Younghoon David KimYounghoon David Kim

  • Co-Chair of the World Energy Council

  • Chairman & CEO of the Daesung Group

  • Member, Energy Council of Korea, Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy


Younghoon David Kim has long been an active member of the World Energy Council. He served as Co-chair of the 2013 Daegu World Energy Congress Organizing Committee, which hosted the Council’s most successful Congress to date, and before that as Vice-Chair for Asia-Pacific and South Asia for two terms (2005-2011). After his three-year-term co-chairmanship, he will lead the World Energy Council as Chair for another three years from 2016 to 2019.


As leader of one of Korea’s oldest energy conglomerates, Daesung Group, Co-chair Kim has spearheaded his company’s growth through a two-tiered approach to management.  The first tier involves the energy side of the business where his focus has been on ensuring safe delivery to 20 percent of the residential natural gas market in South Korea. Daesung has also developed electric power and renewable energy sources including landfill gas-to-energy, a combined cycle gas power station and Korea’s first solar power tower system.

The second tier comprises new revenue streams in the areas of venture capital and creative contents. Daesung Private Equity is a subsidiary with 25 years of experience and investments in 350 start-up companies. A leader in creative contents, Daesung’s affiliate the portal site, has over 2 million overseas Facebook fans.

Over the years Co-chair Kim has served as the World Energy Councils’ Vice Chair for Asia Pacific and South Asia (2005-2011), The 8th & 9th Chairman, Korea City Gas Association (2005-2008), Korea Member, APEC Business Advisory Council (1998-2010), Honorary Consul, Mongolia (2001-2011), Chairman, Korea Foundation for International Cultural Exchange (2009-2012), and Chairman, Daegu Athletic Foundation (2005-2012) to name but a few of his many and diverse activities.

Co-chair Kim was asked to appear as a panelist at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos at a session entitled “The Korean Peninsula and Stability in East Asia” where he spoke on the North Korea nuclear issue and at WEF Beijing on a panel on “Chinese Energy Policy” where he made suggestions on developing future policies.   In 2008 he was appointed to chair a presidential commission, Contents Korea Committee, tasked with making recommendations on new growth engines for Korea in the field of creative contents.   He has also had extensive experience as speaker, panelist and participant in numerous other events.

Co-chair Kim utilizes his extensive overseas contacts to reflect the growing voice of Asia in the global energy scent as well as help shape policy within his own country as a current member of Korea’s highest level energy advisory group, the Energy Council of Korea.  He was also instrumental in facilitating the meeting between UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and WEC’s Secretary General Christoph Frei that lead to the World Energy Council’s participation in the Global Tracking Framework for the UN Secretary General’s Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL initiative.

Co-chair Kim was awarded the highest honour given to a foreign national, the Order of the Polestar, from the Mongolian government in 2008 in recognition of his contribution to the fight against desertification in the Gobi Desert with Daesung’s SolaWin Project, a WEC flagship project.   This project has been successfully replicated in South Asia, Central Asia and Africa as a model PPP that alleviates food, energy and water (“FEW”) poverty.  In recognition of the success of the 2013 World Energy Congress in Daegu, Co-chair Kim was awarded the Seo Sang-don Award in 2014, which honours the achievements of an outstanding Korean business leader.


Co-chair Younghoon David Kim began his career in 1981 with Citibank in Seoul.  He joined Daesung Group in 1988 as Vice President, served as President from 1994 to 2000, and has been owner and CEO of Daesung Group since 2000.


Younghoon David Kim received his MA in Theology from Harvard Divinity School in 1987.  Previous to that he was a Special Student of Global Economics at Harvard University Graduate School.  He received his MBA (1981) and Master of Comparative Laws (1979) from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and his Bachelor of Laws from Seoul National University Law School in 1975.


His hobbies are traditional Korean archery, swimming and hiking. He is married to Kim Jeong-yoon and together they have four children.


Read the Co-Chair’s Speeches here:

Asia Pacific Gas Conference, 18 November 2015 (414.38 kB)   / Asia Pacific Gas Conference, (PowerPoint) 18 November 2015 (3.24 MB)

2015 WEC International Energy Symposium – 18 Sept.2015 (197.38 kB)

FINAL Manila_Min_RT_Opening_remarks_rev.15.06.16 (199.28 kB)

ACEF Open Plenary Speech 15.06.16 (124.51 kB)

WorldWaterForum Keynote – 15April2015 (262.33 kB)

WorldWaterForum Keynote PowerPoint- 15April2015 (8.72 MB)

Lyon Water and Energy Conference – 29 October 2014 (232.83 kB)