Engaging North Korea: Quaker Work for Peace on the Korean Peninsula

Sunday March 18, 2018   4:00 PM

Des Moines Valley Friends Meeting, 42nd and Grand, Des Moines, Iowa

afsc north korea 1

AFSC delegation visit to North Korea    May 2016

The Quaker-affiliated American Friends Service Committee has been working in North Korea for over three decades; by 1998, AFSC had established an on-going agricultural development project with cooperative farms, and today it is one of only a handful of American NGOs actively engaged in the DPRK.  Linda Lewis, AFSC’s Country Representative for China/DPRK, and Daniel Jasper, AFSC Public Education and Advocacy Coordinator for Asia based in Washington, DC, will discuss AFSC’s program in North Korea, the challenges of working in this isolated nation and the impact of sanctions, and opportunities for peace on the Korean peninsula. 

The American Friends Service Committee is a Quaker organization that includes people of various faiths who are committed to social justice, peace and humanitarian service.  Its work is based on the Quaker belief in the worth of every person and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice.


linda lewis

Linda Lewis, the American Friends Service Committee Country Representative for China/DPRK, is responsible for AFSC’s North Korea program, including its long-standing agricultural development project.   Dr. Lewis is a regular visitor to North Korea and has organized numerous study tours and exchanges outside Korea for DPRK partners.

Linda has spent much of her career living and working on or near the Korean peninsula, including service in South Korea as a Peace Corps Volunteer, a Fulbright grantee and research fellow, and an international program director.

Dr. Lewis received her Ph.D.  from Columbia and taught for many years at Wittenberg University (Ohio), where she was Professor of Anthropology and Director of the East Asian Studies Program.  She has also held visiting appointments at Amherst, Dartmouth, and the University of Washington, and has taught and directed student exchanges at Sogang, Kansai Gaidai and Zhejiang universities in Asia.  Her most recent scholarly publications have focused on the South Korean democracy movement and the politics of memory.

Before joining AFSC in 2010, Dr. Lewis was Vice-President for Academic Affairs at the Institute for Study Abroad – Butler University (Indiana), and Director of Asian and Pacific Studies at the School for International Training-Study Abroad (Vermont).

daniel jasperDaniel Jasper is AFSC’s Public Education and Advocacy Coordinator for Asia. His role is to bring lessons learned from AFSC’s programs throughout Asia back to policymakers in Washington. His current work focuses heavily on the humanitarian, peacebuilding, and people-to-people aspects of U.S.-North Korea relations.

Daniel has ten years of experience working in public policy, advocacy, and international affairs. Prior to joining AFSC, he worked at World Learning, where he administrated the U.S. State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). He has also worked for the Minnesota House of Representatives, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the United Nations, as well as serving as a Paul D. Coverdell Fellow for Democracy North Carolina and Peace Action – North Carolina. Daniel completed two assignments with the Peace Corps (Turkmenistan, 2008-10; St Lucia, 2013-14), where he collaborated with foreign ministries to improve local education standards.

Daniel holds a master’s degree in Public Policy from Duke University and bachelor’s degree in Global Studies, Cultural Studies, and Linguistics from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities.


For more information contact Jeff Kisling,   jakislin@outlook.com

Iowa Yearly Meeting (Conservative)







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