The ICAS Bulletin
Institute for Corean-American Studies, Inc.
The Hon Shinae Chun
Director of Women's Bureau, U S Department of Labour, Washington, D C
to deliver Keynote Address
"Korean American Vision and Challenges for the 21st Century Workforce"
at the ICAS Summer Symposium: Korean
Diaspora: Challenges facing The Korean-American Community in the New Century
August 18, 2001
Jubilee Presbyterian Church, Conshohocken, PA 19428
We are pleased to share with you that The Hon Shinae Chun will deliver
keynote address, "The Korean-American Community's Vision
for America: A Social and Political Empowerment and Mainstream" at the
ICAS Summer Symposium on August 18, 2001.
Shinae Chun was confirmed, on May 11, 2001, by the U S Senate as the 15th
Director of the Women's Bureau. Under the direction of Secretary of Labor
Elaine L Chao, Ms. Chun is the highest ranking Korean American in the Bush
administration, and heads the only Federal agency charged with advocating on
behalf of women in the workforce. The Women's Bureau was created by Congress
in 1920 with a mandate to "promote the welfare of wage-earning women."
Prior to joining the Labor Department , Ms. Chun served as the Managing
Director of the ITR Corporation of Chicago, Illinois. From 1991 to 1999,
Ms. Chun was the Director of the Illinois Department of Labor, responsible for
managing operations of the Department whose mission is to protect the rights,
wages, and working conditions of Illinois workers through the enforcement of
state labor laws. She made Illinois history two years earlier when she
accepted the position of Director of the Illinois Department of Financial
Institutions, becoming the first ever Asian American cabinet member. While
there, she investigated, licensed and regulated over 2500 financial institutions
In 1982, Ms Chun was one of the founding members of the Asian American
Advisory Council to Governor James R. Thompson. Later in 1984, she was
appointed as Special Assistant to the Governor on Asian American Affairs, the
first such position in the country. Serving as a liaison between state
government and Asian American communities, her primary responsibility was to
bring concerns and issues of Asian Americans to the governor and ensure that
state policy and programs reflected the needs of Asian Americans.
Prior to her involvement in state government, she was project director of the
Title IX Multiethnic Training, Assistance and Dissemination Project (METAD),
a teacher in-service training program developed to heighten sensitivity of
public school teachers to cultural diversity in the classroom; and ease cross-
cultural conflict by better preparing teachers for assimilation of Asian
immigrant and refugee students into mainstream society.
Her recognition awards include "Outstanding Alumni Award" from Ewha
Women's University in Seoul, "Outstanding Statesman Award" from
Chicago Chinatown Chamber of Commerce, and Midwest Women's Center "A
Tribute to Chicago Women Award." From 1987-1991, she served as a board
member for United Way. She is also author of From the Mountains of Masan to
the Land of Lincoln (1996), and Korean Culture - A Passage Through
Hermit Kingdom (1980).
Ms Chun received her undergraduate degree at Ewha Women's University in Seoul,
Korea, and her Master's degree in Education and Social Policy at Northwestern
University. In 1992, she also received a fellowship to the Harvard University,
John F. Kennedy School of Government, Program for Senior Executives in State
and Local Government. Ms Chun and her husband, Dr. Kyong Chul Chun, have two sons.
Sang Joo Kim
Sr Fellow & Executive Vice President