USC Tuesday named attorney Beong-Soo Kim as the university’s new senior vice president and general counsel.
Kim, who spent the better part of a decade with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles before most recently working at Kaiser Permanente, will join USC on July 1, President Carol L. Folt said.
“Beong’s diverse and high-level legal expertise, mission-driven approach to taking on challenges, and commitment to public service made him our clear first choice,” Folt said. “He will be an important addition to the USC leadership team and an asset to our entire university community.”
USC’s Office of the General Counsel is responsible for addressing legal issues for the university, Keck Medicine of USC and other USC-owned entities. The office consists of in-house attorneys, including several specializing in health law, and support staff partnering with outside law firms.
“It is a privilege to join this remarkable institution, which touches the lives of so many people throughout Southern California and the world,” Kim said. “USC’s mission has never been more vital and relevant, and I am tremendously excited about working with President Folt and other stakeholders to move that mission forward.”
During Kim’s time with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, where he eventually became chief of the major frauds section, criminal division, he supervised 36 prosecutors and directed the investigations of crimes including health care fraud, securities and investor fraud, government fraud, theft of intellectual property, and embezzlement.
Kim also taught at USC at that time, designing and co-teaching a weekly seminar on “Sentencing Law, Policy and Practice” at the Gould School of Law.
With Trojan family ties, Kim was born and raised in Woodland Hills, where he watched football games with his father, who attended graduate school at USC. In high school, he studied the cello with the late Eleanore Schoenfeld, a legendary professor at USC’s Thornton School of Music.
After graduating magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1994 with a bachelor’s degree in social studies, he went on to earn his master’s in political theory at the London School of Economics as a Rotary Foundation Scholar. Kim also worked for the New York City mayor’s office for a short time before graduating cum laude with his doctorate from Harvard Law School in 1999, completing a clerkship at the U.S. Court of Appeals in New York, and returning to Harvard as a teaching fellow.
As he prepares to take on his new role at USC, Kim said leading a group of lawyers requires listening and having a clear vision to promote good decision making.
“That’s such an important lesson for any complex organization, that if you can mobilize resources around one common shared vision, you’re going to be able to respond so much more effectively,” Kim said.