Two New Members Join the National Council on the Humanities

(June 15, 2022)

WASHINGTON, D.C. —The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) announced today that two prominent members of the humanities community—Karen A. Stout and Christine M. Kim—have been sworn in as new members of the Endowment’s advisory board, the National Council on the Humanities.

“We are delighted to welcome these two distinguished individuals to the National Council on the Humanities,” said NEH Chair Shelly C. Lowe (Navajo). “Christine Kim and Karen Stout bring a wide range of leadership experience in legal and nonprofit management. We look forward to drawing on their wisdom and expertise as NEH seeks to expand its grantmaking to better meet the needs of underserved communities.”  

The new Council appointees were nominated by President Joseph R. Biden Jr. in November 2021 and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in May 2022.

The 26-member National Council on the Humanities meets at least three times a year to review grant applications and to advise the NEH chair. National Council members serve staggered six-year terms. The two new members will join the next meeting of the National Council of the Humanities in July 2022.  

Below are biographies of the new members:

Christine M. Kim is a founding member of Big Burn Bliss LLC, a private equity advisory firm, and a board member of Pine Tree Funds. Kim is a veteran lawyer of 35 years, focusing on real estate private equity: She was a partner at Willkie Farr in New York and then joined Jones Day Hong Kong as a partner when her family relocated to Hong Kong. During her practice in Asia, Kim was continuously recognized by the Chambers Asia and Legal 500. Her practice covered sovereign and institutional investors’ debt and equity transactions covering Asia Pacific and Australia.

Kim regularly speaks on legal and private equity lecture circuits both at home and abroad: Her engagements include moderating and speaking at forums for American Chambers Shanghai, Asian Public Real Estate Association, the KDI school of Public Policy and Management, and Asian Private Equity & Venture Forum, as well as chairing seminars for Practicing Lawyers Institute, the New York State Bar Association, and the Bar Association of the City of New York. She was also an adjunct professor at the KDI School of Public Policy and Management in Seoul, Korea, lecturing on real estate securities and real estate investment trusts. 

Kim is a recipient of the 2001 Cornerstone Award from Lawyers Alliance for her work with low income housing. She is a founding member of the advisory board of the Center of Hope, Haiti, an orphanage and school, and the recipient of 2009 Hope Award from the center. Kim also served as a member of Georgetown University School of Foreign Service Board of Visitors. She received her BSFS from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) and a JD from Columbia University Law School.

Karen A. Stout serves as president and CEO of Achieving the Dream (ATD), leading the nation’s largest movement to improve success for all students, especially low-income students and students of color. Through ATD, Stout leads a network of more than 375 institutions in whole-college transformation. She has received national recognition for her achievements and accomplishments in higher education innovation and leadership including Diverse: Issues in Higher Education’s Leading Women Award, the American Association for Women in Community College’s Woman of the Year, Washington Monthly’s 16 most innovative higher education leaders. Stout was recently presented the 2022 American Association for Community Colleges (AACC) Leadership Award and is among the newest members of the recently created AACC Hall of Fame. She leads and serves on a number of national and regional boards and also shares her time and experience as an Achieving the Dream Leadership Coach and Aspen Institute Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence faculty contributor and mentor.

Prior to serving as President and CEO at ATD, Stout was president of Montgomery County Community College (PA) from 2001 to 2015, where she led the college through a transformation process to improve student success. In 2015, in recognition of her service to the college and her accomplishments, the Board of Trustees granted her president emerita status and renamed the student success center on the Blue Bell Campus in her honor. A frequent speaker and writer, Stout focuses on strategies for enhancing student success and completion, accelerating and scaling innovation, and launching a new era of community college fundraising. She holds an EdD from the University of Delaware, an MBA from the University of Baltimore, and a BA from the University of Delaware. She also holds honorary degrees from Montgomery County Community College and Miami Dade College.

National Endowment for the Humanities: Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at

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