Hyeonseo Lee was born and raised in North Korea before fleeing to China in 1997. She moved to Seoul, South Korea, in 2008, after more than ten years there, and struggled to adjust to life in the hectic metropolis. She has become a regular speaker on the international stage, promoting human rights and raising awareness of the situation of North Koreans, having recently graduated from Hankuk University of Foreign Studies. She is a strong supporter of other refugees, even assisting close family to flee North Korea. Her TED lecture has approximately 4 million views on YouTube. She currently resides in South Korea with her American husband Brian Gleason.