Mike Kim

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For other people of the same name, see Michael Kim (disambiguation).
Mike Kim
MikeKimGeorgetown.jpg
Born (1976-12-11) December 11, 1976 (age 38)
Nationality Korean-American
Occupation Consultant, Author, Public Speaker

Mike Kim (born December 11, 1976) is an author, consultant, inspirational speaker, NGO founder, and North Korea specialist based in Los Angeles. He is a Korean-American who, in 2003, moved to the China-North Korea border and founded Crossing Borders, a nonprofit dedicated to providing humanitarian assistance to North Korean refugees. He is the author of the Wall Street Journal featured book Escaping North Korea: Defiance and Hope in the World’s Most Repressive Country, a current events memoir published in 2008 by Rowman & Littlefield, about his experiences at the China-North Korea border helping North Korean refugees and human trafficking victims. Escaping North Korea is being developed into a feature film and the book has been translated into Turkish and Polish. He is currently a Managing Director at Ferrazzi Greenlight, a management consulting firm and research institute, working with founder and CEO Keith Ferrazzi on human behavior and culture change.[1][2]

Crossing Borders[edit]

On New Year's Day 2003, Kim gave up his financial planning business in Chicago, Illinois and left for China on a one-way ticket carrying little more than two duffle bags. While living near the North Korean border, he operated undercover as a student of North Korean taekwondo, training under two North Korean masters —eventually receiving a second-degree blackbelt.[3] He founded Crossing Borders, a nonprofit dedicated to providing humanitarian assistance to North Korean refugees. In his book, he estimated that during his time on the field over 60% of female defectors were victims of sex trafficking. The organization has been a regular contributor to the State Department's Annual Trafficking in Persons Report and has testified at a congressional hearing on the topic of combating human trafficking in China.[4]

Media and Events[edit]

Kim frequently appears in the media: He was a guest on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and has appeared in The Wall Street Journal and on CNN Anderson Cooper 360. He has been interviewed by major international media groups such as Fox News, CNN, BBC, Reuters, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Yonhap News Agency, The Korea Times, The Korea Daily, and Korean Broadcasting System.

Escaping North Korea: The Movie[edit]

After the interview with Jon Stewart, there was interest from Hollywood in turning Escaping North Korea into a motion picture and Kim received offers for the option for the book. The book-to-film project is in development,[5][6] with a team working on the script. Kim attended the 2010 Pusan International Film Festival and met with leading South Korean distributors, producers, directors, and actors to discuss his vision for the film. He has also been meeting with high-level South Korean government officials explaining the movie's importance in promoting the Korean image and brand abroad.[7]

Career After China-North Korea[edit]

Kim received his MBA from Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business.[8] He is also a 1999 graduate from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In interviews, Kim has referred to the late Ambassador Mark Palmer as a mentor and a person who has deeply influenced him by his example of working effectively in the business, nonprofit, and government sectors. Palmer wrote the foreword to Escaping North Korea and commented, “This is a story of heroes. Of North Koreans increasingly and courageously evading the dictates of the system at home to survive and risking their lives to flee the world's most repressive dictatorship. And of a heroic young Korean American, the author, Mike Kim, who risked his own life for four years on the China-North Korea border to help them."

In June 2010, Kim was voted in as a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Kim is a management consultant and continues his book and public speaking tour, while working on the book-to-movie project. He is represented by The Guild Agency Speakers Bureau & Intellectual Talent Management founded by James Marshall Reilly for all public speaking.

At Deloitte Consulting, he was a Specialist leading initiatives applying business solutions and technology to social issues such as human rights and anti-human trafficking.[9] He led the effort in January 2013 for the Deloitte and Georgetown Anti-Human Trafficking Symposium with special guest and keynote speaker Mira Sorvino.[10] [11]

He is currently a Managing Director at Ferrazzi Greenlight, a management consulting firm and research institute, working with founder and CEO Keith Ferrazzi on human behavior and culture change client work, public speaking, and writing.[12][13] Part of his role at the firm includes assisting founder Keith Ferrazzi with Greenlight Giving Foundation initiatives to serve at-risk and underprivileged youth. Mike writes for The Huffington Post Blog.[14]

References[edit]

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