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Korean American Day

Korean American Day honors the contributions of the Korean American community to the United States and commemorates the arrival of the first Korean immigrants on January 13, 1903. In 2005, the U.S. Senate and House passed resolutions by unanimous consent expressing support for the goals and aspirations of Korean American Day, which is also celebrated by numerous states and municipalities.

Every year on January 13, the Korea Economic Institute of America (KEI) sponsors a luncheon in Washington, DC to mark Korean American Day and recognize the local and national Korean American community. This event has come to be recognized as one of the preeminent celebrations in Washington, DC for Korean Americans.

As part of the ceremony, KEI recognizes prominent Korean Americans that have made significant contributions in their field. Recently, KEI has honored Korean-Americans from athletics, government, business, academia, humanitarian work, business and entrepreneurship, arts and literature.

KEI's Past Korean American Day Honorees

Dr. Young-mee Yu Cho is an Associate Professor of Korean Language and Culture at the Rutgers School of Arts and Science. She’s also the author of Parameters of Consonantal Assimilation (1999) and coauthor of Integrated Korean (2000, 2001, 2010), the most popular Korean textbook series in the United States.

She served as the President of the American Association of Teachers of Korean (www.aatk.org) for three years (2006-2009), and, as co-chair of the Korean National Standards Task Force, developed Standards for Korean Language Learning (2010, ACTFL). In addition, she co-organized the North American Workshop on Korean Literature (NAOKOL) with Professor Kyeong-Hee Choi of Chicago University between 2007-2010. Currently, she is working on her monograph, Korean Phonology and Morphology.


Dr. Sahie Kang (Ph.D. in linguistics, University of Florida 1990) is Professor Emeritus at the Defense Language Institute and a visiting professor at Ewah Woman’s University in Korea. Prior to joining Middlebury College, Dr. Kang served as the Dean of Defense Language Institute’s School of Resident Education, Directorate of Continuing Education.

She served as the President of the American Association of Teachers of Korean until 2018. She is the founding Chair of the Korean Special Interest Group at the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (2006-2009 & 2012-2015) and has served as Vice President of the International Association of Korean Language Education (2005-2007). She has been a Master Trainer and tester for the ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview since 2002 and conducted numerous OPI Assessment workshops in major universities in the US as well as in Korea.

ALEXANDER CHEE is a novelist and essayist and teaches fiction and essay writing. He is the author of the novels Edinburgh (Welcome Rain, 2001; Picador, 2002) and The Queen of the Night (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016). His first collection of essays, How to Write an Autobiographical Novel, was published Mariner Book in 2018. His essay “Girl,” appeared in Best American Essays 2016, edited by Jonathan Franzen. He is a contributing editor at The New Republic, an editor at large at The Virginia Quarterly Review, and a critic at large at The Los Angeles Times. His debut novel, Edinburgh, won the Iowa Writers’ Workshop’s Michener Copernicus Prize in Fiction, the Lambda Literary Foundation’s Editor’s Choice Prize, and the Asian American Writers’ Workshop Literary Award. He is recipient of a 2003 Whiting Award, a 2004 NEA Fellowship in prose and a 2010 Massachusetts Cultural Council of the Arts Fellowship, and residency fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Virginia Center for Creative Arts, Civitella Ranieri, and Leidig House. He serves on the board of directors of the Authors’ Guild of America. Mr. Chee is currently an Associate Professor at Dartmouth University.


MIN JIN LEE is a recipient of fellowships in Fiction from the Guggenheim Foundation (2018), the Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Study at Harvard (2018-2019), and the New York Foundation for the Arts (2000). Her novel Pachinko (2017) was a finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction, a runner-up for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, winner of the Medici Book Club Prize, and a New York Times 10 Best Books of 2017. A New York Times Bestseller, Pachinko was also a Top 10 Books of the Year for BBC, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and the New York Public Library. It was on over 75 best books of the year lists, including NPR, PBS, and CNN. Pachinko will be translated into 30 languages. In 2019, Apple ordered to series a television adaptation of Pachinko, and President Barack Obama selected Pachinko for his recommended reading list, calling it, “a powerful story about resilience and compassion.” Ms. Lee’s debut novel Free Food for Millionaires (2007) was a Top 10 Books of the Year for The Times of London, NPR’s Fresh Air, USA Today, and a national bestseller. Her writings have appeared in The New Yorker, NPR’s Selected Shorts, One Story, The New York Review of Books, The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, The Times Literary Supplement, The Guardian, Conde Nast Traveler, The Times of London, and Wall Street Journal. In 2018, Ms. Lee was named as an Adweek Creative 100 for being one of the “10 Writers and Editors Who are Changing the National Conversation” and a Frederick Douglass 200. In 2019, Ms. Lee was inducted in the New York Foundation for the Arts Hall of Fame. She received an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from Monmouth College. She will be a Writer-in-Residence at Amherst College from 2019-2022. She serves as a trustee of PEN America, a director of the Authors Guild and on the National Advisory Board of the Immigration Initiative at Harvard

CHARLOTTE CHO is the founder of Then I Met You, a premium direct-to-consumer skincare line focused on a meaningful experience and quality ingredients. Ms. Cho is also the co-founder of K-beauty destination Soko Glam and skincare content site The Klog. In 2012, Ms. Cho brought K-Beauty to the U.S. market by pioneering the 10-Step Korean skincare routine and has been highly sought-after for her expert advice and insight ever since. Ms. Cho has been featured in New York Times, Vogue, Allure, Marie Claire, Vanity Fair, Forbes and Refinery29. She has also made national broadcast appearances on The Today Show, Rachael Ray and Good Morning America and was named one of WWD’s 40 Under 40 in 2017. Ms. Cho is the author of The Little Book of Skincare (HarperCollins).


DAVE CHO is the Co-Founder & CEO of leading K-beauty and skincare destination Soko Glam, where he manages the company’s fast-growing business and leads a global team of over 40 people. Since launching in 2012, Mr. Cho and his Co-Founder and wife, Charlotte Cho were amongst the first to introduce K-Beauty to the U.S. Market. The Korean beauty market is now among the top 10 around the world, with an estimated worth of over $13.1 billion in sales in 2018, according to Mintel, a global market intelligence agency.

Dave received a Master’s in Business Administration from Columbia Business School and a Bachelor of Science from the United States Military Academy at West Point. Before starting Soko Glam, Mr. Cho spent over eight years on active duty in the U.S. Army. He was a combat arms officer and most notably served as a light infantry company commander, leading over 120 infantrymen with a wartime mission. Mr. Cho has been featured in The New York Times, Business Insider, CNN, Bloomberg and GQ.


MICHAEL HONG is the CEO and Co-Founder of Digital Media Rights, a leading global digital-first film and TV distributor and OTT publisher. DMR distributes a library of 7,500+ feature films, television programs and documentaries, with direct deals with the leading digital platforms including Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Comcast, Google Play, Vudu, and many others. DMR’s advertising sales network yields over 300 million impressions per month. As an OTT channel publisher, DMR owns and operates four popular owned and operated channels (Yuyu, AsianCrush, Midnight Plup, CoCoRo).

Prior to forming Digital Media RIghts, Mr. Hong was Co-founder and CEO of ImaginAsian Entertainment, which included ImaginAsian TV, the first nationally distributed Asian American cable network in the U.S. With over 20 years of media experience, Michael has held prior positions at Paramount Pictures, Spelling Entertainment, and Nielsen Media Research, and has been featured in Forbes, USA Today as well as being included in numerous Top 50 executive lists.


SUSAN KANG is the creator of Soompi, the original international K-pop community and news site, which she founded in 1998. Ms. Kang turned her personal homepage on Geocities into a Softbank-funded, thrice-acquired Korean entertainment destination for English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, and Thai-speaking fans around the world. Soompi has played a pivotal role in helping make K-pop into a global phenomenon and continues to bring the best Asian content to the world. A fan of fans, Ms. Kang led the effort to creatively engage and mobilize users around their passions for 20 years before retiring from Soompi in late 2018.

CHANG W. LEE is a staff photographer for The New York Times. Mr. Lee was a member of the staff that won two 2002 Pulitzer Prizes: one for Breaking News Photography for coverage of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on New York City and its aftermath; the other for Feature Photography for photographs chronicling the pain and perseverance of people enduring protracted conflict in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Mr. Lee was also among the New York Times journalists who won the 2008 Grantham Prize for “Choking on Growth,” a series that examined the effects of industrialization on the Chinese environment. In addition, he has won numerous awards in prestigious photographic competitions such as Pictures of the Year, the Best of Photojournalism and the New York Press Photographers annual contest.


MAY LEE has been working in the media and communication space around the world for more than 25 years. She is a successful television, radio and online media journalist who has worked as a correspondent, anchor, host and executive producer for major networks and media institutions. Ms. Lee was the first Korean American anchor for CNN, co-host of Oprah Winfrey’s women’s network Oxygen Media and main anchor at CNBC Asia. As a correspondent, May has covered some of history’s most momentous events including the 1997 Handover of Hong Kong, the 911 attack in New York City and several U.S. Presidential elections. In 2007, Ms. Lee founded Lotus Media House, LLC, a media production and consulting company. It successfully launched “The May Lee Show”, the first pan-Asia talk show for the modern woman of Asia. Lotus Media House also specializes in helping businesses and individuals shape and build powerful and effective communication strategies as well as providing media training and production services.


JULIE HA has over 20-year journalism career that spans ethnic and mainstream news experience, with a specialized focus on Asian American stories. She worked as an editor for 10 years at KoreAm Journal, a distinguished national Korean American magazine, and served as its editor-in-chief from 2011 to 2014, during which time she led award-winning coverage of the 20-year anniversary of the Los Angeles riots. Ms. Ha has worked as a staff writer for the Hartford Courant in Connecticut and the Rafu Shimpo, a Los Angeles-based bilingual Japanese American newspaper, and was a reporting trainee at the Los Angeles Times. Her feature story about the dramatic influx of Korean immigrants into Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo won a first-place award from New America Media, and her profile of a heroic firefighter who failed to save a child drowning victim was honored by the Society of Professional Journalists, Connecticut Chapter. For the past two years, she has been working on Free Chol Soo Lee, a documentary feature film that she is directing with longtime collaborator Eugene Yi. The film, which has won production grants from California Humanities and the Center for Asian American Media, tells the story of a Korean American death row inmate wrongfully convicted of a 1973 murder in San Francisco and the historic Asian American movement that forms to free him.

DR. KOOK-WHA KOH is the founder of Chrysan Industries, Inc., a leading global supplier of automotive lubricants and specialty chemicals. Dr. Koh has several patents in metalworking fluid technology and formulated cutting oils, synthetic coolants, and stamping fluids for the metalworking industry.

Dr. Kook-wha Koh and her husband Dr. Kwang Koh arrived in the United States in 1965, studying chemical engineering at the University of Iowa. After earning their PhD degrees, Dr. Kook-Wha Koh began working as a chemical engineer for a local firm then founded her own company, Chrysan Industries, Inc. in 1977, headquartered in Plymouth, Michigan. Since then the company has become a leading global supplier of automotive lubricants and specialty chemicals. Chrysan (the name means “chrysanthemum” in Korean) owns several patents in metalworking fluid technology, formulated cutting oils, and synthetic coolants, and has repeatedly been recognized for product and supplier excellence by major manufacturers such as General Motors and Ford. The company now has facilities and partners globally including locations in the U.S., China, and Mexico.

The Michigan Minority Business Development Council named Chrysan the Minority Supplier of the Year in 2001, and a group of several Michigan small-business organizations named the company Family-Owned Small Business of the Year in 2005. In 2006, the company also received Asia Pacific American Chamber of Commerce Salute to Excellence Award. Two years ago, the company established a manufacturing facility in South Korea to supply the Asia Pacific region. While Dr. Kook-Wha officially retired in 2006, she continues to work as a consultant when she is not traveling.


DR. DAVID OH was born in Nashville, Tennessee, grew up in Alabama, and attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for college, where he received bachelor’s degrees in both Aerospace engineering and Music in 1991. Dr. Oh also earned his master’s degree in Aerospace engineering from MIT in 1993 and his Sc.D. in Aerospace engineering from MIT in 1997.

Dr. Oh joined NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in 2003, where he has worked on missions to explore the Moon, Mars, and Asteroid Belt. In 2006, Dr. Oh joined the engineering team for NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover. As Cross-Cutting Domain lead, he led the multidisciplinary team of systems engineers and analysts that designed, tested, and delivered the core avionics, thermal, power, and communications systems for the rover. As Lead Flight Director, Dr. Oh supervised the rover’s cruise and surface operations teams through all stages of operations including launch operations, inflight maneuvers, approach to Mars, and surface operations. After the rover successfully landed on Mars in 2012, Dr. Oh and his family had the unique experience of living together in Mars time for a month which was featured in in news outlets worldwide including NPR and CNN. From 2013 to 2015, Dr. Oh managed the study and development of new deep space science mission proposals for JPL’s Discovery and New Frontiers mission portfolios. Dr. Oh was the “capture lead” for two successful proposals and is now the Project Systems Engineer for NASA’s newest Discovery mission: “Psyche: Journey to a Metal World.”


DR. EUN-SUK SEO is a Professor of Physics at the University of Maryland, College Park. She has worked on numerous projects for the detection and characterization of cosmic rays, including four major international collaborations ATIC (the Advanced Thin Ionization Calorimeter), AMS (the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, intended for deployment on the International Space Station), BESS (the Balloon-borne Experiment with a Superconducting magnet Spectrometer) and CREAM (the Cosmic Ray Energetics and Mass program). She is the Principal Investigator for CREAM and Co-Investigator for the others.

She also served as the first woman President for the Korean American Scientists and Engineers Association (KSEA) and 4th President of the Korean American Women in Science and Engineering (KWiSE). Dr. Suh received her Ph.D. in 1991 from Louisiana State University, including two years as a visiting graduate student at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. She is an elected Fellow of the American Physical Society.

JAE OK CHANG is a culinary scholar and author of the Vignette of Korean Cooking, a three-volume cookbook on traditional Korean cuisine. She moved to the United States in 1970. After then, she began to give lectures on Korean food and became a popular culinary specialist in the United States. Ms. Chang started to write her recipes in Korean and English to pass the cultural legacy to her daughter. Finally, it was published as a cookbook known as the Vignette of Korean Cooking, which has sold over 100,000 copies in the US and Canada.

Ms. Chang started to work as a culinary specialist at the Korean Culture Center at the Korean Embassy in Washington, DC. She also worked with the US State Department for Korean food education and provided lots of lectures through broadcast program including WKTV and Radio program. She also had the cooking demonstration at the Freer and Sackler Gallery Dinning hall earlier this year on January 10th She was the first Korean to have the Korean cuisine demonstration at the Smithsonian’s in 168 years.


EDWARD LEE is a Chef & Owner of 610 Magnolia, MilkWood and Whiskey Dry in Louisville, Kentucky; and culinary director of Succotash in National Harbor, Maryland, and Penn Quarter, Washington, DC. Mr. Lee is the author of an award-winning cookbook, Smoke & Pickles and Buttermilk Graffiti . He has been nominated for multiple James Beard Awards and appeared on Season Nine of Top Chef and the third season of The Mind of a Chef.

Mr. Lee’s culinary style draws inspiration from his Asian heritage, his New York training, and his embrace of the American South. Lee became popular with his restaurant 610 Magnolia and Milk Wood. He recently traveled to South Korea with his wife and young daughter to help a food company with research and development.


RACHEL YANG is the chef & co-owner of Relay Restaurant Group, which operates three restaurants in Seattle—Joule, Revel, and Trove— and Portland’s Revelry. Ms. Yang and her husband, Seif Chirchi’s work is consistently acclaimed and recognized, including four James Beard Award nominations for Best Chef Northwest in 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017.

 Ms. Yang moved to the United States at 15 years old. After graduating from Brown University, she enrolled at the Institute of Culinary Education. She explained that to her, cooking is a ‘third language’. The food she makes is a universal language, and it can come to people over differences in cultural backgrounds. Through food, Mrs. Yang stands out to communicate with the world.

TOBY DAWSON is a World Champion, Olympic medalist, and one of the great moguls’ skiers of his generation. He won a bronze medal at the 2006 Turin Winter Olympics. Mr. Dawson played a vital role in South Korea’s 2018 winter Olympics bid and served as a head coach to their moguls ski team.


JIM PAEK is an NHL player, Jim Paek won the Stanley Cups twice with the Pittsburg Penguines. He was the first Korean-born hockey player to play in the NHL and to win the Stanley Cup. In 2014, Mr. Paek accepted a position as the director of hockey for the Korean Ice Hockey Association and served as the head coach of the South Korean Men’s National ice hockey team. Under his leadership, South Korean team earned its first-ever Olympic hockey qualification to the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics.


GRANDMASTER JHOON RHEE is known as the “Father of American Tae Kwon Do” who brought Tae Kwon Do to America in 1956. He was also recognized as one of the 200 most famous U.S. immigrants of all time by the National Immigration Forum.


HINES WARD is a retired NFL wide receiver and two-time Super Bowl winner. He spent his entire 14-year NFL career with the Pittsburgh Steelers and won Super Bowl MVP in 2006. Mr. Ward began his coaching career last year as the Offensive Assistant for New York Jets.

SARAH PAIJI YOO is the co-founder and CEO of Blueland, environmentally friendly cleaning brand dedicated to reducing plastic waste. Ms. Yoo was previously a Founding Partner at LAUNCH, which created brands like M.Gemi, Rockets of Awesome and more. Prior to LAUNCH, she was also the CEO and Co-founder of Snapette, the largest mobile platform for local fashion shopping.


SIMON LEE immigrated to the United States from Korea in 1979 as a young professional engineer. He worked at MCI Telecommunications for seven years and in 1986 founded Software Technology Group (STG, Inc.), a certified provider of enterprise network operations, systems engineering and integration, information assurance services, software development, financial services, and language services. As president and chief executive officer, Mr. Lee led STG to its position as one of the largest federal contractors in the Washington D.C. region, with more than 1,500 employees, $270 million in annual sales, and supporting 26 Federal Government customers in locations worldwide.

Mr. Lee has received many professional and civic awards over the years, including the U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Development Award, U.S. Small Business Administration Lifetime Achievement Award, Emerging Business Forum American Dream Award, the Korean Broadcasting System Overseas Korean Award, and several others. Mr. Lee received his bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Korea University in 1979 and his master’s degree in systems engineering from GW in 2005.


MICHAEL YANG is the Founder and Board Director of the Board of Become, Inc., a leading global online shopping search engine and marketing services company in Silicon Valley, California. He founded Become.com in 2004, raised over $37 million in venture capital and built it into a global company with operations in US, Asia, and Europe. Prior to this, Michael founded mySimon.com, a pioneering Internet price comparison shopping company in 1998, and served as its CEO; mySimon raised $30 million in venture capital and was successfully acquired by CNET for $700 million in 2000.

Prior to mySimon.com, Michael held positions at leading technology companies including Xerox and Samsung Electronics. Michael has a BS degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from UC Berkeley, MS degree in Computer Science from Columbia University and MBA degree from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley. He has served on the IT Advisory Council for President George W. Bush and advisory board of the Stanford Institute of Economic Policy Research (SIEPR) at Stanford University. Michael also serves as Chairman of the Board of Silicon Valley Korea School. Michael holds a fourth-degree black belt in Taekwondo and lives with his wife and four children in La Cañada, CA.

KYUNG B. YOON is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of the Korean American Community Foundation (KACF), a nonprofit organization providing grants and capacity-building assistance to organizations working to address the most pressing needs in the Korean and Asian American communities in the New York area.  Since its founding in 2002, KACF has awarded 140 grants totaling more than $2.7 million and helped to spearhead a powerful grassroots movement of Korean Americans as emerging philanthropists who are embracing a strategic and collective culture of giving to their community.


EUGENE CHO is the founder and visionary of One Day’s Wages (ODW) – “a grassroots movement of people, stories, and actions to alleviate extreme global poverty.” The vision of ODW is to create a collaborative movement by integrating human relationships, social media/technology, and the power of story. ODW promotes awareness, invites simple giving (one day’s wages) and supports sustainable relief through partnerships, especially with smaller organizations in developing regions.

Mr. Cho is also the founder and former Senior Pastor of Quest Church – an urban, multi-cultural and multi-generational church in Seattle, Washington. He currently serves as the President-Elect of Bread for the World, a prominent non-partisan Christian advocacy organization urging both national and global decision makers to help end hunger – both in the United States and around the world.

YOUNGSUK “YS” CHI is an international businessman and a leader in the media and technology industry. He’s currently a non-executive Chairman of Elsevier, the world’s leading publisher of science and health information. He also serves as the Director of Corporate Affairs and Asia Strategy for RELX, a parent company of Elsevier and LexisNexis. Previously, Mr. Chi recently served as Chairman of the Association of American Publishers and as the President of the International Publishers Association. Mr. Chi has also served on dozens of charitable, educational and industry boards, including Princeton University, South Federal State University, the Korean American Community Foundation and McCarter Theatre.

Early in his career, as Chief Operating Officer of Ingram Book Group, he founded Lightning Source, the first ever print-on-demand distributor and e-book services provider. After holding several senior executive positions at Ingram Book Group’s parent company, he became President and Chief Operating Officer of Random House. He has also earned widespread respect for his ability to work across cultures. As founding Chairman of Random House Asia, he led efforts to make Random House the first foreign trade book publisher with local language publishing in Japan and Korea.


DANIEL DAE KIM is an actor, director and now, producer. Through the diversity of his roles on stage and screen, Daniel Dae Kim continues to expand the public’s perception of the Asian-Americans. He is best known for portraying Jin Soo Kwon on the ABC mega-hit show “Lost,” and Chin Ho Kelly for seven seasons on “Hawaii Five-0.” He has guest-starred on numerous TV shows, including “CSI,” “ER,” “24,” “Star Trek” and Emmy Award-nominated miniseries “The Andromeda Strain.” Mr. Kim is the founder of the film and TV production company called 3AD, which now produces the ABC TV series The Good Doctor (based on the 2013 TV series of the same name).

Born in Busan, South Korea, and raised in New York and Pennsylvania, Kim discovered acting while he was a student at Haverford College. After briefly considering a career as an attorney, he decided to follow his true passion and moved to New York City, where he began his work on stage, performing in classics such as “Romeo and Juliet,” “Ivanov” and “A Doll’s House,” as well as acting with an improv comedy troupe.


DR. PETER H. LEE is a Professor Emeritus of Korean & Comparative Literature at the University of California, Los Angeles. Professor Lee is an academic pioneer, credited with single-handedly developing the field of Korean literature, especially in a comparative context in the West. He also made important contributions to Korean studies more broadly, by spearheading the development of a series of basic reference tools and comprehensive anthologies that have been crucial to training a generation of students.

Dr. Lee’s prolific output has also been instrumental in building the field of Korean studies more generally. Among his edited books, his massive two-volume Sourcebook of Korean Civilization (Columbia UP, 1993-96), represents the first comprehensive anthology of Korean culture from early times through the modern period to appear in any language other than Korean. Dr. Lee has also compiled and edited anthologies of Korean literature, including an anthology of classical Korean literature, classical poetry, modern poetry, modern fiction, and a comprehensive anthology of modern Korean literature in all the major genres.

Dr. Lee was born and grew up in Seoul and received his graduate degrees from Yale and Ludwig-Maximilian University in Munich (1958). He also studied at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland, at the universities of Milan and Florence, and at Oxford. He taught at Columbia and the University of Hawaii, was a visiting professor at UC Berkeley, and served as a Distinguished Scholar at Peking University under the auspices of the National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Lee retired in 2007 after a teaching career of 47 years but is still active in advising graduate students and doing his own research and publication.

JEANNIE SUK is the John H. Watson, Jr. Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, where she has taught constitutional law, criminal law and procedure, family law, and the law of art, fashion, and the performing arts. Before joining the faculty in 2006, she served as a law clerk to Justice David Souter on the United States Supreme Court, and to Judge Harry Edwards on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. She was educated at Yale (B.A. 1995), at Oxford (D.Phil 1999) where she was a Marshall Scholar, and at Harvard Law School (J.D. 2002), where she was a Paul & Daisy Soros Fellow. She has written three books and many articles in scholarly journals and general media. Her book, At Home in the Law, was awarded the Law and Society Association’s Herbert Jacob Prize for the best law and society book of the year. She has been a Guggenheim Fellow and a recipient of Harvard Law School’s Sacks-Freund Award for Teaching Excellence.


DR. YOON-SHIK PARK is a Professor of International Finance at the George Washington University School of Business. Before joining academia, he worked for the World Bank as a Senior Economist in the 1970s and then Financial Advisor to the Chairman of the Samsung Group. He served on the board of directors of Samsung Corporation from 1998 through 2009, and as a board member of the Korea Economic Institute of America (KEI). Dr. Park has been a consultant to the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, International Finance Corporation (IFC), Inter-American Development Bank, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), U.S. Federal Reserve, U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), U.S. Export-Import Bank. Along with his M.B.A. in finance and M.A. in economics, Prof. Park received two doctoral degrees: Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) in international finance from Harvard University Graduate School of Business Administration and Ph.D. in economics from The George Washington University.


DR. SUH NAM PYO served as the President of Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) from 2006 to 2013. During his tenure, Dr Suh invented two large-scale systems, the On-Line Electric Vehicle (OLEV) and the Mobile Harbor, of which the OLEV was selected as one of the 50 Best Inventions of 2010 by TIME. Under his leadership, KAIST received the highest award from the President of Korea for its contributions.

Dr Suh began his career at MIT in 1970, where he was the Ralph E. & Eloise F. Cross Professor, Director of the Park Center for Complex Systems (formerly the Manufacturing Institute), and the Head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering for ten years from 1991 to 2001. He was also the Founding Director of the MIT Laboratory for Manufacturing and Productivity (1977–1984), the Founder and Director of the MIT-Industry Polymer Processing Program (1973–1984), Head of the Mechanics and Material Division of the Mechanical Engineering Department (1975-1977), and a member of the Engineering Council of MIT (1980–1984 and 1991–2001).

In October 1984, Suh took a leave of absence from MIT to accept a Presidential Appointment at the National Science Foundation where he was in charge of engineering. President Ronald Reagan appointed him to this position and the U.S. Senate confirmed his appointment. During his tenure at NSF, he created a new direction for the Engineering Directorate and introduced a new organizational program structure for supporting engineering research in order to strengthen engineering education and research and “to insure that the United States will occupy a leadership position in engineering well into the 21st century.”

Dr Suh also created the axiomatic design theory, which is a systems design methodology using matrix methods to systematically analyze the transformation of customer needs into functional requirements, design parameters, and process variables.

DAVID S. KIM served as the Deputy Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Governmental Affairs at the U.S. Department of Transportation. Until recently, he was the Vice President of Governmental Affairs at Hyundai Motor Company and now serves as the Secretary of the California Transportation Agency.  Prior to DOT, Mr. Kim spent five years with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA) as Deputy Executive Officer, Federal Advocacy and Government Relations. In this capacity, he served as head of the agency’s Government Relations Department and managed federal relations on behalf of one of the largest transit providers in the country.


DR. HOWARD K. KOH served as the 14th Assistant Secretary for Health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under President Obama. He led an array of interdisciplinary programs related to disease prevention, health promotion, the reduction of health disparities, women’s and minority health, HIV/AIDS, vaccine programs and many more.  Currently, he is the Harvey V. Fineberg Professor of the Practice of Public Health Leadership at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health and the Harvard Kennedy School as well as Faculty Co-Chair of the Harvard Advanced Leadership Initiative.


YUL KWON served as the Deputy Chief of the FCC’s Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau. Prior to his return to public service, he enjoyed a diverse career across law, politics, business, and technology. He received his B.S from Stanford University, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a B.S. in Symbolic Systems (cognitive science). He obtained his law degree from the Yale Law School and went on to have a successful legal career clerking for Judge Barrington D. Parker on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, practicing technology and telecommunications law at Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis and at the Venture Law Group, and serving as a legislative aide to U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman, for whom he helped draft a section of the Homeland Security Act, authored a landmark bill on nanotechnology, and organized a bipartisan caucus on science and technology. Mr. Kwon subsequently transitioned into the business sector, gaining experience in Google’s business strategy and operations group and working as a management consultant for McKinsey & Company and for the Trium Group.

GRACE CHUNG BECKER served in the all three branches of the federal government for 15 years before continuing her public service in non-profit sector. She was the Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice under President George W. Bush. She also served as a prosecutor in the Criminal Division of the Justice Department, Criminal Counsel for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, and Assistant General Counsel at the U.S. Sentencing Commission.

Ms. Chung Becker also served as Associate Deputy General Counsel for the United States Department of Defense. While working as the Special Advisor to the Assistant Secretary of the Army, she earned the “Outstanding Civilian Service” medal for her performance in an Army Inspector General’s review of events that occurred during the Korean War*


DAVID KIM is the founder and Vice Chairman of C2 Education, a highly successful enterprise that began as a private tutoring program run out of a Harvard dormitory room.  Over the past 20 years, C2 Education has grown to over 180 centers in 15 states and has helped tens of thousands of students achieve academic excellence. Currently, Mr. Kim is the publisher of Teen Ink a national media outlet focused on writing, art, photos, and forums for teens to express their opinions.


SAM YOON was elected as a Boston City Councilor At-Large in November 2005, making history as the first Asian American ever to run for elected office in Boston. With degrees from Princeton University and Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, he has an extensive background in community development and affordable housing. Prior to his elect ion, Mr. Yoon worked to create affordable housing in Boston’s Chinatown and built housing for people with disabilities. He has written legislation that would secure an additional funds for public safety, coined as “Nickel for Public Safety,” and has continually fought to invest in the future of the American youth through violence prevention programming. He has championed Boston’s efforts to provide bilingual ballots and full voting rights to Asian American citizens in the city. Mr. Yoon later served as the Executive Director of the Council on Korean Americans (CKA) and founded Korean American in Action (KAA).

SHINAE CHUN was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the 15th Director of the Women’s Bureau of the U.S. Department of Labor on May 9, 2001.  Serving under Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao, Ms. Chun was President Bush’s highest ranking Korean American appointee and headed the only federal agency charged with advocating on behalf of women in the workforce. Prior to her role at the Women’s Bureau, Ms. Chun led the Illinois Department of Labor and Illinois Department of Financial Institutions, and she was Illinois’ first ever Asian American cabinet member.


SAM KWAK is the President of ITT Financial Services Oregon. He currently serves as the Chairman of the Political Empowerment Committee of the Federation of Korean Associations, USA and as an overseas council member of the Peaceful Unifi cation Board, Republic of Korea. He previously served as the Chairman of the Oregon Commission of Asian Affairs and President of both the Korean Society of Oregon and the Korean- American Chamber of Commerce of Oregon. He also served as Chairman for the Korean American Fundraising Committee for the Korean War Memorial in Wilsonville, Oregon. Mr. Kwak has a BA in English from Hannam University and an MBA from Portland State University.


MICHELLE RHEE was appointed as a chancellor by Mayor Adrian Fenty June 12, 2007.  She leads the D.C. Public Schools, a district numbering 50,000 students and schools. In the Mayor’s search for a change agent for schools in the District , experts in education recommended Ms. Rhee, who had already transformed many urban public school systems through her work with * e New Teacher Project (TNTP). Chancellor Rhee currently serves on the Advisory Boards for the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ); the National Center for Alternative Certification (NCAC); Project REACH of the University of Phoenix’s School of Education. She is an Ex-Officio Member of the Kennedy Center Board of Trustees. Chancellor Rhee’s expertise on education is also informed by a Bachelor’s degree in Government from Cornell University, and a Master’s degree in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University