The mission of CKS is to act as an advocacy group for Korean Studies within the AAS, and to represent the Korean Studies membership within the AAS Northeast Asia Council (NEAC). CKS was founded in 1968 by Hesung Koh, who was the first chair from 1968 to 1970. A survey of membership interest conducted by Dr. Koh indicated that there were 300 members registered; they not only included scholars but also graduate students, government officials, and journalists. This survey helped to legitimize the existence of a separate Committee at AAS. Beginning in the early 1980s, CKS administered small grants for travel and research and in the 2000s, it served as the award committee for graduate student fellowships funded by the Korea Foundation. Since the late 1990s, it has been participating in the administration of NEAC awards for the support of Korean Studies at American universities including student aid, faculty grants, conferences, translation projects, and cultural activities with funds from the Korea Foundation.
Since 2008, CKS has increased its activities to sponsor and co-sponsor professional workshops and conference panels to support its members in their various professional stages. In cooperation with the Center for Korean Studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, the CKS maintained a website accessible from the AAS webpage under the NEAC. As the CKS wrapped up its cooperative relationship with the University of Hawaii in 2010, a new website was prepared and went on-line in February 2012. It includes announcements and reports, news of the field, member opinions, and useful links for the CKS membership among other things. It can be accessed from the AAS webpage under the NEAC as before, or directly at http://www.koreanstudies.org. The Executive Board of the CKS is composed of seven officers elected by the CKS membership, who serve staggered three-year terms. The current Chair of the Committee on Korean Studies is Kelly Jeong, University of California Riverside; e-mail: kelly.jeong[at]ucr.edu.