Enjoy lunch with AAPI leaders in government, policy and nonprofit work to explore and reflect on their careers. Free and open to the public but pre-registration is required.
Christopher Kang is Deputy Counsel to President Obama and Deputy Assistant to the President, in charge of the selection, vetting, and confirmation of President Obama’s judicial nominees. In this role, he has worked to fulfill the President’s unprecedented commitment to expanding the diversity of the federal bench—including more than doubling the number of AA & NHPI federal judges appointed in history—while maintaining the highest standards of integrity, intellect, and fair-mindedness. He also advises the President on commutations and issues of executive clemency.
Kang served as Special Assistant to President Obama from 2009 to 2014. From 2011 to 2014, he was Senior Counsel to the President, and from 2009 to 2011, he was Special Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs, advocating for the Obama Administration’s initiatives in Congress. In the Office of Legislative Affairs, Kang led the legislative outreach and strategy for the confirmation of Supreme Court Justices Sotomayor and Kagan, the Senate’s successful effort to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and the reduction of the sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine offenses. He also played a supporting role in the passage of the Patent Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, among other legislation.
Before coming to the White House, Kang worked for Assistant U.S. Senate Majority Leader Richard Durbin, of Illinois, for seven years. As Director of Floor Operations, he strategized Senate floor consideration of legislation, including counting votes and developing parliamentary tactics. He had previously served as one of Senator Durbin’s Judiciary Committee Counsel, handling constitutional and criminal justice issues, and Counsel for labor issues.
He has been active in the Asian Pacific American community, including as a Board Member and Legal Counsel for the Conference on Asian Pacific American Leadership (CAPAL). He also has served as Vice President and Board Member of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association Educational Fund (AEF) and Vice President for Community Affairs of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of the Greater Washington, DC, Area (APABA-DC).
In 2011, the National Law Journal named Kang one of the top 40 minority lawyers in the nation under the age of 40, and he has been recognized by the Capitol Hill publications Roll Call and The Hill for his work for Senator Durbin. The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) has awarded him with its President’s Award, for outstanding service to NAPABA and the legal community (2012), and its Best Lawyers Under 40 Award (2013). In 2012, he also received the Rising Star Award from APABA-DC.
Kang earned his J.D. from the Duke University School of Law, where he was Co-President of the Public Interest Law Foundation and Executive Editor of the Duke Journal of Comparative and International Law. He earned his B.A., with honors, from the University of Chicago, where he was active in community service, Student Government, and theater.