Steve Choi

Steve Choi is an experienced movement leader, social justice entrepreneur and civil rights lawyer who consults on advocacy campaigns, fundraising strategies and executive coaching, particularly for grassroots POC movement leaders.

From 2013 to 2020, he was the Executive Director of the New York Immigration Coalition, a coalition of nearly 200 member groups that represents New York State’s immigrant communities.  Mr. Choi quintupled the size of the organization’s budget and  grew its staff from 15 to 55, becoming the nation’s largest state immigrant rights coalition and serving as New York’s chief advocate on immigrant rights, education, civic participation, and health care access on the Federal, state and local levels.  Mr. Choi led the NYIC to win historic victories to restore driver’s licenses for all immigrant New Yorkers, pushing New York State to create a $10 million New York State Liberty Defense Project, and New York City to launch the $40 million ActionNYC immigration legal services initiative.  In 2019, Mr. Choi was ranked #1 in City & State’s “2019 Nonprofit Power 100” for all of New York State.

From 2009 to 2013, Mr. Choi served as the Executive Director at the MinKwon Center for Community Action (formerly YKASEC), a community-based organization in Flushing, Queens.  Under Mr. Choi’s leadership, MinKwon played a lead role in building several powerful new coalitions – the 13% and Growing Coalition, and the Asian American Community Coalition on Redistricting and Democracy – to represent New York’s Asian American community.  Mr. Choi helped MinKwon triple in size and significantly raise its profile, leading to several feature articles in the New York Times and winning multiple awards for its work.  

Mr. Choi began his career as a civil rights lawyer at the Asian American Legal Defense & Education Fund (AALDEF), launching the Korean Workers Project in 2004 to provide free direct legal services to low-wage Korean immigrants.  Mr. Choi represented more than 50 workers against employers violated their rights, winning more than $700,000 in settlements, court victories, and awards on behalf of these workers, including winning all four Federal trials he litigated.    

Mr. Choi has worked at a wide array of legal organizations - the Hale and Dorr Legal Services Center in Jamaica Plain, Greater Boston Legal Services, the Civil Rights Project, and the Asian Pacific American Legal Center (APALC) of Los Angeles – as well as various Korean American and Asian American organizations, such as the National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC), the Korean Youth and Community Center (KYCC).

He currently serves on the New York City Commission on Human Rights, on the Board of the United Way of New York City, and the Board of the Scherman Foundation.  Mr. Choi is married to Carol Lee, an accountant, and has three beautiful children – Austin, Brandon and Stella and lives in Queens, New York. 

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