We hope all of you are enjoying the warm summer days with friends and family.
It has been a busy July at CKA. In partnership with Korean American Coalition – LA, we just concluded our celebrated 2021 IgniteNextGen Fellowship Program. For the past six weeks, our emerging leader fellows have participated in an impressive array of lectures, skills training, and mentorship events preparing them to become the next generation of Korean American leaders.
In addition, CKA is growing with new team members joining our organization. We are delighted to welcome our newest staff members, Angela Cho, Frances Kang, Rachel Paik, and Catherine Chon. We look forward to introducing them at our upcoming CKA events and programs. At the same time, we congratulate Kevin Koo as he departs from CKA to advance in his career on Capitol Hill. Thank you for all your hard work, Kevin!
Looking ahead to the fall, we are excited to announce this year’s gala theme, Reclaiming our Narrative, Redefining our Future, to honor and celebrate the courageous heroes who are making a positive impact within our communities. Please join us in celebration on Saturday, October 23, 2021. Registration is now open.
And as always, we are proud to share the work of our CKA Members. Please read about our members’ achievements in the fields of advocacy, policy, science, technology, business, government, law, and sports. If you wish to join as a CKA Member, please apply here.
Thank you all and take care.
Abraham Kim, Ph.D.
Council of Korean Americans
2021 CKA Gala: Reclaiming our Narrative, Redefining our Future
The Council of Korean Americans is excited to announce this year’s gala theme: Reclaiming our Narrative, Redefining our Future to honor and celebrate the courageous heroes who are making a positive impact within our communities. This year also marks CKA’s 10-year anniversary.
Mark your calendar for Saturday, October 23, 2021. In the coming weeks, we will be sharing more information about our gala program, honorees, performers, and more! For more information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Angela Cho is the Membership and Program Manager at the Council of Korean Americans where she works with the Director of Operations & Programming and the Community Engagement Manager to oversee the organization’s leadership development programs and its partnerships with Korean American and allied organizations around the country.
Frances Kang is the Digital Marketing Manager at the Council of Korean Americans (CKA). Frances has previously worked in the biotech industry servicing top biotech and pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, and Eli Lilly in addition to working in sales, marketing, R&D, operations, and project management.
Rachel Paik is a Development & Communications Associate at the Council of Korean Americans. Prior to joining CKA, she worked in fundraising and development at the Arms Control Association and was the former Grants & Programs Officer at Partnership for a Secure America.
Catherine Chon is a Membership & Marketing Coordinator at the Council of Korean Americans where she supports the Membership & Program Manager and the Digital Marketing Manager. She was recently promoted from summer intern to assist with membership and program initiatives.
Kevin Koo will be moving on from his role as Community Engagement Manager at the Council of Korean Americans to accept a Congressional STEM Fellowship through the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS).
Daniel Aum co-authored an article in the East Asia Forum on why the United States should secure a three-way digital trade deal with Japan and South Korea.
Frank spoke with a panel of experts with The National Interest on the stability of North Korea. He was also featured in Yonhap News regarding necessary conciliatory gestures from the U.S. and South Korea to bring North Korea back to the negotiating table.
Jieun authored a report “A Policy of Public Diplomacy with North Korea: A Principled and Pragmatic Approach to Promote Human Rights and Pursue Denuclearization” based on a working group whose goal was to produce a policy recommendation on North Korea to the Biden administration. The official report launch will be on August 12
Richard, CEO and Co-Founder of Kindred Biosciences, a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing novel pet therapeutics based on validated human targets, sold the company to Elanco Animal Health Incorporated.
Sun Choi, CKA’s General Counsel, was recently appointed as an Administrative Law Judge for the State of Maryland, Office of Administrative Hearings.
David’s company Equilar partnered with Disability:IN to advance the inclusion of board candidates with disabilities. Equilar also partnered with Out Leadership to expand the scope of director candidates within Equilar BoardEdge and increase LGBTQ+ board representation.
Connie, CEO of Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles, threw the first pitch at the Dodgers baseball game on July 25th.
Hannah recently joined the Biden administration’s Health and Human Services’ public affairs office. Following her role as the AAPI comms director for the Biden Campaign, Hannah Kim will be serving as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs for Health Care. Additionally, her organization Remember727 and the Korean War Veterans Memorial Foundation launched a Worldwide Photo Essay and Video Contest to honor the sacrifices of the veterans and promote peace on the Peninsula. This contest also aims to raise awareness and funds for the Wall of Remembrance that will be added to the Korean War Memorial in Washington, DC.
Jinhee, CEO of UYU.gg, joined the Esports Fashion Council as part of their visionary initiative to elevate the future of esports fashion.
J. Joseph Kim, president and CEO of Inovio Pharmaceuticals, was featured in an InvestorPlace article regarding the advancement of its COVID-19 vaccine, INO-4800, which is uniquely positioned to support vaccine rollout to underserved countries globally.
Dr. Kim, Director of Ark Clinical Research, was featured in a KABC News article about the role that fully-vaccinated but maskless individuals can play in the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant.
Soo appeared on BBC Radio to discuss North Korea’s food situation and shared her insights on the same topic in Bloomberg and Financial Times. On VOA’s Washington Talk, she discussed the proceedings from the G7 and NATO summits and their implications on US-North Korea relations and the nuclear negotiations. She authored commentaries on the US-South Korea summit in Nikkei Asia and the Lowy Institute’s The Interpreter.
Toni, Founder of NYX Cosmetics and CEO of Perverse Sunglasses, was featured in an Inc. Magazine article that delves into her deeply personal path to purpose after selling NYX Cosmetics in 2014 and the launch of Bespoke Beauty Brands in 2019.
Charlotte Koh’s Netflix show, Get Organized with The Home Edit, was nominated for a Daytime Emmy. Charlotte is an Executive Producer.
Jennifer wrote a powerful and personal piece for The New York Times about being an Asian American woman in classical music. This story and a broader feature about Asian American representation in the field, were in a print edition together. Jennifer’s virtual recital as part of IDAGIO’s Global Concert Hall was featured in Musical America streaming guide. Also, her Strings magazine cover story became available online. Jennifer was interviewed for a story in Shanghai Daily’s “Shine” magazine and by Boston GBH. She recently performed in San Francisco, the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival, and Nathan Cole’s 2021 Violympics.
David Lee was honored at the KACF-SF Gala in recognition of his innovative work as a Korean American entrepreneur for companies with a mindful approach to minimizing environmental impact. As President and Board Member of AppHarvest, David was interviewed on the expansion of AppHarvest’s high-tech indoor farm network. Lastly, Benson Hill, for whom David is the Audit Committee Chair, announced its SPAC merger to go public.
Jean Lee is the host of a new BBC podcast series, the Lazarus Heist, which has reached No. 1 on Apple charts in Britain and No. 2 in the United States. The 10-part series investigates alleged cyberattacks carried out by an elite unit of North Korean hackers called the Lazarus Group, from the Sony hack on Hollywood to the brazen attempt to steal $1 billion from Bangladesh’s national bank. The series will return in the fall with new episodes. Also, Jean Lee appears in Ep. 6 on North Korea in the new Netflix documentary series “How to Become a Tyrant.”
In June, Jessica spoke at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Jeju Forum, and Women Transforming Our Nuclear Legacy series about North Korea policy, as well as appeared on Arirang TV’s Peace and Prosperity show. In July, Jessica’s work appeared in Arms Control Today and Responsible Statecraft. One of Jessica’s works analyzed the renewed hotline between South and North Korea. She appeared at KEI and Center for the National Interest, and participated in a foreign policy seminar in South Korea. She also appeared at the Quincy Institute to speak on the armistice and ending the Korean War.
Youngwon was recently featured by YTN Korea in a documentary for his Korean American craft brewery company, Dokkaebier
Senator Min’s domestic violence survivors’ justice bill (Senate Bill 74) was signed into law by CA Governor Newsom. The bill adds “reproductive coercion” to the definition of domestic violence, providing additional protections to survivors.
Chris’ esports organization Gen.G is partnering with Eastern Michigan University for a summer program, which will allow students to learn more about esports and about how to apply traditional degrees to the gaming industry, and to connect with esports professionals. In June, Gen.G announced several key additions to its C-level global team, reflecting the company’s rapid emergence as a leader at the intersection of professional esports and education.
Tai Park is joining Quinn Emanuel as a partner in New York, where he will expand its investigations, government enforcement and white collar criminal defense practice.
Ekwan was featured in the Los Angeles Business Journal as a leader of influence in the sphere of litigators and trial attorneys. has established himself as one of the country’s leading trial lawyers.
Kate wrote an article for the LA Business Journal on the topic of Stewardship and Allyship.
Randy moderated an in-person discussion for the Asia Society this past May. The event featured a panel of experts that discussed the current state of relationship between the U.S. and South Korea and how it is likely to evolve in the future.
Mimi was ranked in Progressive Grocer’s Top 100 ranking of North America’s largest retailers of food and consumables and featured in a snapshot article of female CEOs.
During the virtual Collaborative Bar Leadership Academy (CBLA), Jen Won moderated a panel titled “How to Transition to a Different Workplace” which featured BJay Pak (former U.S. Attorney for Northern District of Georgia), Bryan Browning (Senior Legal Counsel at Lenovo), and Melinda Hightower (Managing Director and Head of the Multicultural Strategic Client Segments at UBS). The annual CBLA is a coordinated effort to strengthen the pipeline of diverse bar association leaders. As a CBLA alum, Jen also spoke on a panel titled “Planning for Success: Developing and Utilizing Your Personal Board of Directors and Personal Brand,” for CBLA alumni who are now leaders in their respective bar associations.
David Yoo, Dr. Andrew Kim, and Gloria Lee
CKA Members David Yoo, Dr. Andrew Kim, and Gloria Lee co-founded Kwell Labs in 2020 after meeting as part of NetKAL X in 2017. They were awarded a $10 million grant from the NIH to fund US manufacturing and FDA clinical trials and last month their company successfully obtained US FDA Emergency Use Approval on their first Genbody COVID-19 Antigen rapid response testing kit. They also have an affordable over-the-counter COVID test kit underway.
Songyee will remain President and Chairman of NCSOFT West Board of Directors and Global Chief Strategy Officer for NCSOFT, as the company welcomes incoming NCSOFT CEO Jeffrey Anderson.
Suzanne, Founder and Managing Partner of Kinzie Capital Partners LLC, has been announced as one of Chicago United’s 2021 Business Leaders of Color, a list of 50 diverse, influential, and accomplished individuals ready for corporate board directorships. In July, Kinzie Capital Partners LLC announced the acquisition of Braeside Displays.