Derek Kunhee Kim (김건희 金健熙) Kim was born in Seoul, South Korea but immigrated to England when his father pursued his doctorates in mechanical engineering at the University of Leeds. By the age of 13, he had grown up on three different continents, continuing his higher education in the United States. Derek Kunhee acknowledges that the global trajectory of his life passion was instilled within him at a young age.
After an outstanding track and field career in high school, which included All-American and All-State honors, Derek Kunhee continued his athletic pursuits in the 110m hurdles and majored in International Journalism at Michigan State University. Although his track and field career came to an abrupt end his sophomore year, Derek Kunhee established himself as a passionate, succinct writer, earning multiple journalism awards and publishing his first book Four Years, Two Roads: Finding Eternal Significance in High School at the age of 20.
Four Years, Two Roads is a personal and Biblically exegetical encouragement to high school students to live courageously on “the narrow road” (Matthew 7:13-14) within an increasingly hostile culture. The book won the Christian Small Publishers Award Book of the Year award in the Young Adult category in 2015.
Early graduation from Michigan State brought Derek Kunhee back to his home country, where he studied at Yonsei University. It was here, at his father’s alma mater, where he recovered what he had lost of his native culture and tongue. It was also during this time Derek Kunhee began learning Mandarin Chinese, eventually doing a five-month stint at Tsinghua University’s Chinese Language Program, achieving HSK Level Six Certification in less than one year of study.
Derek Kunhee is a second-year law student at the University of San Diego School of Law where he is a Program Assistant for USD’s Law & Policy Program for International Professionals, helping bridge the gap amongst Korean, American, and Chinese lawyers, judges, lawyers, public officials, and other legal professionals. He is also a Research Assistant for Professor Ralph Folsom. Derek Kunhee is the author of Professor Folsom’s Eckstom’s Licensing in Foreign and Domestic Operations: Joint Venture‘s Korea Chapter: Corruption in Modern Day South Korea: A Country at a Crossroads, available on Westlaw.
Derek Kunhee spent his first summer of law school back in his mother country as a Summer Clerk at Kim & Chang working on FinTech and China-related cases. He plans on returning to Beijing to work in King & Wood Malleson’s China-Korea team. Derek Kunhee’s dream is to become a liaison amongst the United States, Korea, and the People’s Republic of China.