BLOG: Rhea Suh, a product of the American Dream

By Assunta Ng

Rhea Suh

It’s always wonderful to see Obama’s Asian appointees in Seattle. Last Sunday, Rhea Suh accompanied Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar to the signing ceremony for the Wing Luke Museum’s becoming an Associated Affiliate of the National Parks System.

As Assistant Secretary of policy, management, and budget in the Department of the Interior since 2009, Suh oversees the department, which has a $12 billion budget and over 70,000 employees.

A Korean American, Suh’s parents left Korea after the Korean War. With halting English, no relatives or friends, and “not [having] seen a hotdog or jello,” her parents came to this country with only $200 in their pockets.

But they had dreams and a belief in America that their children could prosper, said Suh.

A Fulbright and Marshall Fellowship recipient, Suh graduated from Columbia University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree. She also attended the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University. (end)

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