Democratic Rep. Marilyn Strickland—who became one of the first three Korean American women elected to Congress last year, as well as the first Black representative from Washington state—wore a traditional Korean hanbok as she took the oath of office on Jan. 3.
Strickland shared a photo from the ceremony in a tweet, writing, “As a woman of both Korean American and African American descent, it was deeply personal to wear my Hanbok, which not only symbolizes my heritage and honors my mother, but also serves as a larger testament to the crucial importance of diversity in our nation, state, and the People’s House.”
Born in Seoul, South Korea, Strickland said her mother, Inmin Kim, couldn’t travel to see the ceremony in person, but she knew that she was watching it on TV.
“I wanted her to see me wearing that,” Strickland told NBC News. Previously, Strickland was the first Black and Korean American elected mayor of Tacoma.
Two days after her swearing-in, Strickland announced staff hires in both her Washington, D.C. and District offices.
“We are putting together an outstanding team that will advocate for the people of WA-10 while reflecting the diversity of our nation in Congress.”
Among the hires is Chief of Staff Andrew Noh, a Korean American and Capitol Hill veteran, who most recently served as Chief of Staff to Congressman Harley Rouda of California, and previously served under Congressmen Jimmy Gomez, Linda Sánchez, and Judy Chu—all from California.
Noh received his M.A. in International Relations from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies and received his B.A. in Political Science from the City College of New York.