Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo named Manhattan attorney and small-business owner Kevin D. Kim to the Board of Trustees of The City University of New York effective July 1, 2017. He replaces Wellington Z. Chen, who served from 2000 to 2017.
Kim received a B.A. in East Asian Studies and a M.A. in sociology (organizational behavior) from Stanford University, both in 1993, and a JD from Columbia University School of Law in 1999, where he was an editor of the Columbia Law Review. He is an alumnus of the first graduating class of the “new” Townsend Harris High School at Queens College (1988). Professionally, he clerked for then-U.S. District Judge Denny Chin, worked as a corporate attorney at Davis Polk & Wardwell, and served as the deputy director of community affairs for Rep. Gary L. Ackerman. Kim was also an adjunct professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University.
Kim co-founded Tactile Brain LLC, which brought to the United States an innovative Korean mental math program designed by Master Jeonghee Lee, one of the world’s foremost mental mathematicians. The program aims to improve concentration, focus and confidence with numbers for people of all ages. He also was the first Asian-American to serve as a commissioner of the New York State Liquor Authority – from 2014 to 2016. Among other accomplishments, Kim was awarded a 2015 Ellis Island Medal of Honor by the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations.
Kim is the third Asian and the first person of Korean descent to sit on the CUNY Board of Trustees. There were two previous trustees of Chinese descent, Wellington Chen and Thomas Tam, who became the first Asian board member in 1989.
“Kevin Kim brings a unique and welcome perspective to the CUNY Board, and we look forward to working with him,” said William C. Thompson Jr., chairperson of the Board of Trustees.
“This CUNY Board appointment means a lot to me personally,” said Kim. “As a proud product of the New York City public school system from kindergarten to high school, I know first-hand the critical role public education plays in the pursuit of the American Dream. Part of CUNY’s statutory mission – to be ‘a vehicle for the upward mobility of the disadvantaged in the City of New York’ – exemplifies what is so great about this city and country. During my term, I hope to secure even greater access and affordability to a world-class education for anyone in New York City who is willing to work hard for a better future for themselves and their families.”
The City University of New York is the nation’s leading urban public university. Founded in 1847, the University comprises 24 institutions: 11 senior colleges, seven community colleges, the William E. Macaulay Honors College at CUNY, the CUNY Graduate School and University Center, the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, the CUNY School of Law, the CUNY School of Professional Studies and the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy. The University serves more than 272,000 degree-seeking students. College Now, the University’s academic enrichment program, is offered at CUNY campuses and more than 400 high schools throughout the five boroughs. The University offers online baccalaureate and master’s degrees through the School of Professional Studies.