Il SaKong presented the new Korean government's economic agenda at a meeting at the Institute, April 18, 2008.
SaKong, considered the leading economic advisor to Korean President Lee Myung-bak, spoke at the Institute while accompanying the new president on his first visit to the United States since being elected. SaKong is also chairman of the president's National Competitiveness Council, which is a permanent organization in the president's office that holds monthly meetings with the president to address major regulatory reforms, privatization, and public sector structural adjustments.
SaKong was formerly minister of finance (1987–88) and senior secretary to the president for economic affairs (1983–87). Since that time, he has been chairman and CEO of the Institute for Global Economics in Seoul and Korea's ambassador for international economy and trade. During 1991–92, he was a visiting fellow at the Institute and authored the study Korea in the World Economy (Institute for International Economics, 1993).