Mitchell Lerner has served as the director of the Institute for Korean Studies since October 2011. Lerner is an associate professor of history at The Ohio State University, with a research and teaching focus on modern international relations, with an emphasis on U.S.-Korean relations in the Cold War era. He is the author of The Pueblo Incident: A Spy Ship and the Failure of American ForeignPolicy (2003) and editor of two volumes on American Cold War politics anddiplomacy. He has published articles on U.S.-Korean relations in such journals as Diplomatic History, and Diplomacy and Statecraft, and most recently in The Cold War International History Project Working Paper series, with his essay, “Mostly Propaganda in Nature:" Kim Il Sung, the Juche Ideology, and the Second Korean War.” Lerner serves on the governing council of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations and on the advisory board of the North Korea International Documentation Project at the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars. He has also served as a fellow at the University of Virginia's Miller Center for Public Affairs, and has held the Mary Ball Washington Distinguished Fulbright Chair in American History at University College-Dublin. In 2005, he won the OSU Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching.
IKS is home to Korea specialists from from across campus. Together, they offer a range of courses involving Korean language and disciplinary and interdisciplinary courses on Korea. Moreover, other faculty in the professional schools and the sciences are involved in collaborative research with colleagues at Korean institutions of higher learning. OSU faculty have recently completed, or are currently engaged in, wide-ranging collaborative research with Korean colleagues.
IKS is advised by a diverse advisory committee, consisting of members from the university, the business community, and the general public.