When she was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2001 as the 15th Director of the Women's Bureau, Ms. Chun became the highest-ranking Korean American appointee in the administration of President George W. Bush. As Director of the Women's Bureau, Ms. Chun led the only Federal agency charged with advocating on behalf of women in the workforce. Ms. Chun transformed the way the Women's Bureau did business by implementing innovative demonstration projects, increasing public-private partnerships and boosting the Bureau’s visibility.
Prior to her presidential appointment, Ms. Chun served as Director of the Illinois Department of Labor and Director of the Illinois Department of Financial Institutions, an appointment that made Ms. Chun the state's first-ever Asian American cabinet member. Ms. Chun began her career in Illinois state government in 1984 when the legendary Governor James R. Thompson appointed her Special Assistant on Asian American Affairs, the first such position in the nation.
Ms. Chun immigrated to the United States from the Republic of Korea at the age of 22, soon after attaining an undergraduate degree at Ewha Woman’s University in Seoul, Korea. She completed a Master's degree in Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University. In 1992, Ms. Chun received a fellowship to Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government. In 2006, she received a Council of Women World Leaders Ministerial Fellowship and traveled to Tanzania as part of a Ministerial Exchange Program with African women ministers.
Ms. Chun is the author of “You are 99% Potential,” a book published in Korea in October of 2009. She has been a columnist for Maeil Business Daily and also authored “From the Mountains of Masan to the Land of Lincoln (1996)” and “Korean Culture – A Passage Through the Hermit Kingdom (1980)”.
Ms. Chun is married to K.C. Chun, Ph.D. and is the very proud mother of Toby and Greg, both highly accomplished in their chosen fields.