World Water Forum

Dr. Gye Woon Choi exemplifies strong alumni presence

By Min Kim (B.A. ’08, M.A. ’16)

Once you graduate from CSU, you’re a proud member of a worldwide Ram alumni community. While most alumni live and work inside the U.S, you’d be surprised how many Rams call other countries home. Far from their alma mater, these communities often try harder to stay involved, and among those communities, the CSU Korea Alumni Association is one of the most enthusiastically connected.

Hosting multiple gatherings every year, the CSU Korea Alumni Association includes prominent members of Korean society, ranging from academia to the public and private sectors. One thing they have in common is their love for CSU. These members dedicate their time and talents to nourishing and expanding the alumni network while staying connected to the University for various projects and research. Last year, CSU President Tony Frank and Vice provost of International Programs Jim Cooney visited Korea to meet with the Korean alumni group and were impressed by the members’ commitment and dedication to promoting awareness of CSU.

DrFrank-Dr Choi

Dr. Choi with CSU President Tony Frank

Although there are many prominent members in the association, one in particular stands out. Dr. Gye Woon Choi (Ph.D. ’91), a distinguished alumnus and current president of the CSU Korea Alumni Association, holds key positions within and outside the alumni group. Choi is currently the thirteenth CEO and president of Korea Water Resources Corporation (K-Water), a corporation dedicated to improving water quality in South Korea. A well-known water environment expert in Korea, Choi has carried out a number of water resource related studies and projects, including the state-funded “smart water grid project.” With his strong expertise in hydraulics, he has dedicated most of his career to cultivating young water experts at Incheon National University, where he was a professor for more than two decades. However, his expertise and passion for water did not stop in the academy. Prior to his appointment as K-Water’s CEO, he served as the co-CEO of Incheon Citizens’ Coalition for Economic Justice and as the vice president of Korea Water Resources Association.

Founded in 1967, K-Water is a public corporation with more than 4,000 employees that aims to improve public welfare and quality of life by enhancing water quality and supplies through integrated water resource development and management. The company has 47 years of experience managing the construction and operation of a wide range of facilities, including regional waterworks and sewage treatment centers. K-Water also strives to protect lives and property from water-related disasters such as floods and droughts while building a foundation for improved quality of life and economic development.

As part of its commitment to public welfare, K-Water has played an instrumental role in organizing and planning the 7th World Water Forum, the largest water-related event in the world, which will be held in the Daegu and Gyeongbuk region of South Korea. This international conference has been held every three years since 1997 in cooperation with the public and private sectors, academia, and related industries in an effort to facilitate a common framework for understanding and addressing global water concerns.

KoreanAlumniAssociation_groupDuring the conference, Choi and the Korea Alumni Association will host a reception for CSU alumni from around the world. It will be a unique opportunity for many Rams living abroad – including a large contingent of graduates from the civil engineering program – to stay connected, share expertise, and reminisce about their college years.

Several CSU delegations will travel to Korea to participate in the World Water Forum. They’ll join Choi, other members of the Korea Alumni Association, and CSU alumni from across the world at seminars and social gatherings to connect and participate in critical discussions about a global issue that affects us all.