Money Today interviewed Jong-Ho Lee, the minister of Science and ICT on the 26th at the Seoul Central Post Office
Minster Lee is evaluated as one of President Yoon’s most trusted members of the State Council, thought there was no special relationship between the two until the then-candidate Yoon visited the SNU semiconductor research institute in the May of last year to hear a lecture on semiconductors by then-director Jong-Ho Lee.
Yoon was deeply moved by the lecture and chose Lee as the core of his new government. He saw Lee as the right savior for Korea, which is in a crisis of low growth.
Above all, Minister Lee’s history of making a ‘road that was not present before’ in the semiconductor field was crucial. While he served as a professor, he developed the ‘Bulk FinFET’ technology, which is now a standard in the non-memory semiconductor industry. As a scholar, he did not remain in the given environment, identified problems that the industry had, and contributed to innovations in the semiconductor field. In addition, he accumulated a large sum of money exceeding 10 billion won as compensation for patent rights.
Due to such circumstances, there were external evaluations that Minster Lee has an image as a ‘minster of semiconductors’, but during the first 100 days of his inauguration, he left a paradigm shift in fields such as science and technology human capital reform, developing national strategic technology, and establishing a digital national strategy. As a part of livelihood measures for the public, he acted as a coordinator for the three telecom companies to come up with a 5G intermediate rate system, thereby expanding his stride to the ICT field.
In particular, as a semiconductor expert, he has been consecutively giving special lectures to ministries, industries, and the public, starting with the lecture given at the State Council. He not only plainly explains the concept of semiconductors, but also emphasizes the necessity of developing skilled labor and investment in science and technology. Within the Ministry of Science and ICT, there is communication between all staff regardless of position, and ideas on policies are openly discussed. Regarding Minster Lee’s actions, staff from the MZ generation (people born between the 1980s to 2000s) say that “because he was a professor before, he is able to communicate to anyone at their level.”
◇ A brief history
△ Born in 1966 in Hap-Cheon, Gyung-Nam △B.S. in electrical engineering from Kyungpook University △ M.S. and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from SNU △ Post-doc at MIT △ Professor at Wonkwang University △ Professor at Kyungpook University △ Professor at SNU Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering △ IEEE Fellow △ Director of SNU Inter-university Semiconductor Research Institute △Minster of Science and ICT (May of 2022 ~ Present)
Translated by: Do-Hyung Kim, English Editor of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, firstname.lastname@example.org