MONTGOMERY - U.S. and Korean officials will join the Alabama World Affairs Council on Jan. 10 for "A Celebration of Korea."
The event, which is free for World Affairs Council members and $20 for non-members, will be held in the Gold Room in Whitley Hall at Troy University Montgomery, beginning with a 5:30 p.m. reception and a presentation to follow.
James Applegate, chief of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea Unit of the Office of Korean Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, Sarah Cho, a researcher with the Economic Section of the Embassy of the Republic of Korea, and Mark Tokola, vice president of the Korea Economic Institute of America, will serve as speakers for the event.
Prior to his current assignment, Applegate served as deputy counselor for United Nations Affairs at the U.S. Mission to International Organizations in Vienna, Austria. His other overseas assignments include Kabul, Afghanistan; Canberra, Australia; and Guangzhou, China. He also previously served as a watch officer and senior watch officer in the department's 24-hour Operations Center, which monitors developing crises around the world.
Applegate is a graduate of Michigan State University and spent two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Armenia before joining the Foreign Service.
Cho is an economic policy analyst, monitoring bi-lateral trade and investment flows between Korea and the United States, as well as multi-lateral trade relations and agreements. Prior to joining the Republic of Korea Foreign Service, Cho served as a program analyst at Seoul National University.
Cho holds a bachelor's degree in English literature and political science from Sookmyung Women's University, a master's degree in international relations from Seoul National University and a master's in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.
Tokola retired as a U.S. senior Foreign Service officer with the rank of minister-counselor in 2014. His last posting was as minster counselor for political affairs at the U.S. Embassy in London. He previously served as deputy chief of mission at the American Embassies in Seoul, Republic of Korea; Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia; and, Reykjavik, Iceland. Tokola also served as economic counselor at the U.S. Embassy, The Hague and two tours at the U.S. Mission to the European Union in Brussels. In 2007-2008, he served as director of the Iraq Transition Assistance Office in Baghdad.
Tokola received the State Department's Superior Honor Award for his work on implementing the Dayton Peace Accords while serving as political counselor in Sarajevo from 1997-1999. He holds a bachelor's degree in international relations from Pomona College in Claremont, Calif., and a master's of law degree in European Community Law from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland.
The Alabama World Affairs Council sponsors lectures and programs on current and recent events of national and international interest throughout the year with the aim to increase individuals' knowledge of world affairs and how they impact the United States. The Council also serves as a platform to showcase some of the world-class faculty at Maxwell Air Force Base's Air University. The Council has partnered with Troy University, bringing all Council events to the University's Montgomery Campus.