Hyeok Kim '98

Deputy Mayor of Seattle

Born in Seoul, South Korea, Hyeok Kim ’98 immigrated with her family to the United States at the age of five. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, she and her family lived in publicly subsidized housing and faced housing insecurity, an experience that has informed Kim’s outlook as Deputy Mayor of Seattle, Wash. In that role, Kim serves as chief liaison between the mayor's office and the community, taking a leadership position in enacting Seattle Mayor Ed Murray’s plan to combat homelessness in the city, which has reached a state of emergency.

Earning her B.A. in history, Kim graduated summa cum laude from William Smith as a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She was a member of Hai Timiai and a staffer on The Herald, and received the Martin Luther King Leadership Award and the 1998 Technos International Prize.

Kim entered the political arena working for the Washington State Legislature, first as a Legislative Assistant to State Representative Sharon Tomiko Santos and then as a policy analyst for the House Democratic Caucus, focusing on child welfare, human services and affordable housing issues. She has also worked as a lobbyist for the Children's Alliance, a statewide advocacy organization, and as a community relations supervisor for the Children's Administration of the Department of Social and Health Services.

From 2008 to 2013, Kim served as executive director of InterIm Community Development Association, a nonprofit in Seattle that works to promote and revitalize the Chinatown/International District, as well as other Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders communities.

In 2010, President Barack Obama named Kim to the 16-person President's Advisory Committee on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. In that role, she worked to improve the health, education and economic status of AAPI communities, both nationally and locally.

Over the past decade, Kim has volunteered in the Washington community and in electoral politics. She served as board secretary for the Housing Development Consortium of Seattle/King County and as a member of the Board of Directors for the Public Facilities District, a statewide commission that provides management oversight over Safeco Field in Seattle. She also served as a board member of the Northwest Area Foundation, an organization dedicated to reducing poverty and achieving sustainable prosperity.

For her activism and leadership, Kim was named a "2008 Top Contributor to the Asian Community" by the Northwest Asian Weekly. She is a 2010 Marshall Memorial Fellow, as well as a 2010-2011 Fellow with the Annie E. Casey Foundation's Children and Family Fellowship program. In 2016, Kim was honored with the Civil Rights Award from the Japanese American Citizens League, Seattle Chapter.