Second Year Student Fellows

Abigail Trenhaile
Abigail is a second year M.A. student concentrating in Korea Studies. She graduated from the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 2011 with a B.A. in economics and political science. She has worked in various levels of government, including the legislature and prosecutor’s office in Honolulu and in the US House of Representatives. During her undergraduate study, she worked on issues related to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation and studied in Korea and Taiwan. As a 2012 US State Department Rangel Fellow, she will enter the Foreign Service as an economic officer upon graduation.

Taylor Washburn
Taylor is a second year M.A. candidate concentrating on Korea, with a particular focus on American foreign policy in Northeast Asia. Before coming to SAIS, he spent a year as a visiting professor at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, where he taught courses relating to intellectual property law. He is a 2007 graduate of Columbia Law School, and received his undergraduate degree in government from Bowdoin College, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

Taylor began his career as an associate with the law firm of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr in Boston, and subsequently served for two years as a law clerk to US District Judge Gene E.K. Pratter in Philadelphia. Since 2009, he has completed summer courses in Korean at Seoul National University and Japanese at Middlebury College.

 Jung Min “Jara” Kim

Jara graduated from Korea University in Seoul, Korea, in 2005 with a B.A. in psychology and received professional training as a translator at the Graduate School of Interpretation and Translation of Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, Seoul, Korea. Shortly after, she worked as a translator for the then Ministry of Knowledge Economy (now the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy), interpreting for government officials in international meetings and translating policy papers, speeches and correspondence on topics ranging from industry and technology to energy and trade for the years 2009 and 2010. A native Seoulite, Jara has grown up at a time coinciding the rapid economic development of her native country, and her international experience as a translator has brought her to be interested in international affairs, particularly the growing presence and dynamics of the Northeast Asian region as a whole. Currently, Jung Min is pursuing an M.A. in international relations at SAIS with concentrations in international economics, Korea Studies and China studies.

 Kyle Johnson

Kyle is a second year M.A. student concentrating in Korea Studies and International Economics. He received a B.A. in Communication and Political Science from the University of North Dakota. Before coming to SAIS, Kyle taught English for two years in Gwangju, South Korea, through the English Program in Korea (EPIK), and spent a summer working in Singapore. He has previously worked as a researcher and writer for former U.S. Senator Byron Dorgan, and has several years of newspaper writing and editing experience. While studying at SAIS, Kyle has interned with the U.S. Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, U.S. Commercial Service, and State Department. He plans to pursue a career in foreign relations upon graduating from SAIS in May.

Yesel Lee

Yesel earned dual undergraduate degrees at the University of California, Berkeley in business administration and political science. Her interest in international affairs is largely the result of her personal background and experience studying in Europe. After graduation she was a consultant with Accenture, working with public sector and non-profit clients. She worked to apply the best business practices from the private sector to non-profit and public sector clients. During her time with Accenture she took a ten-month leave of absence to volunteer with Yuva, a non-profit grassroots organization in Navi Mumbai, India where she worked to increase the capabilities of Yuva in retaining and training youth volunteers.

Yesel is now entering her second year at SAIS, studying for a M.A. in International Relations with a concentration in Korea Studies. Building on her internships in Washington, DC and New York City, Yesel plans to pursue a career in international economic policy after graduation.


First Year Student Fellows

Benjamin Katzeff Silberstein

Benjamin is a first year M.A. student from Sweden, concentrating in Korea Studies. He graduated from Stockholm University in 2012 with a B.A. in political science, and graduated with a diploma from the Korean language program at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in Seoul the same year. Benjamin has had a passionate interest in North Korea and Korean politics and history for a number of years. Between 2010 and 2012, he lived in Seoul where he combined free-lance journalism, focusing on North Korea, with Korean language studies. He has also worked as an advisor to the Swedish Minister for Development Cooperation. After graduating from SAIS, he wants to pursue a career in research on North Korean society, either in academia or at a think-tank.

Taehee Kim

Taehee Kim is undertaking her first year of study at SAIS, concentrating in Korea studies. A 2008 graduate of the University of British Columbia, she earned her undergraduate degree in economics. Her interest in international relations blossomed from internship and career experiences at think tanks and in the East Asia Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Seoul. Prior to pursuing her advanced education at SAIS, Taehee developed a special interest in evaluating the U.S.-ROK bilateral alliance and Korea’s role in creating Northeast Asian regional unity. At SAIS, she hopes to also pursue her academic interests in the mechanism of maritime politics of South Korea.