Upon the completion of his Ph.D, Dr. Bang taught Economics at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and obtained a tenured position at the University of San Francisco in 1978, and for the next ten years directed the Research Institute of Asian/Pacific Studies. He published scholarly work on the economic reform of the USSR, Korean economic development, and North Korea. He rapidly developed a reputation for his exciting and engaging lecturing style, which was much appreciated by his students, rewarding him with the highest teaching evaluations in the Department of Economics the University of Colorado in 1971 and the UCLA in 1974.
In 1990, Dr. Bang was invited by Nursultan Nazarbayev, the President of Kazakhstan, to serve as the Vice Chairman of the Expert Committee, which the President himself chaired. The Committee’s mandate was to advise the government on economic policy, particularly the introduction of market reforms and privatization in Kazakhstan. During this time Dr. Bang also served as an Economic Advisor to the President.
To further assist the country in its transition, Dr. Bang was subsequently appointed as the Founding President of the Kazakhstan Institute of Management, Economics and Strategic Research (KIMEP). This institution was founded in Almaty in 1992 with the mission to produce able professionals, qualified to the highest Western standards, who would lead Kazakhstan’s post-Soviet market economy. After an interval in South Korea, Dr. Bang returned to Kazakhstan in 1997 to serve as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of KIMEP. In 2000, he was appointed President of the Institute.
Since his return to Kazakhstan, KIMEP has transformed, under his leadership, from a state institute offering three graduate degrees into an internationally renowned and accredited university with fourteen undergraduate and graduate degree programs in seven disciplines. Since 1998, the student population has grown by a factor of ten, whilst the campus has undergone massive renovation works, including the construction of a new library, academic building, and sports center.
In 2004, KIMEP became a private, non-profit institute, with a 40% shareholding stake held by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan and a 60% stake held by Dr. Bang. In 2012, the status of university was conferred upon KIMEP.
Dr. Bang’s vision for KIMEP University has been to create a center of international educational excellence in the heart of Central Asia, producing cutting edge research and most importantly future national and regional leaders. KIMEP University has developed extensive connections not only with the private and public sectors of Kazakhstan, but also with more than one hundred top international universities around the world.
Aside from his professional pursuits, Dr. Bang is a family man, who enjoys reading extensively. He plays ping-pong everyday, and his prowess at the table is such that he very rarely meets his match.
- Building a World Class University – A Strategic Plan 2011-2014
- 20 years at KIMEP: A Remarkable Contribution to the development of the Republic of Kazakhstan 1992-2012