Alumni

Meet Kyu Lee, ’00, UWAA’s first International Trustee

Lee, Kyu C This summer, the UWAA Board of Trustees appointed Kyu Lee, ’00, as the first international trustee representing more than 17,000 alumni across the world. Besides founding a film and music production company, participating in the post production of more than 50 films, and more than a decade of experience with Sony Pictures Entertainment, he also had a hand in one of the biggest viral sensations of all time. Kyu was at the forefront of globalizing K-Pop artist Psy’s hit song “Gangnam Style,” making key introductions and helping strategize Psy’s activities in the US.

Kyu grew up in Mercer Island and is currently based in Seoul, Korea. Despite living far from campus, he is a Husky through and though. His leadership and spirit of entrepreneurship began during his undergraduate years at the UW where he was one of the first Asian-Americans to become a wide receiver for the UW football team (’99, ’00).

To learn more about why he’s excited to serve as the first international trustee on UWAA’s board and what being an international Husky is all about, we asked Kyu a few questions.

UWAA: What’s your favorite part about being an international Husky?

KL: My favorite part about being an international Husky is the opportunity to connect with alumni of all ages, strengthening each other in life and creating relationships — be they personal or professional — with people you might have missed while you were on campus or new ones through the common ground of being Husky alumni.

UWAA: How did your experiences at UW shape your life and career?

KL: Throughout grade school, I was never quite the standout or the popular kid. I was also not as good as most of the other kids in sports or extracurricular activities — just average. Lack of confidence and drive was probably the cause of that. Thus, I don’t really have many fond memories from that part of my life.

On the other hand, UW opened up a new chapter in my life. A chance to start fresh and reinvent myself — new life, new ideas, renewed energy and spirit and new friends. I registered for classes I was interested in, met new friends that all had the same jitters as me, battled my fears of public speaking by taking speech and drama — not mention walking on to a powerhouse football team. UW was the ultimate undergrad experience and I miss it very much. Today, I enjoy public speaking in front of thousands of people, make TV appearances and produce film and music thanks to UW building my confidence and passions.

UWAA: Why is giving back to the UW through service important to you?

KL: Giving back to the UW through service is important to me because I’d like the next generation to learn from my challenges and mistakes so that they don’t have the same. Giving the next-geners a head start in life also helps maintain, progress and hit new milestones for the University and the world.

UWAA: What are you most excited about in regards to serving on the UWAA board?

KL: Just being able to connect with alumni, students and staff keeps me close to home and I love having that feeling any chance I get.

UWAA: What are some ways for Huskies living internationally to connect with UWAA?

KL: Be on the lookout for UWAA events in your area like our UW Converge event series, become a member and find an international Husky community near you.