After Jang Sang, former President of Ewha, failed to be Korea's first female prime minister in 2002 during the Kim Dae-jung government, Han accomplished that unfulfilled dream four years later. As Han now stands as the second highest executive next to the president, Ewha, which is her old school, has hailed her appointment with acclamation.
Shin In-ryung, president of Ewha, said, "Her nomination shows that Korean society is calling for a leadership based on harmony and tolerance. A woman becoming the virtual head executive of the nation also signals Korea? development in democratic politics." President Shin added, "I hope she is recorded in history not only as the first woman prime minister, but also as a successful "people's prime minister.""
Yoon Soon-hee, the president of the Ewha Alumnae Association said, "As Ewha celebrates its 120th birthday this year, the nomination of a woman prime minister seems to be the best present." Han entered Ewha in 1963, majoring in French Language & Literature. After graduating from Ewha, she became a pro-democracy activist, and later devoted herself to the women's movement. She became the minister of Gender Equality and Family in 2001, and the minister of Environment in 2003.