LEE Moongyung – Bai Xian Alumna, 2015 cohort; master’s degree in public administration, Tsinghua University.  Moongyung reflects back on how her Korean upbringing, combined with her AFLSP experience, have paved the way for a flourishing career in sustainable development.

Moongyung’s heart for the unheard and vulnerable was nurtured by her parents from a young age.  “During school holidays, my parents often brought my brother and me along with them to volunteer abroad, where we would take part in projects such as rebuilding houses in areas affected by severe climate change,” she reminisces.  “Seeing the poverty in these communities made me realize the privilege I enjoyed and how easy it is to take that for granted.  I wanted to bring positive change so I decided to pursue higher education in China.”

During her time in Beijing with the AFLSP, Moongyung not only enjoyed being immersed in Chinese culture and society, but also cherished the unique opportunities afforded her, such as the chance to contribute to a startup established by fellow Tsinghua students and compete in a startup pitch competition.  What she did not expect, however, was how her struggle with air pollution would prompt her to consider the relationship between economic prosperity and environmental protection, and its impact on human lives.  After graduation, her curiosity and interest in the topic led her to her current role at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, where she works as part of the energy efficiency and climate change team tasked to promote green finance and pursue sustainable economic growth in underdeveloped countries.  The job allows her to combine both her passions: sustainable development, and being a voice for the marginalized.  “My mission is to represent the underrepresented,” she says.  “I hope my contributions, small as they are, help make a difference in the lives of those who are often forgotten by society.”

In addition to her full-time work, Moongyung has also been actively involved in various social impact startups, including one that provides affordable medical care technology in China, another seeking to establish microfinance initiatives in South Asia, and most recently, a blockchain tech-based startup looking to increase the efficiency of e-government in South Asia.