Dear Distinguished CKA Members,
I am proud to introduce our 40 newest members to the Council of Korean Americans. Our Winter 2021 membership cohort is composed of trailblazers and innovators in government, business, finance, health, academia, research, and the arts. These new members represent some of the brightest Korean American leaders in the country.
We are honored to have them join our ever-growing CKA community and look forward to their active participation in future programs.
Congratulations to our new members! Thank you for all your support.
Abraham Kim, Ph.D.
Council of Korean Americans
INTRODUCING OUR NEW CKA MEMBERS
If interested in becoming a CKA Member, please submit your member application here. CKA’s Membership Committee reviews these applications on a quarterly basis.
Law Offices of Alex Cha & Associates
Alex Cha is a lawyer specializing in personal injury, lemon law, and business law. Alex graduated from University of California, Irvine. When he was in his 2nd year of college, he served in the US Army in Saudi Arabia as part of Operation Desert Storm. He received his J.D. from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles and is a fellow of NetKAL.
Senior Fellow and Professor
Brookings Institution and Catholic University of America
Andrew Yeo is a senior fellow and the SK-Korea Foundation Chair at Brookings Institution’s Center for East Asia Policy Studies. He is also a professor of politics at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
Senior Political Affairs Officer
Catherine Shin is a senior UN diplomat who has worked in the peace and security, human rights, and development pillars for over two decades in ten countries including Cambodia, Egypt, Nepal, Yemen and South Sudan with a focus on conflict prevention, mediation and peacebuilding.
Senior Director of Programs
The Eisner Foundation
Cathy Choi is Senior Director of Programs at The Eisner Foundation, overseeing the planning, strategic development, and distribution of grants in Los Angeles and New York City. She develops grantee relationships during and after the grant-making process and works to build organizational sustainability among the foundation’s partners, promoting innovative practices and creative solutions to social justice challenges.
Caroline Choe is principal of NewBridge Investments, an investment arm of a privately held company responsible for real estate investments and lending throughout California. She serves as Vice President of the Los Angeles City Planning Commission. She was appointed to the Commission by Mayor Eric Garcetti in 2013.
Chief Financial Officer
Crothall Laundry Services
Dan is Chief Financial Officer of Crothall Laundry Services, a leading provider of linen services to the healthcare industry across 20 states and portfolio company of Miami-based H.I.G. Capital. Prior to joining Crothall, Dan was a Finance Operating Partner at H.I.G. where he supported portfolio company operations in often very challenging situations, including as Interim CFO at multiple companies.
Managing Director, Head of Technology Equity Capital Markets
Elliot Han is a Managing Director and Head of Technology Equity Capital Markets at Cantor Fitzgerald where he focuses on IPOs, public & private financings, and corporate advisory. He was previously at the New York Stock Exchange where he was the Head of FinTech and Consumer Tech Capital Markets.
Esther “Star” Kimm
Chief People Officer
Esther Kimm has 25 years of experience in Progressive HR, Recruiting, and Management. She has been working in the EV industry since 2017 and most recently is working as the Chief People Officer at IndiEV, poised to go public in 2022.
Assistant General Counsel
Fred Choi is Assistant General Counsel at Dialpad. He handles licensing and commercial transactions, in addition to providing general corporate guidance. Prior to Dialpad, Fred also worked in-house at Telenav, NerdWallet, and Adobe Systems. He has also consulted for several high-tech companies in Silicon Valley.
Public Affairs Specialist
St. Barnabas Senior Services
Grace Yoo is a public policy advocate and implementer. She has spent the past 30 years advocating on behalf of foster care youth, working-class families, seniors and neighbors in all walks and stages of life.
Hanna Kim Yoon
Director, Counsel, International Transactions and Governance
Hanna Kim Yoon is a senior attorney with over 16 years of experience in commercial real estate, corporate governance, and international transactions. She is currently Director, Counsel, International Transactions and Governance at Herbalife and oversees the company’s global subsidiaries.
Senior Legal Counsel
Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance
Hanna Kim is a senior lawyer with experience across the insurance and financial sectors in the Republic of Korea, United States and beyond. Hanna holds over a decade of in-house leadership experience navigating Korean conglomerates through their overseas business activities. Currently, she serves as Senior Legal Counsel for Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance specializing in cross-border projects and overseas litigation.
Clayton, Dubilier & Rice
Hayley currently works as an investment associate in the Technology and Services team at a New York based private equity firm, Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (“CD&R”). Private equity investing excites her, especially thorough analyses of every aspect of business and making long-term impacts by better managing the portfolio company as the new owner.
James Derry began his career at an AmLaw 100 firm, worked at various Fortune 500 publicly-traded companies, with diverse industry experience – technology, big data, healthcare, CPG, franchising, mobile forensics, FMCG, streaming, digital and advertising. James is comfortable with ambiguity, willing to take ownership, and not just a tactical contributor.
Greenberg Glusker LLP
James Han is a partner in the Greenberg Glusker Real Estate group.
James practices in all aspects of general real estate law with an emphasis on the representation of private and institutional real estate investors and lenders, such as opportunity funds, investment banks, developers, and operators, in connection with joint venture transactions, real property financing, workouts and restructurings, and acquisition and disposition of commercial projects, including hotels, resorts, residential developments, industrial and office buildings, and retail centers.
VP, Marketing Strategy and Programs
Jen Bae is the Vice President of Marketing for KinderCare Education, where she leads marketing strategies and programs for KinderCare’s more than 2,000 early learning centers and before and after school programs across the country. Jen also serves as the executive sponsor for the company’s diversity, equity and inclusion initiative.
President, Board of Trustees
The Carey School
Jennifer was the CEO of Kinsights, a digital health startup focused on pediatrics, which was acquired by Care.com. Earlier in her career, she built and launched media products at several tech companies and spent five years at Genentech, where she led physician marketing and strategy for a lymphoma drug.
Deputy Public Defender
Los Angeles County
Jennifer Chung works as a deputy public defender in Los Angeles County. She works as a trial attorney and provides legal criminal defense to indigent clients. She advises clients on constitutional rights and ensures that each client is treated fairly by the court. Many of her clients are facing life in prison, and she devotes numerous hours to preparing these cases for trial or resolution.
Jennifer Lee AIA LEED AP BD+C founded Obra Architects www.obraarchitects.com in 2000 in New York with Pablo Castro FAIA. She is a graduate of Harvard College cum laude and the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art and has taught at Pratt Institute Graduate Architecture, Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of the Cooper Union, and Korea National University of Arts.
Jim Lee’s leadership experience emerged from traditional large corporate top down management. During his 11 years working for several Fortune 10 telecommunications companies, he strove to bring out the best in his teams through empowerment and organizational health. Jim’s career success proved counter culturally that great accomplishments can come as a byproduct of secure, confident, and humble employees that were led by influence, not positional power.
Ju Park is the Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Parsus. Ju combines her legal expertise with her experience as an entrepreneur to provide effective and innovative counsel to her clients.
Chief Financial Officer
3D Live, Inc.
Kang Ahn is Chief Financial Officer of 3D Live, Inc., a company pioneering the future of out-of-home entertainment with its patented stereoscopic LED display technology.
Dream Medical Group
Dr. Kenneth Kim is a board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon practicing in Los Angeles. Dr. Kim was nominated for the Rhodes Scholarship and selected as a University Medal finalist at UC Berkeley. Dr. Kim graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and was a recipient of the Dean’s Award and Department of Surgery Research Award.
Seoul Foreign School
Margaret Park is currently serving the Seoul Foreign School community as its Elementary School Assistant Principal and is on the Advisory Council for the Association of International Educators and Leaders of Color.
Joint Head of US Biotech
Matt Kim is the Joint Head of US Biotech based in New York in the Global Healthcare Investment Banking Group at Jefferies where he leads the biotech practice advising corporate clients in corporate finance and merger and acquisition strategy.
Professor and Chair
Stanford University Department of Neurosurgery
Dr. Michael Lim is a Professor and Chair of Neurosurgery at Stanford University. Dr. Lim obtained his MD from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He then completed his residency in Neurosurgery at Stanford University Hospital and went on to become a Professor of Neurosurgery, Oncology and Radiation Oncology at Johns Hopkins before returning to Stanford as Chair.
Nari Kye is an Emmy-winning Producer and Director. After graduating with a degree in film and television production from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Nari began her production career as the second hire at Zero Point Zero Production in 2004.
Austin Capital Partners
Patrick is the Managing Director of Austin Capital Partners and runs Austin Capital’s portfolio company, MRB Direct, which provides software to financial institutions and financial services to cash-intensive businesses. Prior to MRB Direct, he was the co-founder of Zeuss Technologies (KYC/AML technology) that was acquired by MRB Direct.
Matter of Fact
Paul Baek is the Founder and CEO of Matter of Fact, a VC-backed clinical skincare brand with investors including First Round Capital, Horizons Ventures, and Cowboy Ventures. Prior to founding Matter of Fact, worked in early-stage investments and tech partnerships at Atom Factory. Paul received his undergraduate degree from Harvard College and his MBA at The Wharton School.
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
Paul Kim is a Senior Trial Counsel for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Prior to his current position, he served as an associate and partner at Locke Lord, an associate at Torys LLP, and an associate at LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae LLP.
Senior Policy Analyst
Federal Reserve Bank of New York
Peggy Kauh has over 20 years of work experience in the public sector, ranging from Capitol Hill, local city government and political campaigning, to her current role as a senior policy analyst and strategic operations manager in the Central Bank and International Account Services function of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
Robin Lee LLC
Chang “Robin” Lee is currently CEO of Robin Lee LLC, a technology and business development agency.
Prior to establishing Robin Lee LLC, Robin Lee was the Vice President of Global Business Development and Global Strategy at Monster Cable Products, serving as the right-hand to the Chief Executive Officer Noel Lee.
Learn more about Robin Lee
Member of New York Assembly
New York Assembly
Ron Kim represents the 40th District of the New York State Assembly. He is the first and only Korean-American ever elected to the New York State Legislature. Elected in 2012, Ron’s public policy solutions have gained national attention and garnered him the reputation as a key leader in the economic development policy space.
Chief, Department of Dental Medicine
Cambridge Health Alliance, Harvard School of Dental Medicine
Dr. Ryan S. Lee currently serves as Chief, Department of Dental Medicine & Oral Health, Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA). In this role, he oversees all of CHA’s oral health programs, including its outpatient and hospital-based clinical operations; hospital residency program affiliated with Harvard; community/public health initiatives; academic partnerships; philanthropic programs, and mobile dental services.
Sonia Chang-Diaz Gubernatorial Campaign
Prior to serving as the Political Director for Sonia Chang-Diaz’s Gubernatorial Campaign, Sam had worked for Massachusetts House Speaker, Robert DeLeo for four years. Currently served as the Chairperson of the Massachusetts Asian American Commission. He is also a public speaker on racial and social justice.
President, Laboratory Products
Thermo Fisher Scientific
Sung-Dae Hong is currently President of the Laboratory Products Division at Thermo Fisher Scientific, the world leader in serving science and a Fortune 100 company. In his role, Dae oversees a global organization of over 10,000 colleagues and $2.5B in revenue, with laboratory equipment and consumables products that are essential to serving life sciences and diagnostics applications.
Professor of Music, Director of Bands, and Music Department Chair
Travis J. Cross (he/him) serves as professor of music and director of bands at UCLA, where he conducts the Wind Ensemble, leads the graduate wind conducting program, and chairs the music department. He was also associate dean for academic mentoring and opportunity during the initial years of the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music.
Jassy Vick Carolan LLP
Will Um is a nationally recognized trial attorney who focuses his practice on complex business litigation, insurance recovery advice, and related coverage litigation. He advises and represents corporate policyholders in complex insurance coverage claims relating to a variety of matters including class actions, media liability, data breach and privacy issues, directors and officers liability, and intellectual property disputes.
SML Genetree Sciences
Won Kim joined SML Gentree Sciences, Inc., US subsidiary of SML Genetree, in 2020. SML Genetree is a leading developer of multiplex molecular technologies and multiplex clinical molecular diagnostic in Korea. SML Genetree was one of the first companies to develop a Covid-19 PCR test kits in Korea and obtain the FDA EUA. At SML Genetree, Won is responsible for the regulatory compliance as well as overseeing the commercialization of its IVD products in the US market.
Yosup Shim is the Director of Amazon Air Europe and serves on the global leadership team for Amazon Air.
Previously he led the expansion of Amazon’s last mile operations as the Regional Director for Amazon’s West and Texas regions. Also, he led the launch of Amazon’s Prime Now business across the West region and led North American recruitment of Prime Now’s senior operating team. Yosup joined Amazon to launch Amazon Fresh in California and led the start-up of Amazon Fresh in the Bay Area.