Sue Mi Terry

Senior Research Scholar

North Korea, particularly North Korean leadership succession plans; Pyongyang's evolving nuclear strategy and the potential for instability in North Korea; politics and foreign policy of South Korea; Northeast Asian security; US-Northeast Asia relations

Sue Mi Terry is a Senior Research Scholar at the Columbia University Weatherhead East Asian Institute, a position she has held since 2011. Her research focus on East Asia, particularly Northeast Asia security and U.S.-Northeast Asia relations, North Korea’s evolving nuclear strategy and potential for instability, politics and foreign policy of South Korea. She is also the founder of Peninsula Strategies Inc., an advisory firm specializing in Korean issues with both government and corporate clients. In 2010-2011, she served as the National Intelligence Fellow in the David Rockefeller Studies Program at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.

Before coming to New York, Dr. Terry served as a career intelligence officer. She served as Deputy National Intelligence Officer for East Asia at the National Intelligence Council (2009 to 2010) in the Office of Directorate of National Intelligence. She also served as Director for Korea, Japan, and Oceanic Affairs at the National Security Council (2008 to 2009) during the George W. Bush and Barak Obama administrations, where she played an integral role in the White House’s formulation and implementation of U.S. policy towards Northeast Asian countries as well as towards Australia and New Zealand. Earlier in her career, she served as a Senior Analyst on Korean issues at the Directorate of Intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency (2001-2008), where she was a top-rated Korean language linguist.

Dr. Terry holds a Ph.D. in International Relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University (2001). Her doctoral dissertation was on "Park Chung Hee’s Korea, 1961-1979: A Study in Political Leadership and Statecraft." She also holds a Master of Arts in International Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School (1998), and Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from New York University (1993). A native of South Korea who moved to the United States at age 12, Dr. Terry spent a year studying abroad at Yonsei University in Seoul (1991-1992). She regularly lectures in both Korean and English.