The nomination of Jeong Kim comes as part of Park’s government reorganization plan, Yonhap News Agency reports. The Future Creation and Science Ministry will bring together technology, science and business in an effort to generate more jobs within the industries.
Kim, who immigrated to the United States as a 15-year-old in 1975 and obtained U.S. citizenship, received his undergraduate and master’s degrees from Johns Hopkins University and his doctorate from the University of Maryland. Kim regained his South Korean citizenship just days before his nomination and now holds dual citizenship, according to The Hankyoreh. The liberal news organization also reported that Kim’s wife and children do not have Korean citizenship yet.
The newly formed Ministry will be far-reaching, taking over numerous duties of other government branches, including “the education and science ministry, the National Science and Technology Commission, the knowledge economy ministry, the Korea Communications Commission, the public administration and home affairs ministry and the culture ministry.”
For the past eight years Kim has served as the president of the prestigious research and development firm Bell Labs, a subsidiary of Alcatel-Lucent Technologies. Kim founded tech equipment maker Yurie Systems in 1992, which was bought by Lucent for $1 billion in 1998.