Romanien: Soknan Han Jung

I am a stubborn fighter. I proved myself that where there is a will, there is a way. If we really want peace and prosperity for our children and ourselves we must find the way to get them!

— Soknan Han Jung

Born in Seoul, Korea, Soknan Han Jung holds a B.A. in economics and an M.B.A. from New York University, Stern Graduate School of Business. She is married to an architect and has two children. As a United Nations (UN) development specialist, she has created innovative interventions that are recognized as best practices and are being replicated the world over. A unique aspect of her work is the stress on team effort, broad-based partnerships, and participatory dialogue. Under her leadership, the UN has a valuable advisor for Romania in its drive to join the European Union.

Soknan Han Jung arrived in the US in 1972 with the deep desire to help develop the values of real democracy. This was the main reason she felt the need to join the United Nations system in 1985, seeing the UN as the right environment where she could dedicate her entire life to peoples' peace and prosperity. During her long career as a development practitioner, Soknan Han Jung has dedicated her efforts to fighting poverty and HIV/AIDS, promoting human rights and gender equality, and building sustainable capacities for democratic governance and economic development in developing countries. Since her assignment as UN Resident Representative in Romania, she has persistently led the multi-agency support to the national response to HIV/AIDS. As chairperson of the UN Theme Group on Health and HIV/AIDS, she has promoted high-level policy dialogue and advocacy on women’s empowerment, established a broad-based coalition of stakeholders and public-private partnerships for decentralized development, and enabled interventions in support of vulnerable groups. Under her supervision, the UN has become a valued and trusted advisor on key development issues for Romania in its drive to become a member of the European Union. One unique feature of her work is the emphasis on team effort, broad-based partnerships and participatory dialogue around key development issues. Her capacity to mobilize energies and reach out to stakeholders is recognized and admired by partners from government, civil society, and the donor community, earning her in 2003 the honor of being among the "Persons of the Year" in Romania, under the foreign diplomats category.

United Nations Development Program (UNDP)