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Soohyun 'Julie' Koo

Soohyun 'Julie' Koo, Executive Director, Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs (OAPIA)

Ms. Soohyun 'Julie' Koo was appointed Executive Director of the Office of Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs in March 2007. Ms. Koo is known as a leader who is very sensitive to the needs of ethnic communities and has an in-depth understanding about the District’s Asian and Pacific Islander community. Ms. Koo has focused on working closely with community based organizations, community activists, business leaders, and other government agencies and officials at all levels in order to increase community access to city services and civic participation.

Throughout her career, Ms. Koo has used her tri-lingual language fluency in Korean, Chinese, and English to aid other Asian immigrants adjust to living in America. Her work as a tireless advocate has won her numerous awards from community organizations in the DC area. In particular, Ms. Koo’s community-based workshops - in which she brings government services and programs into the community to inform Asian and Pacific Islander (API) merchants and residents about vital issues - have been featured in the API media and by community organizations as an example of excellent government outreach.

Ms. Koo, who joined in the mayor's office in 2001 as an outreach coordinator, has used her "on-the-ground" experience and knowledge to initiate numerous projects, such as the Annual Bilingual Job Fair, Information Fair, and Neighborhood Informational Workshops in all 8 Wards.

Before she joined the mayor's office, she worked in the private sector as a human resources specialist, conducting management training and handled employee relations. Ms. Koo, who immigrated to the United States 1998, worked as a researcher and China Affairs specialist in her native South Korea. In that capacity, she advised on trade, investment, and economic policies between South Korea and China. She also organized and worked as a simultaneous interpreter at several academic forums, conferences and seminars.

Ms. Koo holds an M.A in Interpretation and Translation from the highly regarded Graduate School of International Studies of Hankook University, and earned a BA degree in History from Hallym University in South Korea.

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