On Sept. 16, 2010, roughly a year after the President’s Advisory Committee on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders was created, President Barack Obama announced that William Smith alum Hyeok Kim ’98 will be one of 16 members of the committee. The goal of the commission, according to the legislation that created it, is to “work to improve the quality of life and opportunities for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders through increased access to, and participation in, Federal programs in which they may be underserved.”
Kim is currently the executive director of the InterIm Community Development Association and, in 2008; she was named the “Top Contributor to the Asian Community” by Northwestern Asian Weekly.
At InterIm, Kim works to advocate and revitalize the Chinatown International District of Seattle and provide support and benefits to low-and moderate-income residents and business owners. The program has started a community health clinic, built a Head Start center, and fought hard to break down ethnic barriers. Their current projects focus mainly on creating affordable and sustainable housing. They also run the Danny Woo International District community garden and manage multiple community parking lots. So far, the program has managed to bring more than $160 million to the community for infrastructure and social development.
In addition to her work at InterIm, Kim volunteers her time as board secretary for the Housing Development Consortium of Seattle/King County and is on the Board of Directors for the Public Facilities District.
Even before arriving at InterIm, Kim was very involved in the political arena. From 1999 to 2008, she worked for the Washington State Legislature, first as a legislative assistant to State Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos and then as a policy analyst for the House Democratic Caucus researching and analyzing child welfare, human services and affordable housing issues. She has also worked as a lobbyist for the Children’s Alliance, a statewide children’s advocacy organization and for the Children’s Administration in Washington.
Kim is a 2010 Marshall Memorial Fellow, as well as a 2010-2011 Fellow with the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Children & Family Fellowship program.
Kim graduated summa cum laude from William Smith College with a B.A. in history. She was a member of the writing colleagues and Hai Timiai and was awarded both the Technos International Prize and the Martin Luther King Leadership Award.