Mercy Corps welcomes new Executive Director of National Committee on North Korea

North Korea, August 4, 2014

Keith Luse to lead coalition dedicated to improving the quality of engagement between citizens of the U.S. and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea

Washington, DC –Keith Luse, who brings over a decade of experience in high-level engagement with North Korea, has been named Executive Director of the National Committee on North Korea (NCNK). Founded by the global humanitarian organization Mercy Corps in 2004, the Committee is a non-partisan coalition of individuals with extensive knowledge and experience related to the society, economy, government and history of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).

“Keith’s contributions have already been felt in the areas of increased transparency in the provision of humanitarian aid, nuclear disarmament, improved human rights and much more,” says Neal Keny-Guyer, chief executive officer of Mercy Corps. “Under Keith’s leadership, NCNK is well positioned to make great strides in the coming years.”

Luse worked in Washington for 14 years under Senator Richard G. Lugar, first as Staff Director on the Agriculture Committee, and later as the Republican East Asia Specialist on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. During his time in Senator Lugar’s office, Luse made five trips to the DPRK and held numerous meetings with North Korean officials in both the DPRK and the U.S.

It will be a privilege to work with Mercy Corps and the National Committee on North Korea regarding the challenges and future opportunities associated with North Korea,” says Luse. “I am excited to continue and expand NCNK’s work supporting its members in their ongoing efforts to build bridges with North Korean citizens on a range of humanitarian, educational and security issues.”

Prior to his time in Washington, Luse worked in the private sector and traveled for eight years throughout East Asia, conducting research for U.S. businesses. In 2013, Luse was honored with the Philippine Legion of Honor Award by President Aquino for assisting Senator Lugar’s efforts to cultivate relations between the U.S., Southeast Asia and the Philippines. Luse is also a co-recipient of the 2010 Kato Ryozo Award for Service to the U.S.-Japan Alliance.

Luse earned a B.A. in political science from Indiana University and obtained a graduate certificate in public management, in addition to pursuing additional graduate studies, at Indiana University-Purdue University.

About NCNK

Founded by Mercy Corps in 2004, the National Committee on North Korea advances, promotes, and facilitates engagement between citizens of the United States and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. It works to reduce tensions and promote peace on the Korean Peninsula and improve the well-being of the citizens of the DPRK

Additional Resources

About Mercy Corps: Mercy Corps is a leading global humanitarian agency saving and improving lives in the world’s toughest places. With a network of experienced professionals in more than 40 countries, we partner with local communities to put bold ideas into action to help people recover, overcome hardship and build better lives.