STEPHEN COSTELLO is a policy analyst with 20 years of experience in Korea and Northeast Asia as political consultant, policy analyst, think tank program director, and tech-sector business consultant. Mr. Costello specializes in policy and politics in Korea and Northeast Asia as well as US policy and policy-making toward the region. At AsiaEast, he leads in-depth discussions with officials, scholars, thinkers, and corporate leaders in the U.S. and the Northeast Asian region.
Since 1999 Stephen Costello has been President of ProGlobal Consulting, a Washington, DC firm. PGC has specialized in U.S. policy, the Korean peninsula, East Asia, nuclear nonproliferation, high-tech industries, and integration of political, security, economic and development aspects. Between 2004 and 2007 PGC organized a series of roundtable discussions about Northeast Asian developments at Washington Embassies featuring senior diplomats and Washington policy specialists. The company has since 2007 produced an occasional Survey of Northeast Asia and Nonproliferation Policy Specialists for several clients.
From 1999 to 2004 Costello was Director of the Program on Korea in Transition at the Atlantic Council of the United States in Washington. Mr. Costello directed and managed activities and publications focused on common South Korean-U.S. interests. The program analyzed alternatives in U.S. policy toward Korea for government and non-government audiences. Key themes were the context, dynamics and direction of developments in South Korea and the U.S., and a search for policy consensus. Regular meetings, seminars, consultations and publications were used to explore a wide range of current issues.
From 1994 to 1998 Mr. Costello was Deputy and then Director of the Kim Dae-jung Peace Foundation-USA, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational institute. Mr. Costello was involved in initial planning, beginning in December 1992, for an institute to inform American specialists about the social and political changes underway in South Korea. The institute arranged meetings, facilitated travel and produced reports on security, democracy and human rights in Korea and Asia for an audience of U.S. specialists.
Mr. Costello helped plan and launch the Forum of Democratic Leaders in the Asia-Pacific (FDL-AP), headed by Kim Dae Jung, Oscar Arias, and Corazon Aquino in December 1994. The FDL-AP focused on improving the prospects for the democratization of Burma as its first practical goal. Mr. Costello subsequently helped to organize and run FDL-AP workshops – together with the Friedrich Naumann Foundation – on democratic theory and institution-building in Korea for young NGO leaders from over a dozen countries in the region in 1995, 1996, 1997 and 1998.
Between 1991 and 1993 Costello was Vice President of Gowran International, a consultancy offering wide-ranging services and Washington representation to overseas foundations and political parties. Mr. Costello helped grow the company and attract new clients in Korea, Portugal, Russia, Taiwan and Japan. He managed contracts with a Portuguese educational and cultural exchange foundation, Korean political party (the Democratic Party led by Kim Dae-jung) and Russian centrist political movement (Civic Union). Mr. Costello designed and edited newsletters and created and managed educational exchange programs for graduate students, faculty and government officials. He organized international conferences in Portugal and the U.S., and traveled extensively in Europe, Asia and the U.S.
Mr. Costello holds a bachelors degree in Public Policy Analysis from Syracuse University. He has traveled to Korea regularly and consults with a wide range of leaders in the political, academic, institute, business and jorunalism fields. He has spoken at conferences in Shanghai and Washington on policy toward South and North Korea, and often in Seoul on South Korean foreign policy, relations with the United States, and domestic politics. In December 2000 he attended the Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony and spoke at the Peace Research Institute Oslo on Kim Dae Jung’s impact on North-South Korean relations and Korean democratization.