Veteran interpreter assists Trump
Behind U.S. President Donald Trump at his summit with President Moon Jae-in on Tuesday was a rather familiar face, an ethnic Korean interpreter.
The 60-year-old woman, known as Dr. Lee is a full-time Korean-English language service provider for the U.S. State Department.
Her Korean name is Lee Yeon-hyang and she was the main interpreter for former U.S. presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. When former President Park Geun-hye visited Washington for meetings with Obama, Lee was in charge of interpretation for the heads of state.
According to the reports, she had been an aspiring vocal music student. She got her foot in the door for interpretation work via her friend who was preparing to become a professional interpreter.
Dr. Lee studied interpretation at Hankook University of Foreign Studies.
In 1996, after years of work, she won a teaching position at the Monterey Institute’s Translation and Interpretation Program based in California where she taught for eight years.
Through her teaching career, she joined the U.S. State Department for language service. In 2004, she returned to Korea, taught at Ewha Womans University and returned to the State Department in 2009.