Wan J. Kim

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Wan J. Kim
Wan J. Kim.jpg
2005 Official Portrait
Assistant United States Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division
In office
November 9, 2005 – August 31, 2007
Preceded by Alexander Acosta
Succeeded by Thomas Perez
Personal details
Born Seoul, South Korea
Education Johns Hopkins University (B.A.)
University of Chicago (J.D.)
Occupation Attorney
Wan J. Kim
Hangul [1]
Revised Romanization Gim Wanju
McCune–Reischauer Kim Wanju

Wan J. Kim (born 1968) is the former Assistant United States Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division in the Department of Justice, a position in which he served from November 9, 2005 to August 31, 2007. Born in Seoul, South Korea, Kim is the first immigrant to serve as Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice, and is the first Korean American ever to become an Assistant Attorney General. On August 23, 2007 Kim announced that he was leaving the agency for the private sector.[2][3][4]

Early life[edit]

Kim was born in Seoul, South Korea to father Kim Hak-su and mother Yu Chun-ja. He emigrated to the United States in 1973 at the age of 5, joining his parents who had moved there two years earlier.[5] They moved to Union, New Jersey, where Kim attended Roselle Catholic High School, from which he graduated in 1986.[6] Kim graduated Phi Beta Kappa and with departmental honors in Economics from the Johns Hopkins University. He then attended the University of Chicago Law School, where he was an Associate Editor of the Law Review.[7]


Kim previously served as an enlisted soldier and a rifle platoon leader in the United States Army Reserve.[8] He also worked on the staff of the Senate Judiciary Committee for former Chairman Orrin G. Hatch, and as a law clerk to Judge James L. Buckley of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.[9]

Kim has spent most of his legal career at the Department of Justice, having entered through the Attorney General's Honors Program as a Trial Attorney in the Criminal Division. While at the Department of Justice, Kim was a trial attorney in the Terrorism and Violent Crime Section of the Criminal Division, and then a Special Attorney to the Attorney General in the prosecution of Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols for the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. After two years in private practice, Kim returned to the Department of Justice as an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, where he investigated and prosecuted a wide range of criminal matters. He joined the Civil Rights Division in August 2003. Immediately prior to his nomination, Kim served as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Rights Division.


  1. ^ "김완주씨 "무일푼서 일군 아메리칸 드림"", Kyunghyang Shinmun, 2005-07-29, retrieved 2011-09-30 
  2. ^ Eggen, Dan (August 24, 2007). "Head of Civil Rights Division to Leave Justice Department". Washington Post. pp. A07. 
  3. ^ Shenon, Philip (August 24, 2007). "Civil Rights Division Head Resigning at Justice Dept.". New York Times. 
  4. ^ "Statement of Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales on the Resignation of Assistant Attorney General Wan J. Kim". Office of Public Affairs, United States Department of Justice. August 23, 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-20. 
  5. ^ 신용일 [Shin Yong-il] (2005-11-15), "김완주 연방법무부 촤관보 업무 시작..어제 취임식", Korea Times, retrieved 2011-09-30 
  6. ^ Roselle Catholic High School Alumni Directory 1993. Bernard C. Harris Publishing Company, Inc. White Plains, NY. 1993. p. 27. 
  7. ^ http://www.law.uchicago.edu/alumni/profiles/wan-kim
  8. ^ USDOJ Biography
  9. ^ khhte.com
Legal offices
Preceded by
Alex Acosta
Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights
Succeeded by
Tom Perez