Kyu Lee | International Trustee

Class of 2000, Bachelors of Fine Arts, Drama, 2000

Why I Serve

I grew up 15 minutes from the Seattle campus and was surrounded by Husky traditions. However, like many teenagers, I flirted with the idea of attending faraway colleges in an effort to expand my sense of freedom. Thankfully, I enrolled at UW and living a daily Husky experience made me appreciate it in new ways. UW may have only been miles from home, but it opened my eyes to new worlds.

I learned I could achieve more than expected. On a dare, I tried out for Husky football. There were stereotypes that an Asian-American couldn’t make the team. I was happy to prove that wrong by being selected to play wide receiver. Being a student-athlete was the ultimate college experience that I wouldn’t trade for anything. In the classroom, I pursued a drama degree in order to conquer my stage fright and fear of public speaking. I’m now 20 years into a film and television career as well as being a motivational speaker.

I did eventually move far from home and now serve as the International Trustee. For many years, I’ve organized UW Converge, a networking seminar and get-together for UW alumni across Asia. However, I still feel that my horizons first truly expanded as a UW student. As alumni, it’s our duty to help students as they prepare for their second act in life.


Kyu Lee formerly worked for Sony Pictures and co-produced the 2016 blockbuster “Operation Chromite,” a Korean film about the Battle of Inchon during the Korean War. Lee was a music consultant for the 2017 hit film Along with the Gods: The Two Worlds, which is the second highest-grossing film in Korean box office history. In the field of television, Lee brokered the remake of the U.S. hit series Criminal Minds for Korean audiences.

Lee was at the forefront in globalizing the hit song “Gangnam Style” by K-Pop musician PSY. He facilitated PSY’s introductions to U.S. music executives, catapulting the artist’s worldwide success and resulting in “Gangnam Style” being the most-watched YouTube video in history at that time.