Staff

9th President

Michelle Lee

9th President

M: 443-504-2322
mlee@kafgw.org
President@kaf-gw.org

I was born in Daegu, South Korea and grew up and completed my primary and secondary education in Pusan, South Korea. I completed my Bachelor of Arts degree in Seoul at Duksung University. I then completed 2 years in the graduate business school at Dongkook University in Seoul. I worked for 2 years as an Art teacher in a remote part of Korea. I then worked for 9 years as the Seoul branch manager of Daehan Textile Chemical Co. In 1988, I immigrated to the United States. I enrolled in an accounting program for non-major college graduates which required the additional credits to allow a graduate to sit for the CPA exam. I completed this program and worked for 2 CPA firms before being offered an accounting position at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). I worked as a Senior Accountant at MICA until recently retiring. During my tenure at MICA, I was able to organize many community engagement and artistic performance events held in the community and at MICA in collaboration with MICA students, faculty, and both local and international organizations.

My first community engagement work was an attempt to bring together Koreans and African Americans in Baltimore after the protests and riots in 2015. The events were called Bmore Soul to Seoul 1, 2, and 3. I organized 3 Korean Film Festivals held on the MICA campus that highlighted art, music, and Korean film. I also assisted in partnering the Korean Culture Center in Washington D.C. and Parkway Theater on North Avenue in Baltimore to offer feature length Korean film screenings at the renewed Parkway Theater once a month. I was a board member and volunteered for the Korean Society of Maryland, which included working at the annual Korean festival.

 I was able to coordinate with the Korean Culture Center to bring a performance of professional artists from Korea’s Gugak Center to the MICA Falvey Hall auditorium on 2016. I worked with the Fiber Department at MICA to establish a workshop in February of 2019 and summer credit course in Hanbok design in July, 2019 with a professional designer and other teachers from the Hanbok Advancement Center in Korea. In 2017, I co-founded the Baltimore Changwon Sister City Committee (BCSCC), under Baltimore Sister Cities, Inc., which culminated in the signing ceremony by Baltimore Mayor Jack Young and Changwon Mayor Huh in November 2019. I currently serve as co-Chair of BCSCC. As a result of my activities, I received the Riley Hawkins Community Service to Baltimore Award in 2018 from MICA.

I organized the 2019 Asian Pacific American Heritage Celebration event as co-Chair of BCSCC, held at MICA in May 2019. The event featured performance, culture, and participating Embassies from the western Pacific Rim and Pacific Islands. In 2019-2020, I served as co-Chair of the Steering Committee of the Korean American Foundation–Greater Washington (KAF-GW). I accepted the offer to serve as President of KAF-GW beginning on June 1, 2020. I am currently organizing the 2021 KAF-GW celebration of Korean-American Day. All of the volunteer work represents many collaborations with energetic people that have a strong desire to improve cross-cultural relationships, awareness, and understanding. This work would not be possible without strong support from dedicated people; to those people I am profoundly grateful.

Michelle Lee

October 14, 2020