Corporate lawyer Beong-Soo Kim will serve as senior vice president and general counsel of USC starting July 1, President Carol Folt announced Tuesday.
“Beong’s diverse and high-level legal expertise, mission-driven approach to taking on challenges and commitment to public service made him our clear first choice,” Folt told USC News. “He will be an important addition to the USC leadership team and an asset to our entire university community.”
As chief of the major frauds section in the criminal division at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles for nearly 10 years, Kim directed investigations into health care fraud, securities and investor fraud, government fraud, theft of intellectual property and embezzlement, leading the nation’s largest federal white-collar prosecution section.
“It is a privilege to join this remarkable institution, which touches the lives of so many people throughout Southern California and the world,” Kim said to USC News. “USC’s mission has never been more vital and relevant, and I am tremendously excited about working with President Folt and other stakeholders to move that mission forward.”
After earning his master’s degree from the London School of Economics, Kim worked for the New York City mayor’s office and later on graduated from Harvard Law School in 1999. Following a clerkship at the U.S. Court of Appeals in New York, Kim returned to Harvard as a teaching fellow.
While Kim attended Harvard, his father’s ties to USC as an alumnus facilitated a connection to the University studying under the late Thornton School of Music professor and famed cellist Eleanore Schoenfeld during high school. Kim also taught at USC in 2007, designing and co-instructing a weekly seminar at the Gould School of Law.
Kim also served as a litigation associate at Munger, Tolles & Olson before moving on to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in L.A. and later serving as partner at Jones Day in L.A. Before his appointment as general counsel of USC, he worked as vice president and assistant general counsel at Kaiser Permanente.
Kim’s search committee comprised Gould School of Law dean Andrew Guzman, Board of Trustee member Oscar Munoz, Ostrow School of Dentistry dean Avishai Sadan, president of faculty of Academic Senate Rebecca Lonergan, Senior Vice President for Human Resources Felicia Washington and Vice President for Student Affairs Winston Crisp.
Former University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill general counsel and vice chancellor Mark Merritt served on the search committee and will continue in his role as an adviser to the University, according to Folt. Vice President and Managing General Counsel Stacy Bratcher, who managed the search committee, will now report to Kim.
The USC Office of the General Counsel addresses legal issues related to the University, Keck Medicine of USC and other USC-owned entities.