Jae-oh Lee is a distinguished politician in South Korea and has devoted his life’s work to the democratization of Korean society. A former high school teacher, from 1971-1996 Lee was involved with organizations which opposed South Korea’s authoritarian regimes and worked to bring about democracy. In 1979, Lee also served as the director of Amnesty International-South Korea. Lee’s political career began in 1996, when he was elected into the 15th National Assembly and in 1998, he became the vice floor leader of the Grand National Party (GNP). He was re-elected as a National Assemblyman again in 2000. In 2002, Lee managed Lee Myung-bak’s (now President-elect) successful re-election campaign for Mayor of Seoul and served on the Mayor’s Seoul government transition team. Lee was also appointed to a GNP planning task force for the 2002 presidential elections. In 2004, Lee was re-elected into the 17th National Assembly and became a house representative for the GNP. From 2006-2007 Lee served as a supreme council member of the GNP.
In addition to his political career, Lee has written several books including “Long Tunnel, Blue Sky (1991), Bicycle Trip in Korea along the River Road (2007), and The Age and Division of Korean Society. Lee holds his B.A. from KookMin University and the Department of Economics at ChoonAng University, an M.A. from the Graduate School of Education at ChoonAng University, and an honorary Ph.D. from the Department of Politics at ChoongAng University.