The North Korean Defector Story from Hyeonseo Lee

Hyeonseo Lee

North Korean defector and human rights activist Hyeonseo Lee spoke at the Stanford Graduate School of Business Global Speaker Series.

In the video below Hyeonseo shares her harrowing trials escaping from the North Korean regime, her defect to China, and ultimate asylum in South Korea. She advocates for us to embrace the obstacles in our lives as they reveal opportunities in “the road less traveled.”

Hyeonseo LeeHyeonseo Lee is a North Korean defector living in Seoul, South Korea. She has recently completed writing her memoir, “The Girl With Seven Names”, which has been published in July 2015 in more than 20 countries.

Over 5 million people have viewed her TED Talk about her life in North Korea, her escape to China and struggle to bring her family to freedom. Hyeonseo has given testimony about North Korean human rights and refugee issues in front of a special panel of the UN Security Council, and has discussed the issues with important leaders such as UN Ambassador Samantha Powers, UK Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and the South Korean Minister of Unification, Yu Woo-ik. She has also delivered speeches at the Stanford University Global Speaker Series, Princeton University, New York University Law School, and at various venues throughout Europe.

Hyeonseo’s advocacy and views have also been published in articles for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal Korea Real-Time, and the London School of Economics Big Ideas blog. She has also been interviewed by the BBC, CNN, CBS News and numerous other television, newspaper and radio outlets throughout the world.

Hyeonseo Lee recently completed her undergraduate studies in English and Chinese at the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, and has been a Young Leader at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. She is currently writing another book with other female North Koreans living in South Korea, and is planning to start an organization to help promising North Korean refugees interact with the international community.

Hyeonseo’s speaking topics include:

  • Politics
  • Globalisation
  • Cross Culture
  • Leadership

Contact us if you would like Hyeonseo Lee inspire at your next event.