Frank Plantan
Co-Director of the International Relations Program
Contact Information
Office Hours: 
By Appointment; MF 1:30-4, T 10-12, W 2-4, R 10-12 & 2-4
Email Address:


Brief Biography: 

Dr. Frank Plantan currently serves as the Co-Director of the International Relations Program at the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned his Ph.D. in Higher Education and Masters in International Relations. He took his bachelor's degree in Political Science from Illinois State University. His portfolio also includes serving as the Director of the Penn-in-Seoul Study Abroad and Internship Program and as the Executive Secretary of the International Consortium for Higher Education, Civic Responsibility and Democracy. He recently served as the General Raporteur for the Council of Europe on a seventeen-nation comparative research project, Universities as Sites of Citizenship and Civic Responsibility. He is the National President of Sigma Iota Rho, the National Honor Society for International Studies with chapters on over seventy campuses in the U.S. and abroad. Dr. Plantan has been deeply involved in international education issues for many years and has served on the Provost's Committee on International Education and Research, Provost's Advisory Committee on Study Abroad, the School of Arts and Sciences Study Abroad Committee, several site review committees and as Director of two summer abroad and internship programs in Korea and Belgium. He currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Center for East Asian Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a Founding Member of Phi Beta Delta, International Education Honor Society and is the faculty advisor to the Penn Chapter of the Society for International Development.

Dr. Plantan has taught in Political Science, International Relations and the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania including courses in international politics, international relations theory, power, political risk analysis, and research seminars. His has three areas of academic interest: Northeast Asia and the political, economic, and foreign relations of Korea, China and Japan; the history of international relations in American higher education, and the role of universities in promoting civic engagement and democratic education. He most recently taught "Political Risk Analysis in Asia" at Kyung Hee University's Summer Institute 2006.

He is also the President of International Services Group, an educational and management consulting practice. He has most recently consulted with Kyung Hee University, Seoul Korea on the structure and development of their new Global Academy and NGO complex. He served as a consultant to Liberty Pacific Direct Investment and the Chongginq Municipality, People's Republic of China on the development of a new international school to serve Chongqing. He also served as a consultant to the World Bank as a member of the Corporate Restructuring Team in Seoul during the Asian economic crisis in 1998--1999. Early in his career he also worked for the Economic Planning Board of the Republic of Korea.

Dr. Plantan is an established leader and innovator in international education, program development and cross-cultural exchanges with a proven track record in pioneering new educational, internship, and research programs in Europe and Asia creating and employing professional networks bridging diverse institutions and organizations. He has organized several national and international conferences including the "Conference on Ukraine," March 1993, hosted Deputy Prime Minister Ukraine, Viktor Pynzenyk, and the "Community Education Conference," Graduate School of Education in cooperation with the Center for School Study Councils and the Center for Community Partnerships, 1984, and many smaller forums and symposia, including "Citizenship Through Education: Trans-Atlantic and Global Perspectives," April 2005. He has arranged, organized or sponsored thirty to seventy speakers, workshops, lectures, excursions and field trips per year for more than fifteen years for the International Relations Program. He has regular public speaking engagements for diverse groups such as the New Jersey Education Association, Camden County School District, In-Service Development program; as Distinguished Alumni Speaker for Homecoming, Illinois State University; is a regular speaker for the Foreign Policy Association's Great Decisions Program, 1977--present; at the Penn Club of Seoul, Korea; and the Center for East Asian Studies, University of Pennsylvania, and most recently gave an invited speeches on the state of international education at the US--China Education Summit in Beijing, in August, 2004, an invited presentation for the National Academy of Educational Administration, People's Republic of China, "Developing and Managing International Education Programs," in November 2003.


Selected Publications: 

Higher Education Today with Steve Goodman, JD. "Korean Studies and International Relations." 10/16/2012. For video, click here.

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