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About the Author

Hyeonseo Lee, NORTH KOREAN DEFECTOR & REFUGEE

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Hyeonseo Lee

Hyeonseo Lee is a North Korean defector living in Seoul, South Korea. Her memoir, “The Girl With Seven Names”, was published in July 2015 in more than 20 countries and is a global bestseller.

Over 13 million people have viewed her TED Talk about her life in North Korea, her escape to China and struggle to bring her family to freedom. Hyeonseo has given testimony about North Korean human rights in front of a special panel of the UN Security Council, and has discussed the issues with important leaders such as UN Ambassador Samantha Powers and US President Donald Trump.

She completed her undergraduate studies in English and Chinese at the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, and was a Young Leader at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Hyeonseo spends much of her time speaking about North Korean human rights and North Korean refugee issues. She has written articles for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal Korea Real-Time, the London School of Economics Big Ideas blog, and worked as a student journalist for the South Korean Ministry of Unification. She has been interviewed by the BBC, CNN, CBS News and numerous other television, newspaper and radio outlets throughout the world. 

She is currently writing another book with other female North Koreans living in South Korea, and is planning to start an organization to help promising North Korean refugees interact with the international community.