with unrivaled understanding of the peninsula, Sue will be an invaluable addition to our Asia team and to the entire CSIS community.”

Dr. Terry joins CSIS after a long and accomplished career in intelligence, policy-making, and academia following Korean issues.

Dr. Terry served as a Senior Analyst on Korean issues at the CIA from 2001 to 2008, where she produced hundreds of intelligence assessments-including a record number of contributions to the President’s Daily Brief, the Intelligence Community’s most prestigious product. She received numerous awards for her leadership and outstanding mission support, including the CIA Foreign Language award in 2008.

From 2008 to 2009, she served as director for Korea, Japan, and Oceanic affairs at the National Security Council under both former President George W. Bush and ex-President Barack Obama. From 2009 to 2010, she was the deputy national intelligence officer for East Asia at the National Intelligence Council.

Dr. Victor Cha, CSIS senior adviser and Korea Chair, commented, “Sue’s experience in policy at the National Security Council and in analysis at the CIA puts her at the top of the field. It’s great to have her join our team.”

Since leaving the government, Dr. Terry has served as the national intelligence fellow in the David Rockefeller Studies Program at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York (2010–2011), as senior research scholar at Columbia University’s Weatherhead East Asian Institute (2011–2015), and as senior adviser for Korea at BowerGroupAsia (2015–2017).

Dr. Mike Green, CSIS senior vice president for Asia and Japan Chair, stated, “I have known Sue for years and have the utmost respect for her grasp not only of Korean and Asian issues but also of how they fit into the broader picture of U.S. foreign policy.”

Dr. Terry holds a Ph.D. (2001) and an M.A. (1998) in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and a B.A. in political science from New York University (1993). She was born in Seoul and raised in Hawaii and Northern Virginia.

For more information, please contact the Office of the Korea Chair via e-mail at

The following is the detailed introduction of Dr. Sue Mi Terry.

Who Is Dr. Sue Mi Terry?

Dr. Sue Mi Terry was a Senior Research Scholar at the Columbia University Weatherhead East Asian Institute, a position she has held since 2011. Her research focuses on East Asia, particularly Northeast Asia security and U.S.-Northeast Asia relations, North Korea’s evolving nuclear strategy and potential for instability, and the politics and foreign policy of South Korea.

She is also the founder of Peninsula Strategies Inc., an advisory firm specializing in Korean issues with both government and corporate clients. In 2010-2011, she served as the National Intelligence Fellow in the David Rockefeller Studies Program at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.

Before coming to New York, Dr. Terry served as a career intelligence officer. She served as Deputy National Intelligence Officer for East Asia at the National Intelligence Council (2009 to 2010) in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

She also served as Director for Korea, Japan, and Oceanic Affairs at the National Security Council (2008 to 2009) during the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations, where she played an integral role in the White House’s formulation and implementation of U.S. policy towards Northeast Asian countries as well as towards Australia and New Zealand.

Earlier in her career, she served as a Senior Analyst on Korean issues at the Directorate of Intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency (2001-2008), where she was a top-rated Korean language linguist.

Dr. Terry holds a Ph.D. in International Relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University (2001). Her doctoral dissertation was on “Park Chung Hee’s Korea, 1961-1979: A Study in Political Leadership and Statecraft.” She also holds a Master of Arts in International Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School (1998), and Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from New York University (1993).

A native of South Korea who moved to the United States at age 12, Dr. Terry spent a year studying abroad at Yonsei University in Seoul (1991-1992). She regularly lectures in both Korean and English.

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