Director, East Asian Studies Center
Mitch Lerner, professor in the Department of History, is one of the nation’s leading experts on Korean foreign policy and US-Korea relations. His first book, a study of US-Korean relations in the 1960s, won the John Lyman Book Prize and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Since the book’s publication in 2004, he has authored nearly 20 journal articles and 3 edited volumes. He is also a regular public commentator on this topic, with op-eds in such venues as the New York Times, Washington Post, Korea Times, Cleveland Plains Dealer, The Diplomat, and The National Interest, and appearances on television, radio, and newspapers across the globe. Prof. Lerner has been a fellow at the University of Virginia's Miller Center for Public Affairs, served on the governing council of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, and is on the advisory board of the North Korea International Documentation Project at the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars. He has also held the Mary Ball Washington Distinguished Fulbright Chair at University College-Dublin. He currently serves as associate editor of the Journal of American-East Asian Relations, and is a newly-appointed member of the Association for Asian Studies’ Distinguished Speakers Bureau. He received his PhD from the University of Texas-Austin.
At Ohio State, Prof. Lerner is an experienced administrator and educator. He served as director of the Institute for Korean Studies (IKS) from 2012-2020, and is now director of the. Under his leadership, the institute has developed new partnerships both within the US and abroad, increased course offerings related to Korea, and organized numerous academic events as well as community outreach and teacher training events. Perhaps most notably, Prof. Lerner was an important member of a team of Korean specialists from across Big Ten universities that partnered to develop an e-school of Korean-related classes to be shared, live and interactive, among Big Ten universities. In addition to his role at IKS, Prof. Lerner is a faculty associate at the Mershon Center for International Security Studies. For his work in the classroom, he has won both the OSU Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching and the Ohio Academy of History's Distinguished Teacher Award. He has also trained numerous MA and PhD graduate students in both History and the Interdisciplinary East Asian Studies MA Program.
Areas of Expertise
US Foreign Policy
US-East Asian Relations
Modern American Politics