Suzanne K. Scholte is considered one of the world’s leading activist in the North Korea human rights movement having worked for over 18 years to promote the freedom, human rights and dignity of the North Korean people. Scholte began a program in 1996 to host the first North Korean defectors in the United States to speak out about the atrocities being committed against the people of North Korea including the political prison camps and the horrific treatment of refugees. She has led international efforts to pressure China to end their horrific repatriation policy and has been involved in the rescue of hundreds of North Koreans escaping from North Korea. Currently, she serves as President of the Defense Forum Foundation; Chairman, North Korea Freedom Coalition; Vice-Chairman, Committee for Human Rights in North Korea; and Honorary Chairman, Free North Korea Radio
She is the recipient of the 2008 Seoul Peace Prize Laureate, 2010 Walter Judd Freedom Award, 2013 Order of Diplomatic Service Merit Sungnye Medal from the Republic of Korea, 2014 Sanders Peace and Social Justice Award, and the Volunteer Service (Gold) Award from the President of the United States. She was made an Honorary Citizen of Seoul in 2008. Scholte is a graduate of the College of William and Mary and received an Honorary Doctorate in Education from Koshin University.