(profile) Ex-journalist, presidential spokesperson named as new gender minister

Gender Minister nominee Kim Haeng is a reporter-turned-politician who served as the first spokesperson for former President Park Geun-hye.

After a parliamentary hearing process, the 64-year-old will replace Kim Hyun-sook, who has been serving as the gender equality minister since May 2022.

The nominee is considered a public opinion poll expert, and served in many relevant positions at polling agencies and the JoongAng Ilbo daily.

She kicked off her political career as the campaign spokesperson for then presidential candidate Chung Mong-joon ahead of the 2002 election and later appeared in various TV current affairs programs as a conservative commentator.

When the Park Geun-hye administration was launched in 2013, Kim was named as one of the two presidential spokespersons, along with Yoon Chang-jung, a former journalist who was sacked for sexual misconduct just over two months after taking office.

After Yoon left, Kim served as the lone spokesperson for Park before moving on as head of the Korean Institute for Gender Equality Promotion and Education in 2014, a stint during which she gained expertise in gender equality issues.

In 2016, Kim ran for the National Assembly but failed to win party nomination.

After former President Park was impeached and removed from office, Kim studied population and climate issues at the University for Peace in Costa Rica from 2017 to 2019, and completed a master’s course in sustainable environment and development management.

Ahead of last year’s local elections, she served as a member of the nomination committee of the ruling People Power Party (PPP) and then worked as a member of the PPP’s emergency leadership committee until early this year.

Source: Yonhap News Agency