Il SaKong, Chairman, Institute for Global Economics based in Seoul

Dr. SaKong is the founder and Chairman & CEO of the Institute for Global Economics (IGE), a private non-profit research institute based in Seoul since 1993. He also serves as advisor to the JoongAng Media Group.

In the 1980s, he served in the government of the Republic of Korea as Minister of Finance (1987-88), Senior Secretary to the President for Economic Affairs (1983-87), Senior Counselor to the Minister of Economic Planning Board (1982) and Senior Economist of the Council on Economic & Scientific Affairs for the President (1979-80).

More recently, Dr. SaKong, as the Chairman of the Presidential Committee for the G20 Summit, led the Korean government’s endeavor for the Seoul G20 Summit in 2010.

Dr. SaKong also served as Special Economic Adviser to the President from March 2008 to April 2009 and headed the Presidential Council on National Competitiveness from March 2008 to January 2009. The Council had the primary objective of enhancing Korea’s national competitiveness and economic growth potential through necessary structural adjustments. During 2000-02, he served the Korean government as Ambassador for International Economy and Trade. Previously, he spent nearly 10 years (1973-82) at the Korea Development Institute (KDI) which is the leading economic think tank for the Korean government. He was President of the Korea Institute for Industrial Economics & Trade (KIET), another leading national economic think tank in Korea(1982).

He has received various honors and prizes, including the Korean government's highest Order of Public Service Merit, “Blue Stripes (1990)", the Korean government's highest Order of Civil Merit, “Mugunghwa Medal” (2012) and the 2nd highest order of Civil Merit, “Moran Medal” (1983), the Republic of China's Order of the Brilliant Star with Grand Cordon (1987), the Kingdom of Belgium's Order of the Crown (1986), Korea University's Grand Prize for Distinguished Policy Makers (2002) and the Korean Association of Translators & Interpreters’ Speaker of the Year Award (2009).

Dr. SaKong graduated from Seoul National University (1964) and received his MBA (1966) and Ph.D. (1969) from the University of California at Los Angeles. He taught economics at New York University (1969-73) and Sheffield University(1971-72).