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Korean American Day 2018

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 entrepeneurship, arts and literature. The theme for 2018 is Recognizing Leaders in Journalism.

Please note that the Korean American Day luncheon is by invitation only.

If you are a member of the media, please find more information about covering Korean American Day here:

Recognizing Leaders In Journalism

2018 Honorees

Julie Ha

Director and Producer
Fre Chol Soo See

Chang W. Lee

The New York Times

May Lee

CGTN AmericaL Founder,
Lotus Media House

Honorees' Biographies

Julie Ha has 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.

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.