Ryan Jungwook Hong
Ryan Jungwook Hong is the chairman and majority shareholder of Herald Corporation and related companies, a leading content group in Korea with businesses ranging from media, education, and arts to biodegradable plastics. He is also the chairman and founder of Organica, a pioneering Korean natural food group offering nutritious whole foods, natural snacks and beverages, and fresh meals. Between 2008 and 2012, Hong was elected to the National Assembly of Korea and served on the Foreign Affairs, Trade and Unification Committee. He was also the chairman of the majority party’s International Affairs Committee and the Honorary Ambassador of Grant Aid for the Korean government. Prior to acquiring Herald Corporation in 2002, Hong worked as a founder of an Internet startup and an associate in the M&A Group of Lehman Brothers.

In 2011, Hong established Olje Foundation, a non-profit organization promoting classics education, and has since served as its director general. He also serves on the boards of the Friends of the National Museum of Korea, the Korea-America Association, and Choate Rosemary Hall. In addition, Hong was appointed a board member of World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Korea in September 2017. As a strong supporter of WWF, Hong advocates protecting the endangered species and raising awareness of climate change. He also funded publishing WWF Korea’s first ecological footprint report for Korea in 2016. A strong proponent of plant-based diets, he has championed various initiatives to support organic farming and sustainable foods in Korea.

Hong received his A.B. from Harvard University in 1993 and J.D. from Stanford Law School in 1998. He also studied at Seoul National University in Korea and Peking University in China. In addition, he received an honorary doctorate in political science from Yongin University in Korea. He was selected as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, an Asia 21 Fellow by Asia Society, and a Young World Leader by the BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt. He authored Seven Acts Seven Scenes, a memoir of his experiences abroad, which was first published in 1993 and has sold over 1.3 million copies to date. Hong is married to Junghee Sohn, with three children.