Jean H. Lee

Jean H. Lee is a Global Fellow at the Wilson Center and former Associated Press bureau chief who led the news agency’s coverage of the Korean Peninsula from 2008 to 2013. In 2011, she became the first American reporter granted extensive access on the ground in North Korea. In January 2012, she opened AP’s Pyongyang bureau, the only Western text/photo news outlet based in the North Korean capital, and became the first American reporter accredited to join the press corps in Pyongyang. Since 2008, she has made dozens of extended reporting trips to North Korea, visiting farms, factories, schools, military academies and homes in addition to interviewing top officials in the course of her exclusive reporting across the country.

During Lee's tenure, AP’s coverage of Kim Jong Il’s 2011 death earned an honorable mention in the deadline reporting category of the 2012 Associated Press Media Editors awards for journalism in the United States and Canada. Lee and her team also won an Online Journalism Award in 2013 for their use of photography, video and social media in North Korea, and she was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in feature reporting in 2013.

Lee is a native of Minneapolis. She has a bachelor's degree in East Asian Studies and English literature from Columbia University, and a master's degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She worked as a reporter for the Korea Herald in Seoul, South Korea, before joining AP for postings in Baltimore, San Francisco, New York, London, Seoul and Pyongyang. Lee served as a fellow with the Alicia Patterson Foundation in 2014 and as a public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in 2015.

She can be found on Twitter as @newsjean.

Articles by Jean H. Lee