Mayor Sukhee Kang is recognized with 2022 O'Donnell Award
Friends of Korea is pleased to announce that Mayor Sukhee Kang of Irvine, California is the recipient of the 2022 Kevin O’Donnell Distinguished Friend of Korea Award that honors individuals who have contributed significantly to fostering cultural awareness and friendship between Americans and Koreans.
Mayor Sukhee Kang embodies the spirit of Kevin O’Donnell as he has dedicated his life in service to others in the private and public sectors. He has served as the President of the Korean American Scholarship Foundation, Western Region and Chairman of the Korean American Coalition, Orange County. From 2004 to 2008, he was elected twice to the Irvine City Council and in 2008, Sukhee made a history by being elected as Mayor of Irvine -- the first Korean American ever to serve as mayor of a major U.S. city. He is currently serving as Chairman of the Board of KAPA (Korean American for Political Action), a non-partisan political organization that empowers the Korean Americans to become more involved in the American political process.
The inspiration for Mr. Kang’s public service came from his experiences as an immigrant to the United States and as a witness to the Los Angeles riots of 1992. In his book, The Power of Possibility – My American Journey, he states:
"1992 changed my life...Out of the flames of destruction came my personal inspiration to build – to build coalitions; to build friendships; to bridge gaps and create trust; to focus on the strength that diversity holds if we work together, not apart...I became deeply involved politically and in community service. In both passions, you build foundations to strengthen people and community; at the same time, you break down walls of misunderstanding and misery. As you develop a position of strength and observation, you need both a steady hand and a compassionate heart."