Mr. Sam YoonPresident, Council of Korean Americans and Former Senior Policy Advisor, U.S. Department of Labor
Before taking on the role of President of CKA in September 2012, Sam worked in the Obama Administration at the Department of Labor as a Senior Policy Advisor. He reported to the Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training, the largest agency at the Labor Department. His focus was on jobs, unemployment, and skills development of the American workforce.
Before that, he had served as Executive Director of NACEDA, a DC-based national association for non-profit community development. Sam and his family moved to the Washington, DC area after spending nearly 20 years in Boston, where he had served on the Boston City Council as an At-Large member for four years, and ran for Mayor in 2009. Sam was the first Asian American ever to run for office in Boston’s history, and the first to be elected to office.
His path to politics was by way of community development. Prior to his run for Council, he led an organizing campaign with Asian CDC to reclaim a piece of land in Boston’s Chinatown, which historically had belonged to that community. He has also developed affordable housing with The Community Builders, a national affordable housing non-profit, as well as “grand-families” housing with Boston Aging Concerns. Through these experiences, he understood the connections between community development, policy, and politics.
He has degrees from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and Princeton. He has been married for 16 years and has two energetic children, Nathan, and Naomi. They live in Northern Virginia, just outside of DC.