Meredith Jung-En Woo has been dean of the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences at the University of Virginia since 2008. She joined the College from the University of Michigan, where she was a professor of political science and served as associate dean for social sciences in the College of Literature, Science and the Arts. Prior to moving to Michigan in 2001, she taught at Northwestern University, where she helped rebuild the department of political science and co-founded the Center for International and Comparative Studies. She has also taught at Colgate and Columbia Universities.
A native of Seoul, South Korea, she was completing her secondary education in Tokyo, Japan when she was intrigued by photography of the rugged American Northeast she encountered in National Geographic magazine. This led her to Brunswick, Maine, where four years later she became the first Asian alumna of Bowdoin College, graduating magna cum laude with a B.A. in English Literature and History. She went on to earn two M.A.s (International Affairs and Latin American Studies) and a Ph.D. (Political Science) from Columbia University.
Well-known as an expert in international political economy and East Asian politics, in 1996 Dean Woo was appointed by President Bill Clinton to the Presidential Commission on U.S.-Pacific Trade and Investment Policy. She has consulted for the World Bank, the United States Trade Representative, Asian Development Bank Institute, the Asia Foundation and the MacArthur Foundation.
Dean Woo is also a prolific writer and researcher who has authored a edited seven books. They include Race to the Swift: State and Finance in Korean Industrialization (Columbia University Press, 1991), and Past as Prelude: History in the Making of the New World Order (Westview Press, 1993). Her most recent book, Neoliberalism and Reform in East Asia, published in September 2007, was the result of a project sponsored by the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development and the Rockefeller Foundation.
Dean Woo also served as executive producer of Koryo Saram: The Unreliable People—a documentary about Stalin's ethnic cleansing of Koreans during the Great Terror. The film premiered at the Smithsonian Institution in 2006 and was awarded best documentary by the National Film Board of Canada at the 2007 Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival.