Born and raised in South Korea, Yonghwa received a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture and Building Science from Hiroshima University as a Korea-Japan Joint Government Scholarship Student and a Master’s degree in Urban Design from Seoul National University.
Her multinational experience has provided her with unique opportunities to engage in an array of urban design comparative research projects and meetings. Arising from these experiences, she became a firm believer in the transformative role that the public and private sector’s cooperation can play in improving the value of properties as well as urban landscape.
Yonghwa began her career with The Seoul Institute, the think tank sponsored by the Seoul Metropolitan Government. While analyzing urban design systems, urban revitalization district master plans, policies and legal requirements, she has deepened her understanding of the public sector’s decision-making and control systems. Yonghwa also developed an expertise in architecture and community design at a social architect firm with her colleagues, using this undertaking as an experiment to build the community negotiation environment.
At MIT, Yonghwa seeks to gain a solid foundation in real estate finance and deal structure, in order to develop innovations in real estate development strategies that allow for good design to enhance the community by building demand-driven properties.