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ABOUT

Read about our history and mission and meet our team

HISTORY

We began our journey as Korean Americans for Obama in 2012 as an allied group for the Obama re-election campaign. Our volunteers worked successfully to help get greater than 78% of the Korean American community to vote for President Obama – up from 64% in 2008.

After President Obama’s re-election, we changed the name of our group to Korean Americans for Organizing. In 2016, we became Korean Americans for Hillary, and our grassroots volunteers, again, worked on critical field activities such as hosting phone banks and canvasses to bring out 84% of the Korean American community to vote for Hillary Clinton. The increasing numbers show that we helped make an impact.

Our momentum during the presidential campaign may have started in the Capitol region, but we have had volunteers from all over the country including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Texas, New York, New Jersey, Florida, Atlanta, and even abroad — Korean Americans are everywhere! We have built a national coalition of politically active and progressive Korean Americans throughout the country and we are continuing to grow.

In 2018, we saw an unprecedented number of Korean Americans run for offices on all levels across the country. Upon filing as a PAC, we successfully tested our infrastructure and ability to mobilize by running our first small-dollar online in support of a candidate who went on to become the first Korean American Democrat elected to Congress.

VISION & MISSION

We envision a more politically empowered Korean community in the Democratic Party. To this end our principal mission is to elect Democratic Korean Americans nationally to offices on the local, state, and federal levels.

OBJECTIVES

  • Increase the number of Democratic Korean American Members of Congress;

  • Increase the number of Democratic Korean American state elected;

  • Increase the number of Democratic Korean American local elected; and

  • Support currently elected Korean Americans in public office and ensure their re-elections.

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CORE TEAM

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Grace Choi,
President

Grace Choi is the Founder and CEO of Karis Consulting Group, a national consulting firm that provides community organizing, strategic advising, and coalition building support for AANHPI organizations to empower the voice and capacity of the community. Grace is a community strategist and political leader with over 15 years of experience in community  organizing,  policy, advocacy, diplomacy, international development, and politics, where she has worked closely with high-level government, United Nations, non-profit, and private sector officials in the U.S. and around the world.

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Linda Shim,
VP of Campaigns

Linda Shim is an Executive Director of External Affairs at Comcast NBCUniversal in Washington, DC. She works to advance Comcast's partnerships with external stakeholders including advocacy organizations, public policy groups, and political organizations. Linda has over a decade of experience on Capitol Hill working for Members of Congress from California. She most recently served as Chief of Staff to Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-27) and also as a Legislative Assistant to former Congresswoman Jane Harman (CA-36). 

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Esther S. Im
VP of Operations/Secretary

Esther is the Senior Peace and Security Policy Advisor at Foreign Policy for America (FP4A), where she leads on issues related to China, Iran, North Korea and nuclear policy. Previously she worked at the National Committee on North Korea and the United Nations. She was born and raised in Arkansas and now lives in Washington DC.

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Erica Lee,
Treasurer

Erica is the Chief of Staff at FiscalNote where she works at the intersection between policy and technology to help organizations stay ahead of risk by empowering them with critical insights to turn tools into action. She is located in Fairfax, Virginia, right outside Washington D.C.

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Michael Ahn

Michael is a digital communications strategist with over 7 years of experience cultivating strong, highly-engaged online constituencies for federal offices. He currently serves as a political appointee in the Biden/Harris Administration as the Digital Communications Manager for NASA.

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Daniel M. Lee

Dan Lee is a healthcare entrepreneur and founder of Auxa Health. He previously held positions at the World Bank and various offices in federal and state government. Dan serves as a trustee and board member at Partners for Development. He resides in Washington, DC.
 

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