University at Buffalo Graduate Named Korea's New Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries

Release Date: May 6, 2003 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Huh Sung-kwan, who received an MBA and doctoral degree from the University at Buffalo School of Management in 1982 and 1986, respectively, has been appointed head of the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (MOMAF) in the cabinet of Roh Moo-hyun, the new president of the Republic of Korea.

This ministry is particularly significant in Korea, given the importance to that peninsular country of its maritime industries and fisheries and the fact that 99.7 percent of Korea's trade cargo is transported by sea. MOMAF statistics from 1998 indicate that Korea ranked first in the world in shipbuilding (12.70 million tons), sixth in volume of sea-borne cargo (500 million tons), eighth in vessel capacity (25 million tons) and 11th in fishery production (2.90 million tons).

Prior to his appointment, Huh served as a professor in the Graduate School of Business at Dong-A University in Pusan. He also served on the economic committee of President Roh's transition team and currently is a member of the Citizens' Coalition for Economic Justice. From 1995-96, Huh served as a management advisor to the Pusan city government and as financial advisor to the Pusan Urban Transit Authority.

Huh was an assistant professor at Baruch College in the City University of New York from 1985-88. Before coming to the U.S., he worked as a junior economist for the Bank of Korea and later as a corporate planning manager for Korea Silk Co.

MOMAF is a relatively new entity in Korea, launched in 1996 through the consolidation of 13 different ministries and agencies. Among the ministry's goals are promoting the sustainable development of fisheries, conserving the marine environment, integrating coastal management, establishing a competitive, but safe, shipping industry, investing in and creating hub-port centers of northeast Asia, and strengthening international cooperation.

Born in Masan, Korea, Huh earned his undergraduate degree at Dong-A University before coming to Buffalo to do graduate work in the UB School of Management. At UB his major field was accounting, his minor field finance and economics. His doctoral dissertation focused on management compensation.

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