YOUNG LEADERS SYMPOSIUM
The symposium explores how certain Korean-Americans have found themselves at the forefront of various social challenges, and how each one of us, through individual action and cooperation, can truly change the world into a better place for all. The symposium features prominent Korean-American and Asian-American guest speakers on topics such as careers in the government, community service, education, and various issues concerning the AAPI community.
2018 Young Leaders Symposium
2018 Young Leaders Symposium Speakers
Ron Kim, a longtime resident of Flushing, Queens, was re-elected to his third term as the representative of the 40th Assembly District in November, 2016. He is the first and only Korean-American ever elected to the New York State Legislature.
As a tireless advocate for the diverse needs of his multicultural district, Assemblyman Kim also collaborated with Mayor de Blasio, Congresswoman Meng, and State Senator Squadron to write and submit legislation establishing the Asian Lunar New Year as a New York City school holiday. In June 2015, Mayor de Blasio publicly announced that the Asian Lunar New Year would be designated as an official NYC school holiday.
In Albany, Ron has continued to be an active advocate for his community, and currently sits on the following Committees: Education; Health; Social Services; Governmental Operations; Housing; Corporations, Authorities and Commissions.
He is a member of the Black, Puerto Rican & Asian Legislative Caucus. In April 2015, he was appointed as the Chair of the Task Force on New Americans; in January 2017, he was appointed as the Secretary of Majority Conference.
He earned his B.A. from Hamilton College, and a Masters in Public Administration from Baruch College. Ron lives in Flushing with his wife, Xilou Alison Tan, and his two daughters, Olive and Hazel.
Philip Chong is Chief Executive Officer at Quincy Asian Resources, Inc (QARI), one of New England’s most progressive multi-service providers that serves the Asian population residing in Quincy and the surrounding South Shore.
QARI has been providing reputable and client centric services to our community in many years, including ESOL classes, youth leadership development, mentoring, translation, cultural events, cultural and arts related enrichment programs, and information and referrals to outside resources. The recent partnership with the MBTA/MassDOT has helped the agency develop a new innovative workforce development program called Workforce Enterprise.
Workforce Enterprise empowers individuals for growth and having a meaning career for them to give back to their own community while meeting the needs in various sectors of healthcare, education, municipality, and service to expand their impact and presence in the Asian demographic and market. The workforce partnerships provide opportunities for companies and organizations to partner with QARI to create a consistent and sustainable ecosystem to foster and improve the social, cultural, economic and civic lives of Asian Americans and their families to benefit the community.
Prior to joining QARI, Philip was in the private sector in venture capital, capital fundraising, and management consulting for various industries with companies, i.e. Johnson & Johnson, AT&T, Kimberly Clark, Simmons University, 2U, etc. He loves cooking and outdoors activities.
Hyeouk “Chris” Hahm is a health services researcher, and Chair and associate professor at the Social Research Department of Boston University, School of Social Work. She has also been funded by the National Institute of Health through multiple grants, including a dissertation grant award, a diversity grant, a career award, and clinical trial planning award.
Her research includes randomized clinical trials, survey research, qualitative research, and large database studies. Her current research focuses on Asian-American women’s health risk behaviors, mental health, and intervention development. She worked as a psychotherapist in NYC, treating people with mental illness and substance abuse issues.
After she received Ph.D. from Columbia University, she had also done a post-doctoral research fellowship at the University of California at Berkeley before she joined Boston University, and she served as a visiting associate professor at Harvard Medical School, Department of Psychiatry.
Dr. Hahm is a recipient of outstanding research mentor award from Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program at BU and she also received an “innovator’s award” from Boston based organization, “Asian Women for Health” for her research.
She was also chosen as 2015 class of Fellows of the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR) for her contribution to advance, disseminate, and translate research that addresses issues of social work practice and policy and promotes a diverse, equitable and just society.
Kee B. Park, M.D. is the Director of North Korea Program at the Korean American Medical Association. Since 2007, he has brought Korean American doctors to North Korea 18 times to support the North Korean doctors.
He is a member of the faculty at Harvard Medical School where his academic interests include DPRK public health and the role of international organizations, factors influencing humanitarian aid, the relationships between international security, health, and human rights and health diplomacy.
He is a member of the National Committee on North Korea and the Council of Korean Americans. He also serves as a consultant with the Emergency and Essential Surgical Care Programme at the World Health Organization in Geneva.
He received his MD from Rutgers Medical School and neurosurgical training at Temple University Hospital. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Neurological Surgery.
Maria Robinson, Special Guest of 2018 YLS, was recently elected to be State Representative for the 6th Middlesex District and is poised to be the first Korean-American elected to the General Court. Presently, she leads Advanced Energy Economy's Wholesale Markets Program, including engagement at FERC and the regional transmission organizations.
Previously, she focused on regulatory issues relating to energy and air, including leading the organization’s state Clean Power Plan campaign, covering over two dozen states across the country. She also worked for Navigant Consulting in the renewable energy practice, supporting the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in analyzing and procuring contractors for statewide renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.
She holds an S.B. in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Masters of Jurisprudence in Energy Law from the University of Tulsa. She lives in multi-generation housing with her husband, Matt, her two children, her parents, and their dog, Guinness.