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Tuesday, September 26, 2023



American Korean Friendship Society


The American Korean Friendship Society, Inc. (AKFS) is a non-profit (81-1408283 IRS Code 501-C-3) and non-political civic organization founded in 1996 in Atlanta, Georgia. The Society is to celebrate and strengthen the unique relationship between the peoples of the Republic of Korea and the United States of America. The Society created New American Hero Award to recognize Korean American patriots.

New American Hero Award (NAHA)

The Society present New American Hero Award each year at the annual banquet. The award is presented to Americans of Korean ancestry who have made a significant and noteworthy contributions to the United States and have made the immigrant community proud. Past recipients have included:

  • Dr. Tom Kim of Knoxville, TN, who founded the Free Clinic for Working Poor and has been operating the clinic for more than twelve years;
  • Lieutenant Colonel John Oh, medical doctor and U.S. Army general surgeon, for his heroic service for his country in the war fields in Afghanistan, including risking his own life to perform an emergency surgery removing an unexploded rocket propelled grenade (RPG) protruding from a wounded soldier;
  • Dr. Samuel “Sammy” Lee, the first Asian-American to win an Olympic Gold Medal for the United States, and the first man to back-to-back gold medals (1948 and 1952) in Olympic platform diving;
  • Jason Pak, West Point graduate, Captain of the U.S. Army (Ret.) and an elite Ranger, who was wounded by an improvised explosive device (IED) in Afghanistan and serves an inspiration for veterans and civilians alike by sharing his story; 
  • The late James Suh, U.S. Navy SEAL, who was part of a dedicated Naval Special Warfare team fighting the Taliban and volunteered to go on a mission to rescue his fellow SEAL members who were trapped by insurgent fire.  He was part of one of sixteen troops killed when a MH-47 Chinook helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan.
  • US. Army Colonel Young-Oak Kim (1919 – December 29, 2005), a highly decorated U.S. Army combat veteran of World War II and the Korean War and a civic leader and humanitarian. He was a member of the U.S. 100th Infantry Battalion and 442nd Regimental Combat Team, and a combat leader in Italy and France during World War II. 
  • Dr. Peter Meong Rhee, Chief of Acute Care Surgery and Medical Director of the Marcus Trauma Center, is an American surgeon, medical professor, and military veteran. During his 24 years in the United States Navy, Rhee served as a battlefield casualty physician in Afghanistan and Iraq.
  • Byung J. “BJay” Pak, a Korean-born American, is the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Georgia. The district includes 46 counties in Georgia, including the cities of Atlanta, Gainesville, Rome, and Newnan, and a population of more than six million. BJay had served as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Northern District of Georgia. “Bjay brings the passion and expertise required for this role, and I have full confidence that he will make Georgians proud as he works to protect their interests and enforce the rule of law,” said U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson. BJay certainly is a role model patriot to Americans and particularly to immigrants. BJay has been an extraordinary model for Asian Americans, whether recent immigrants or lifelong US citizens, in his public and government service.
  • Steve Stirling, a Korean-born American, is the president/CEO of the Medicine Assistance Program (MAP) International, a Christian global health organization that provides medicines, prevents disease, and promotes health in some of the world’s poorest countries. MAP International has provided more than $6 billion in medicines and health supplies to communities in need since its inception in 1954. Under Steve’s leadership, MAP is recognized for its stewardship by charity watchdogs, each year achieving the highest ratings from the Better Business Bureau, Charity Navigator, CNBC, ECFA, and Forbes magazine. Steve is a role model to immigrants as a passionate volunteer and as a corporate leader, and admired by many Americans. Steve’s extraordinary passion as a volunteer and leader has served as an inspiration and model for Asian Americans in the field of charitable endeavors.
  • Han Choi, Lifetime Achievement Award: The late Han Choi, partner at Ballard Spahr, is being recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his leadership and passion for community services over two decades. Han assisted the State of Georgia by helping Korean companies to invest in Georgia. Han’s volunteer works includes the College Football Hall of Fame, Atlanta International Women’s House, Georgia Center for Nonprofits, and Decatur Education Foundation.


Following founders are among concerned citizens of both nations who values the relationships are unique and precious. Organizing committee chair, Marine Corps General Raymond G. Davis (Ret.), Medal of Honor recipient; Dr. James Laney, US Ambassador to the Republic of Korea; Dr. Sang-Chul Kim, former Mayor of the City of Seoul; Dr. William Chace, President, Emory University; U.S. Army General William Livsey (Ret.); Mr. John Hemby, Executive Vice President, Southern Company; Dr. Wan-Kyu Cho, former President, Seoul National University; and Mr. Sunny K. Park, CEO, General Building Maintenance, Inc.

Chairmen Emeritus

Dr. James Laney, former US Ambassador to Korea
Founding Chairman 1996-2000:  Dr. William Chace, President, Emory University
Chairman 2000-2004:  Dr. Wayne Claugh, President, Georgia Tech
Chairwoman 2004-2009:  Dr. Betty Siegel, President, Kennesaw State University
Chairman 2009-2016:  General Larry Ellis, Retired, United States Army.

Board of Directors and Staff

General Burwell B. Bell, Retired Commanding General, US Forces in Korea
Mr. Frank Blake, Chairman, Chairman, Delta Airlines
Mr. Don Chapman, Chairman, ChapCo Investments
Judge Miles Davis, Judge, US Magistrate Court, Pensacola, Florida
General Larry Ellis, Retired Commanding General, US Army Forces Command
Mr. Jay Eun, Chairman, Golden Stella, Inc.
Mr. Paul T. Kim, Vice President/Secretary, Sr. Lawyer, Security Exchange Commission
Mr. Young-Jun Kim, Consul General of Korea (ex officio)
Ambassador James Laney, Retired U. S. Ambassador to Korea
Mr. Bartow Morgan, Chairman/CEO The Brand Banking Company
The Honorable Sam Olens, President, Kennesaw State University
Dr. Roger Tuttero, Economist, Kennesaw State University
Mr. Sunny K. Park, President. CEJ, General Building Maintenance


David H, Kang, Program Director
Jessica Ahn, Event Director



한미우호협회는 한국과 미국 국민들 간의 특별한 관계를 증진, 강화시킬 목적으로 설립된 미 연방정부가 인가한 비영리, 비정치적 민간단체입니다. 또한 협회는, 미국내의 한인 이민자들의 미국에 대한 기여를 널리 알리고 고취 시키기 위하여 매년 미국의 발전을 위하여 실질적 공적을 쌓은 한인 이민자를 선출하여  New American Hero Award (NAHA) 영웅상을  수여 합니다.

역대 이민자 영웅상 수상자

김유근 박사: 테네씨주 낙스빌 인근의 빈민자들을 위한 무료 의료 봉사를 1988년부터 시행하여 지역사회에서 한인들의 명망을 높였습니다.

잔 오 육군 중령 군의관: 아프간 전투중 불발된 수류탄을 몸에 담고 후송된 부상 병사를 스스로 자원하여 수류탄 제거 수술을 시행 함으로서 미국민을 돌보는 모범을 보였습니다.

고 쌔미리 박사: 인종 차별이 심했던 미국의 1930-50년도에 피나는 다이빙 훈련을 하여 미국에 두개의 올림픽 금메달을 안겨주어 미국에 충성을 하였습니다.

제이슨 박 육군 대위: 아프간 전투중 지뢰를 맞아 두다리를 잃으면서도 부하들을 돌보는 모범을 보였습니다. 아버지도 육군 대령으로 예편한 충성스러운 가족입니다.

고 제임스 서 해군 병장: 해군 특수전 전담 해군으로서 아프간 작전에 자원하여 전투중 산화하여 미국의 자우를 지켜 주었습니다.

고 김영옥 대령: 세계 제 2차 대전에 자원 참전하여 이태리와 불란서에서, 그리고 한국전쟁에서 용맹을 떨쳐 최우수 지휘관으로 모범을 보여습니다.

피터리 박사: 해군 사관학교 졸업후 군의관으로 용맹을 떨친 피터리 박사는 미국 트라우마 외과계에서 가장 우수한 실력과 모범을 보여 한인들의 위상을 높였습니다.

한미우호협회는 1996년 4월 레이몬드 데이비스 미해병대 대장, 제임스 레이니 당시 주한미국대사, 장훈 주애틀랜타 한국총영사, 조완규 전 서울대학교 총장,윌리엄 체이스 에모리대 총장, 김상철 전 서울시 시장, 윌리엄 립시 대장, 존 햄비 서던 컴퍼니 부사장, 그리고 박선근 GBM 회장에 의해 설립되었습니다.


윌러엄 체이스 에모리대 총장(1996-2000), 웨인 클라프 조지아텍 총장(2000-2004), 베티 시글, 케네소주립대 총장(2004-2009), 래리 엘리스 전 미육군 전략 사령관 (2009-2016)


의장: 프랭크 블레잌 델타항공 이사장, 이사진김영준 주 애틀랜타 대한민국 총영사, 래리 엘리스 미육군 예비역 대장, 제임스 레이니 전 주한 미국대사, 은종국 전 애틀랜타 한인회장, 마일스 데이비스 플로리다 연방 법원 판사, 샘 올린스 조지아주 법무부 장관, 바토우 몰간 브랜드 은행 회장, 단 챕맨 챕코 투자회사 회장, 로저 투테로 박사, 케네소우 대학교 교수/경제학자, 이사/회장: 박선근 지비엠 회장, 이사/부회장: 폴 김 연방 정부 증권거래위원회 선임 변호사

American Korean Friendship Society is nonprofit, non-political organization by IRS Code 501(c)(3)
3835 Presidential Parkway, Suite 111, Atlanta, GA 30340

2023 New American Hero Awardspot_img

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JASON PAK (2015)

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TOM KIM (2005)