|New KOICA President Chang Won-sam speaks during his inauguration ceremony at the agency's headquarters in Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province, Monday. Courtesy of KOICA|
By Kang Seung-woo
Chang Won-sam, a career diplomat, has been sworn in as the president of the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), stressing the need to expand official development assistance (ODA) and carry out strategic development cooperation in tandem with the nation's foreign policy.
His inauguration ceremony took place, Monday, at the KOICA headquarters in Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province.
Chang, a law graduate of Seoul National University, joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1984, where he served in key posts, including director general for Northeast Asian Affairs and senior coordinator for bilateral trade. He also served as minister at the Korean Embassy in China, Ambassador of Korea to Sri Lanka, consul general of Korea in New York, and Secretary-General of the Northeast Asian History Foundation.
Based on experience in Asian countries such as Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, as well as the U.S., Japan and China, and a wide understanding of the situation in developing countries, Chang is expected to play an important role as KOICA's head.
"KOICA is the original K-brand, having contributed to enhancing the national image even before the Korean Wave, and a symbol of Korea's transformed status from least developed country to a donor country," Chang said during his inauguration ceremony.
"Amid a rapidly changing international environment, I will reinforce KOICA in taking a leap forward as an eminent development cooperation organization in line with our foreign policy goal of Global Pivotal State."
He put forth three management directions: setting future tasks for project innovation; strengthening employee expertise and innovating organizational culture and management innovation through greater work efficiency.
Korea's ODA volume is lower than the average of advanced donor countries. Amid an increasing need for ODA expansion and to carry out Korea's role and responsibility as a Global Pivotal State, KOICA, with Chang's leadership and as an eminent development cooperation organization, seeks to play an important role in spreading support and building public consensus for ODA.