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New Board Members


Soyoung Lee, Esq.
A native of Seoul, Korea and raised in Korea, the United States, Tunisia, and India, Soyoung Lee was admitted to the Virginia Bar in 1994. Her practice focuses on family law and estate planning. She has handled cases in Virginia’s city, county, and state jurisdictions’ Circuit and Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Courts.

Ms. Lee practiced for three years as a corporate attorney involved in developing international joint ventures in the entertainment industry. She was employed as Chief Legal Officer for Jackson International, LLC, a joint venture and investment company. She found this experience to be invaluable in litigating divorce cases with complex or high-worth property issues.

Ms. Lee has handled multi-jurisdictional divorce and custody cases, including a seminal case involving parties in Korea and the United States. She also specializes in international estate planning for families that have assets or family members located in multiple countries. Ms. Lee regularly holds public seminars on estate planning and teaches continuing education courses on trust and estate accounting for attorneys and accountants.

Timothy J. O’Brien, Esq.
Mr. O’Brien is an international attorney whose areas of expertise include foreign/cross-border investment, mergers and acquisitions, corporate law and transactions and corporate governance. During a long legal career, he has worked for international law firms in New York, London and Hong Kong, and for Korean law firms in Seoul from 2005 to 2010. Currently he is a consultant for Lee International IP & Law Group of Seoul.

Mr. O’Brien’s education includes an A.B. in Russian Studies/Classics (1967) from Yale College and a J.D. from Harvard Law School (1976). While he was at Harvard, he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review. He is also the author or co-author of a number of publications, such as “Corporate Governance in Korea at the Millennium” in 2000. Throughout his career, his accomplishments have been recognized by listings in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in the World, Who’s Who in Asia, International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers, and International Who’s Who of Corporate Governance Lawyers.

As a Peace Corps volunteer, he lived in Korea for six years from 1967 to 1973 working as an English teacher and Peace Corps administrator. He has also been involved in a number of non-profit or charity organizations as a volunteer.

His wife is an Ewha graduate (Bong-Hyon Baek, English Literature major in 1967), and he is eternally grateful for the education she received there.

Currently Mr. O’Brien lives in Miami Beach, FL with his wife. He enjoys his life with two grandchildren, reading, walking, learning, keeping abreast of current events and loving languages. He speaks Korean fluently.

Bishop Mary Ann Swenson
Bishop Swenson is one of the few numbers of women Bishops of the United Methodist Church. Since her election as Bishop in 1992, she has served and over sighted episcopal areas of the California-Pacific Annual Conference, as well as areas such as Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and Montana for the last 20 years. Even though she was retired in summer of 2012, she is still active as the ecumenical officer for the Council of Bishops of the UMC. For 12 years during her episcopacy, she was involved with the national council on Korean American Ministries of the UMC, and that has been a special love of her.

Bishop Swenson was born in Arkansas, educated in Mississippi and California. She received her Doctor of Ministry degree from Claremont Theological Seminary in CA in 1975. She was brought up during the time when women were beginning to be ordained as the pastors. Later, a little girl who used to preach to the dolls at home, not only was ordained, but also was elected as Bishop and became a role model in the wider Christian world.

She met her husband Jeff while she was attending Millsaps college in Jackson, Miss. and working as a church youth director in Elma, WA in 1968. They have no children, but enjoy their lives together with interesting hobbies such as bicycle riding. She and her husband Jeff love to travel in Korea and visit Ewha.

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