I am currently a Visiting Professor in the Graduate School of Science and Technology Policy at KAIST, but my interest in Korea's ICT development and this nation's telecommunications sector dates from my first experience here as an American Peace Corps Volunteer. I came to Korea with the Peace Corps Volunteer in the early 1970s and taught English for two years at Kangwon National University. At that time the state of Korea's telephone service, or lack thereof, was rather dismal.
The Peace Corps experience strongly influenced my choice of a graduate school and overall career path. After completing my Ph.D. in Communication at Stanford University I returned to Korea as a Senior Fulbright Scholar in 1985-86, teaching in Yonsei University's Mass Communication Department. By that time the 1988 Olympics were approaching and revolutionary developments were underway in South Korea's ICT sector. Research on the role of television in the Olympics and later on Korea's telecommunications development led to several publications, including my book entitled The Telecommunications Revolution in Korea (Oxford University Press, 1995). At the time that book was published I was involved in designing and directing a major executive training program for Korea Mobile Telecom (which became SK Telecom) at the University of Colorado in Boulder. In the Fall of 1996 I returned to Korea, and to Fulbright, where I would serve for the next fourteen years as Associate and later Deputy Director of the Korean-American Educational Commission. In recent years I have gotten back in touch with a number of scholars, researchers and policymakers in Korea's ICT sector, most notably Dr. Oh Myung, with whom I co-authored Digital Development in Korea: Building an Information Society. My work with him on that book, more than any other single factor, motivated me to start this blog in late 2007.
In January of 2012 I published a short e-book entitled Telecommunications and Transformation in Korea: A Personal Perspective. For further biographical detail, consult my personal web site, www.jamesflarson.com.