Seo, 60, is set to become the first educational bureaucrat to take helm of the ministry, whose previous chiefs have all been outside experts and politicians.
He has more than 30 years of experience in the Education Ministry and affiliated offices.
Seo, a native of Seoul, first joined the ministry in 1979 after passing the administrative service exam in 1978.
He served for nearly 20 years until 1999 before taking the vice-superintendent seat at the Gyeonggi Province Office of Education.
He also worked as vice superintendent for the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education from 2005-2007, before serving as vice minister at the Education Ministry from 2007 for about a year under the late former President Roh Moo-hyun’s administration.
Until recently, he had been serving as the president of Uiduk University in Gyeongju in North Gyeongsang Province.
Seo graduated from Seoul National University with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy. He received a master’s degree in education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and his doctoral degree in the same field at the Dongguk University.