Katharina Zellweger, a career international aid manager with over 30 years’ experience in the field in North Korea, Hong Kong, and China,speaks about the situation in North Korea. Zellweger lived and worked in Pyongyang, North Korea, for five years (2006-2011) as the North Korea country director for the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). In her posting, Zellweger focused on sustainable agricultural production to address food security issues, income generation to improve people’s livelihoods, and capacity development to contribute to individual and institutional learning. While in North Korea, she collected the agriculture and public health posters that were displayed on campus last semester.
Before joining SDC, Zellweger worked for almost 30 years for the Catholic service agency, Caritas, in Hong Kong where she developed pioneering Caritas involvement in China and North Korea. She is currently the Pantech Fellow in Korean Studies at the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center at Stanford University. In December 2005, Zellweger received the Bishop Tji Hak-soon Justice and Peace award from a South Korean foundation established to promote the social justice vision of Tji. In 2006, in recognition of her path breaking work in North Korea, she was made a Dame of St. Gregory the Great by the Vatican.