President Profile


The University of Cambodia (UC)
President, Co-Founder, and Chairman of the Board of Trustees
In addition to being the President, Co-founder and Chairman of the Board of Trustees at The University of Cambodia, Dr. Kao Kim Hourn is also Minister Delegate Attached to the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia in charge of foreign affairs and ASEAN, a member of the Supreme National Economic Council (SNEC), a member of the Board of Directors for the Worldwide Support for Development (WSD), and Co-Founder of Southeast Asia Radio and Television (SEATV). Previously, from 2003 to 2013, he was Secretary of State at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and Advisor to the Prime Minister of The Kingdom of Cambodia. He was also a member of the High Level Task Force on the ASEAN Charter.

Dr. Kao Kim Hourn was born in Kampong Cham province in Cambodia and lived there with his father, mother and siblings until the Khmer Rouge regime came to power. His father was a schoolteacher, so his family was forced to relocate to another province and take up the life of rice farmers in an attempt to conceal the truth of his former career and avoid capture or death during the purging of intellectuals in Cambodia. After the fall of the Khmer Rouge, his family spent time in refugee camps on the Thai-Cambodian border before receiving refugee visas to the United States in the early 1980s.
Dr. Kao Kim Hourn arrived in Oakland California and quickly moved to Texas to join friends who were living there already. Sadly, his father suddenly passed away just after their move to Texas. The loss of their father led his family to relocate once again to Herndon, Virginia where he restarted his education and enrolled in high school at the age of 16. He completed high school in three years, despite having a fractured education throughout his life and no formal English instruction. After his high school graduation, Dr. Kao Kim Hourn attended Baylor University where he received a BA in Asian Studies. He then went on to attend Ohio University on a National Fellowship Scholarship where he earned dual Master’s degrees in Political Science and International Studies. He completed his formal education by obtaining a PhD in Political Science from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, while simultaneously traveling to and working in Cambodia. Since, he has received honorary doctorate degrees from Ohio University and Kalinga Institute for Industrial Technology (KIIT University) in Public Service and Literature, respectively.
Upon returning to Cambodia in the mid-1990s, Dr. Kao Kim Hourn became the Director of the Khmer International Relations Institute under the Preah-Sihanouk Raj Academy. However, he quickly moved to work on an important think-tank, the Cambodian Institute for Cooperation and Peace. He helped to build the think-tank into a key source for policy recommendations in the chaotic time of rebuilding the broken nation after the destruction of the Khmer Rouge Regime and the ensuing civil war that followed.

In 1999, Dr. Kao Kim Hourn played an important role in negotiating Cambodia’s entry to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and subsequently began working for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs where he remained, under various titles including Secretary of State, until 2013, when he moved to the cabinet of the Prime Minister where he currently holds the position of Minister Delegate Attached to the Prime Minister in charge of Foreign Affairs and ASEAN.

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