Our goal is to help you become a
more impactful leader in your community.
Be connected with amazing trailblazers and change makers. Be inspired by life stories of challenges and triumphs of Korean Americans trying to make a difference and give back. Be equipped with insights and tools on how to be more effective in your workplace, career and community.
Featured speakers will be updated as we continue to confirm new speakers.
Please stay tuned and revisit in the future for the most recent list.
Friday November 1, 2019
Opening Reception and Welcome Dinner
- 5:00pm – 8:30pm
- Covington and Burling, LLP, Washington, DC
Saturday November 2, 2019
The Gathering: Breaking Boundaries, Building Bridges
- 9:00am – 12:00pm
- Jack Morton Theater, George Washington University, Washington, DC
Networking Lunch: Career, Community, Connections
- 12:00pm – 1:30pm
- George Washington University, Washington, DC
Meet fellow participants and speakers from the public and private sectors over lunch to discuss career choices, professional development opportunities, and leadership training. This is a special networking session designed to help participants meet new people, catch up with old colleagues, and ask questions to leaders in the field about professional development and career paths.
Deep Dive Learning Seminars (2)
- 1:30pm – 4:30pm
- George Washington University, Washington, DC
Spend time with leading experts in small break out sessions to learn critical skills and insights on how to have greater impact in your community.
Examples of Select Learning Seminars
– Leverage social media tools more effectively to amplify your voice
– Top women executives share insights to advancing careers in the corporate world
– Top things you need to know to become a successful entrepreneur
– Master the art of storytelling and public speaking
– Learn what it takes to run for public office and to become more civically engaged
– The challenges and opportunities in philanthropy
The Leader’s Journey: Progressive Dinners
- 4:30pm – 8:00pm
- Select venues in Washington, DC
Join us for a leadership development journey through a multi-course dinner throughout DC. This dynamic event will encourage participants to visit different locations with fellow attendees to enjoy delicious food and participate in group discussions about important issues that shape the Korean American community. Enjoy an exciting and meaningful evening, gaining access to and talking with trailblazers and thought leaders.
Examples of Select Discussion Topics
– Humanitarian Work in North Korea
– Career Transitions between Public & Private Sectors
– Korean Americans in the Arts
– The Future of Food Technology
– Life of an Entrepreneur: Challenges & Opportunities
Closing Summit & Dessert Reception
- 8:00pm – 9:00pm
- FiscalNote, 1201 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC
Join us for this dessert reception at FiscalNote where participants will share our dinner experiences and hear from inspiring speakers about what the Empower Summit means to them.
aAngella Ahn | Violinist, Ahn Trio and Professor of Violin & Viola, Montana State University
Angella Ahn, Professor of Violin and Viola at Montana State University, lives in Bozeman, Montana, when she is not travelling as the violinist of the acclaimed Ahn Trio, comprised of Angella and her sisters Lucia (piano) and Maria (cello). The Juilliard- trained Korean-American musicians have been hailed by the LA Times as “exacting and exciting musicians,” and their eight albums have been enthusiastically received. Lullaby for My Favorite Insomniac, released by Sony, was No. 8 in the Billboard Charts for 26 weeks, and Dvorak, Suk and Shostakovich, released by EMI, won Germany’s prestigious ECHO Award. Their ninth album, Blue, was released in the Spring of 2017. Following its release, the sisters completed a successful album tour in Italy, the Czech Republic, Spain, and Germany. Their albums and concerts display their ever-evolving vision of what it means to be 21st-century musicians, and their wide-ranging collaborations with modern dance companies (including a B-boy dance company), film directors, rock bands, DJs, and singers has led them to be called “Classical revolutionaries” by New York Newsday. Luminary composers such as Pat Metheny, Michael Nyman, Maurice Jarre, Mark O’Connor, and DJ Spooky have written music specifically for them. Their unique approach to classical music has taken the sisters to Buenos Aires’ Teatro Colon, Vienna’s Musikverein, New York’s Lincoln Center, Leipzig’s Gewandhaus, Beijing’s Concert Hall, Istanbul’s Aya Irini in Topkapi Palace, and to over 30 countries and every state in America. In 2008, the trio was the only classical group invited to perform at the iTunes Festival; in 2010, they performed for the prestigious TED Talks; and in 2011, President Obama invited them to perform at the White House. When not performing with her sisters, Angella hones her eclectic skills in numerous ways. She is a frequent guest of the Montana Chamber Music Society and the Muir Quartet. As the artistic director of the Big Sky Classical Music Festival, she is often heard performing with many guest artists such as Matt Haimovitz and Rachel Barton Pine. She has taught often at Mark O’Connor’s Fiddle camps, and has been featured with musicians as diverse as Phil Aaberg, Darol Anger, Emmylous Harris, and John Prine. She can be seen in “Angella Ahn and Friends,” a program presented by Montana PBS’ Emmy award-winning 11th & Grant with Eric Funk.
aJeanie Chang | Chief Operating Officer, Goalfriends – GF Global, LLC
Jeanie Chang is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Certified Clinical Trauma Professional. She is passionate about effectively serving individuals, couples, and families including children and adolescents by promoting a solution-focused and multicultural competency approach in the home, schools, and workplace. Ms. Chang received her M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy from Pfeiffer University. Ms. Chang has a diverse career background; first starting her career as a broadcast journalist in Washington, D.C. during the Clinton administration. She also attended business school at Johns Hopkins University from which she received an M.S. in Marketing.
aJuju Chang | Co-Anchor, ABC News’ “Nightline”
Juju Chang is an Emmy Award-winning co-anchor of ABC News’ “Nightline.” She also reports regularly for “Good Morning America” and “20/20.” Chang has been recognized for her in-depth personal narratives set against the backdrop of pressing national and international news. Her exclusive television interview with transgender solider Chelsea Manning, after seven years in prison, explored issues of national security leaks and LGBTQ military service. Her profile of former firefighter Pat Hardison – after a groundbreaking face transplant – highlighted the crisis of organ donation. Additionally, Chang anchored a special edition of “Nightline,” “Consent on Campus,” from Penn State which tackled complex issues surrounding sexual assault. Chang has also covered major breaking news for decades for ABC News, including Superstorm Sandy, the Orlando nightclub massacre and the Boston Marathon bombing. She has traveled around the world to report on global issues including a three-country trip through Central Africa on the front lines against Boko Haram in the latest on #bringbackourgirls, and to Honduras for “Femicide: the Untold War,” an eye-opening look at rampant violence against women. A former news anchor for “Good Morning America,” Chang joined ABC News as an entry level desk assistant in 1987 and rose to become a producer for “World News Tonight.” Her first on-air job was reporting for KGO-TV in San Francisco. After a year in Washington, D.C. covering the White House, Capitol Hill and the presidential election for NewsOne, she co-anchored the overnight show “World News Now.” Chang’s work has been recognized with numerous awards including multiple Emmy’s, Gracie’s, a DuPont, a Murrow and Peabody awards.
aEugene Cho | Founder, One Day’s Wages and Founder & Executive Director, Q Café
Eugene Cho is also 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 that promotes awareness, invites simple giving (one day’s wages) and supports sustainable relief through partnerships, especially with smaller organizations in developing regions. Since its launch in October 2009, ODW has raised over $7 million dollars for projects to empower those living in extreme global poverty. ODW has been featured in the New York Times, The Seattle Times, NPR, Christianity Today and numerous other media outlets. For his entrepreneurial work and spirit, Eugene was recently honored as one of 50 Everyday American Heroes and a recipient of the Frederick Douglass 200 – included in a list of 200 people around the world who best embody the spirit and work of Frederick Douglass, one of the most influential figures in history. Eugene was also the recipient of the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award from Princeton Theological Seminary. Eugene Cho is the founder and former Senior Pastor of Quest Church – an urban, multi-cultural and multi-generational church in Seattle, Washington. After 18 years, Eugene stepped aside at Quest in 2018. He is also the founder and Executive Director of the Q Café, an innovative non-profit community café and music venue which closed due to relocation in 2015. Eugene recently released his first book, Overrated: Are We More in Love with the Idea of Changing the World Than Actually Changing the World? He is currently writing his second book which is set to release in February 2020.
aJim Chung | Associate Vice President for Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, George Washington University
Jim Chung is the Associate Vice President for Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship at George Washington University, and a Co-Principal Investigator for the NSF Innovation Corps Node in Washington, DC (DC I-Corps). He was previously the Director of the Mtech VentureAccelerator and the Founding Director of the Chesapeake Bay Seed Capital Fund at the University of Maryland. Prior to Mtech, he served as a Director for New Business Development at the Corporate Executive Board. He was also Vice President at Cherington Capital (now Intervale Capital), a middle market private equity firm in the oildifeld equipment and services industry. Jim started his private sector career as an early stage venture capital investor, most recently at incTANK Ventures, where he was the Managing Director. Some previous and current investments include Agamatrix, Nexaweb, Illterra, Zymetis (now Aemetis), FlexEI, FiscalNote, and TravelBank. Before becoming an investor, Jim was an academic researcher studying how business, government, and academia work together to create new innovations in high technology industries. He has been a reseracher at MIT, Harvard, University of Tokyo (Fulbright Fellow), ETRI (NSF EAPSI Fellow), STEPI (Korea), and KAIST. He was named in 2015 by Washingtonian Magazine as one of the Top 100 Tech Titans in DC by Hot Topics as one of the Top 100 Entrepreneurship Professors worldwide.
aAlpin Hong | Internationally Renowned Concert Pianist; Music Education Advocate
Whirlwind American tours and performances across the globe have earned pianist Alpin Hong the reputation as a modern day Pied Piper. From Walt Disney Hall to the White House, his combination of stunning technique, emotional range, and rare humor continues to bring audiences young and old to their feet. Rooted in extensive classical training and a background in extreme sports, martial arts, and video games, Mr. Hong is a creative force unmatched in his vitality and charisma. In addition to his musical talents, Mr. Hong is an internationally renowned speaker and host. His message of artistry, tolerance, and service knits communities together in a spirit of common humanity. Mr. Hong’s recent TEDx talk “Transform Yourself Into a Performer” at La Sierra University showcased his ability to inspire excellence in everyone, and has been viewed over 180,000 times. Mr. Hong is regularly featured as a keynote speaker for philanthropic and educational events, including the Korean American Scholarship Foundation’s National Gala, the Michigan Music Teachers Association annual conference, WDPR Dayton’s Catch a Rising Star Gala, the Alvord School District’s Convocation in Riverside, California, and Diversity Day in Idaho Falls in honor of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.
aTim Hwang | Founder and CEO, FiscalNote
Tim is currently the Founder and CEO of FiscalNote, a Government Relationship Management platform that uses AI, analytics, and natural language processing to help global organizations take control of their government risk and automate the law. The global company with offices around the world has now grown to become the largest privately held company in the legal analytics space and powers 1,300 of the world’s largest and most influential law firms, legal departments, and governments in creating a more open and transparent society through data. With Hwang’s technology and capital partners from the likes of Mark Cuban, Jerry Yang, Steve Case, NEA, Renren and others, FiscalNote is revolutionizing access to legislation, regulations, and court cases for organizations around the world. Prior to founding FiscalNote, Hwang started his career in politics in the Obama ’08 campaign, assisting in the election of the first Obama Administration. He was elected to the Montgomery County Board of Education a year later, overseeing a budget of over $4 Billion for 22,000 public employees. As a student, Tim also served as the President of the National Youth Association and the founder of Operation Fly. Inc., – a national 501(c)(3) organization that served inner-city children in underprivileged areas around the country.
Tim was profiled in Forbes 30 Under 30, Inc. 30 Under 30, CNN’s Top 10 Startups, Business Insiders Top 25 Hottest Startups, and many others. He is a graduate of Princeton and currently deferring Harvard Business School. He is also currently a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer, a Trustee on the Board of the Community Foundation of the National Capital Region (the largest funder of non-profit and philanthropic initiatives in the region), and a member of the The Economic Club of Washington, D.C. and the Young Presidents Organization (YPO).
aJane Hyun | Author and Global Leadership Strategist
As a trusted coach to Fortune 500 companies, Jane’s expertise in culturally fluent leadership, diversity & inclusion, and “Asian culture and identity” comes from 25 years of experience in high stakes business environments. Prior to consulting, she was an executive in Operations and VP of HR/Talent at JPMorgan and Recruiting Director at Deloitte. Over the years, her programs (including the Art of Cultural Fluency™ leadership roundtables and Bamboo Ceiling® Breakthrough Leadership Series) have helped thousands of leaders increase their agility and accelerate their career development. Her speaking style is described as: “Immediately engaging; communicates rich insights in a dynamic, approachable way.”
Jane’s insights have been featured in CNN, CNBC, Fast Company, Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review and WorkingKnowledge, Forbes, and NPR on the topics of culture and leadership. Apart from her consulting work, Jane is an advisor to the Center for Talent Innovation, American Heart Association Diversity Council, and Operation Exodus, a non-profit that provides academic mentoring to Latino youth in Washington Heights.
Her groundbreaking first book, Breaking the Bamboo Ceiling: Career Strategies for Asians, introduced proven success strategies for Asians operating in a Western cultural environment. The newest release, co-authored with Audrey Lee, Flex: The New Playbook for Managing Across Differences, examines the art of switching between styles to leverage the power of diversity in teams. She holds a degree in Economics and International Studies from Cornell University. Jane resides in New York City and is passionate about helping individuals flourish in their workplace and in their communities.
aPeter Hyun | Partner, Wiley Rein LLP
Peter Hyun’s practice focuses on representing individuals and entities in criminal and civil government enforcement actions, congressional investigations, and State Attorneys General investigations. A former Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia’s U.S. Attorney’s Office, Assistant Attorney General in the New York Attorney General’s office, and Chief Counsel to U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein on the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Peter provides strategic advice to companies and individuals navigating multifront, parallel investigations. Prior to joining Wiley Rein, Mr. Hyun served as chief counsel to Senator Dianne Feinstein, advising her on law enforcement issues, including asset forfeiture, False Claims Act (FCA) enforcement, bank fraud, money laundering, cybercrime, white collar fraud, firearms, juvenile justice, domestic violence, child exploitation, sexual violence, and human trafficking. In addition, he has worked on bipartisan, bicameral legislation, and assisted on oversight of the U.S. Departments of Justice and Homeland Security, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
aCharles Jung | Trial Attorney, Nassiri & Jung, LLP
Charles Jung is a trial attorney who loves practicing law. His focus is both defending companies in employment/wage cases, and representing professionals, executives, and founders in high-level separations. In Mr. Jung’s employment and wage & hour defense practice, his clients have ranged from large publicly-held companies to smaller, privately-held businesses. Representing executives, founders, professionals, and others in complex cases, he has obtained tens of millions of dollars. Mr. Jung has substantial experience in trade secrets/employee mobility litigation and in class action litigation. He is a frequent commentator in the legal press on these topics.
aJerry Kang (Invited) | Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, UCLA
Vice Chancellor Jerry Kang graduated magna cum laude from both Harvard College (physics) and Harvard Law School, where he was a supervising editor of the Harvard Law Review. After clerking for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, he started his teaching career at UCLA in 1995. A leading scholar on implicit bias and the law, Vice Chancellor Kang regularly collaborates with leading experimental social psychologists on wide-ranging scholarly, educational, and advocacy projects. He’s won numerous teaching awards, including the law school Rutter Award and the University-wide Distinguished Teaching Award (Eby Art of Teaching). Vice Chancellor Kang speaks widely across the country to law firms, corporations, judges, and government agencies on the challenges of implicit bias and how to counter them.
aSusan Kim | CEO, Edmodo
Susan Kim is the CEO of Edmodo, a global education network with over 100 million members that connects learners with the community and resources needed to reach their full potential. Previously, she was CEO of EatWith, a Greylock Partners-backed global marketplace for communal dining featuring over 700 home chefs in 50 countries and 160 cities around the world and the CEO of Plum District, an e-commerce start-up that under her leadership doubled to over 2 million members. She also spent time in various leadership positions at Google and eBay.
Susan sits on the board of Cladwell, a mobile app startup and mentors entrepreneurs for start-up incubators MuckerLab, SparkLabs, and TechStars LA. In addition, she co-chairs the annual fund at the Nueva School and previously served as a founding board member of the Korean-American Community Foundation of San Francisco.
Susan received her MBA from Harvard Business School and her BA from Harvard College.
aDavid Lee | CFO, Impossible Foods
David is the CFO of Impossible Foods, a Khosla, Horizons, and Bill Gates-backed company developing a new generation of delicious and sustainable meats and cheeses made entirely from plants. Its mission is to give people the enjoyment of food that comes from animals without the health and environmental drawbacks. He has led the business functions to transform Impossible from prerevenue to hyper-growth, with global sales and a complete commercial manufacturing and supply chain capability. He successfully raised over $300 million debt and equity to fund commercialization. Previously as CFO of Zynga ($2.3 billion public company, Ticker ZNGA), David was responsible for leading the company’s finance and corporate development teams. David helped lead ZNGA from being majority web-based to mobile, driving mobile topline growth over 80% in one year. David delivered several quarters exceeding topline and bottomline guidance and delivered the first quarter of positive net income since 2013. Prior to Zynga, David led corporate finance for Best Buy during its turnaround in 2013, and previously led the take-private transaction of Del Monte Foods to KKR for $5.5 billion, resulting in over 40% return to shareholders. His prior experience includes leading the $2 billion-topline set of brands at Del Monte Foods as SVP of Consumer Products, PG&E’s turnaround during the California Energy Crisis, strategy consulting at McKinsey, venture capital investing, and advertising at the Leo Burnett Company.
aCatharina Min | Partner, Covington & Burling LLP
Catharina Min represents both U.S. and international clients in mergers and acquisitions, private financings, joint ventures, strategic alliances, corporate partnering, securities offerings, and other corporate transactions. She also represents emerging companies in general corporate matters and venture capital financings. In addition, Ms. Min has extensive experience representing Asian clients doing business in the United States. Ms. Min is a frequent speaker at many organizations, including the Practising Law Institute, Association of Corporate Counsel, SV Forum, the Korean IT Network, and a number of Korean incubators covering topics related to cross-border transactions and venture capital financings. She also regularly shares her insights at events for California Women Lawyers, Asian Pacific American Bar Association, Asian Business League, and others on mentoring and advancement of women and minority lawyers.
aDr. Kee B. Park | Paul Farmer Global Surgery Scholar, Harvard Medical School
As a neurosurgeon, Dr. Kee Park had reached the pinnacle of the medical profession. Spurred by a desire to improve neurosurgical care to the underprivileged, he spent a decade teaching neurosurgery in the developing countries. Realizing the problem of health equity requires system-level changes, he obtained a Masters in Public Health and received leadership training to better equip him as a change agent. Dr. Park now leads the policy and advocacy work at the Program in Global Surgery and Social Change at Harvard Medical School. His team works with ministries of health, the World Bank and the World Health Organization to drive surgical care expansion in 44 developing countries. He is recognized as a pioneer within the neurosurgical profession in expanding the scope of neurosurgical care beyond technical excellence to ensuring equitable access to neurosurgical care to all who need it. Twelve years ago, Dr. Park initiated the North Korea program at the Korean American Medical Association. This program, which he now leads, works directly with North Korean doctors to improve medical care. He has leveraged his academic and leadership training to become an expert in the geopolitical determinants of health in North Korea and foremost advocate for protecting the ordinary people of North Korea from sanctions. His writings have appeared in the New York Times, The Diplomat, The Hill, Science, Lancet, 38 North, and NK News. He has been interviewed or quoted by PBS Newshour, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Yonhap, Kyunghyang News, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Voice of America, RFA, and many others.
aJohn Suh | Head of Office, Hyundai Cradle
John Suh combines his experiences in tech startups and automotive engineering and manufacturing in his role as the head of CRADLE. He believes that our ability to travel and move is a critical determinant of an individual’s overall quality of life. Prior to joining Hyundai Motor Company, Mr. Suh worked at General Motors, Xerox PARC (Palo Alto Research Center), and several Silicon Valley startups where he has had roles in corporate investing, product management, and R&D. Mr. Suh has a BS degree in Electrical Engineering from Kettering University and an MS and PhD degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University.
aMichael Yang | Founder & CEO of Michael Yang Capital Management, LLC
Michael Yang is founder and CEO of an asset management company focused on technology investments. He has over 30 years of experience in the technology industry in Silicon Valley. He currently serves as a director on the Board of Hanmi Bank. Michael was a co-founder and CEO of three Silicon Valley technology start-ups that were sold to larger enterprises, including mySimon.com which raised $30 million in venture capital and was subsequently acquired by CNET for $700 million. Michael received his BS degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from UC Berkeley, an MS degree in Computer Science from Columbia University, and an MBA degree from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley.
aSalle Yoo | Investor and Advisor
Salle Yoo is the former Chief Legal Officer, Corporate Secretary and General Counsel of Uber Technologies, Inc. Yoo joined Uber as its first general counsel in 2012 and was promoted to chief legal officer in 2017. Previously, Salle was a litigation partner at Davis Wright Tremaine LLP. Salle serves on the Board of Trustees for Scripps College and for the Asian Art Museum, as a member of the Leaders’ Circle of the Legal Services Corporation, and on the Board of the Council of Korean Americans. Salle has been named a Women of Achievement by Legal Momentum (2016), and one of San Francisco Business Times’ Most Influential Women in Bay Area Business (2015). She previously served as Secretary, Director and Chair of the Judiciary Committee for the Asian-American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area and as President of the Korean American Bar Association of Northern California. She is a graduate of Scripps College and Boston University School of Law.
aKyung B. Yoon | President, Korean American Community Foundation
Kyung B. Yoon is a leader in building philanthropy and investments to address critical needs in the Asian American community. As a co-founder and current president of KACF, she has helped develop the foundation to be a leading funder of Korean and Asian American community organizations in the Greater New York City area, and to become a recognized model for inclusive and participatory philanthropy in immigrant communities. Her previous experiences are in the fields of poverty alleviation and media, as the Executive Producer of Television at the World Bank Institute, where she created and hosted an international documentary series focused on poverty issues and economic development which has been broadcast in more than 60 countries around the world. Prior to the World Bank, Ms. Yoon was a correspondent for WNYW-Fox Channel 5 where she made history as the first Korean American broadcast reporter in New York City. Ms. Yoon is currently a contributing reporter to CUNY-TV’s Asian American Life which is broadcast nationally on PBS stations and for which she received an Emmy nomination in 2015. Ms. Yoon serves as the Board Chair of Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy (AAPIP), Vice-Chair of Philanthropy New York, and as a trustee of the New York Foundation. She is a former Board member of United Way of New York City and former Board Chair of Womankind (formerly known as New York Asian Women’s Center). Ms. Yoon holds a BA in English and political science from Wellesley College, and an MA in development economics from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.