Seongeun Chun, program officer, joined the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) in 2022, bringing her expertise in conducting qualitative research, running grassroots campaigns, and creating collaborative policy solutions for the low-income communities of color. At RWJF, she focuses on co-designing, implementing, and managing programs that support health and racial equity. And she praises the Foundation for its “leadership in ground-breaking work in addressing the structural barriers that have created unequal conditions across communities and regions, including structural racism and segregation from opportunity.”
Prior to RWJF, Seongeun was the director of health policy at the New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC) and led policy analysis and campaigns in New York City and New York State to improve health access, coverage, and delivery for immigrant communities. She was also recognized for leading Coverage 4 All, a campaign that successfully negotiated for the expansion of health coverage for immigrant seniors regardless of status to access Medicaid for the first time in New York State history and ensuring 12 months of continuous post-pregnancy coverage for everyone, regardless of immigration status.
In addition to leading Coverage 4All, she managed the NYIC’s $3.8 million city-wide initiative, Access Health NYC, which funds 38 community-based organizations (CBOs) to conduct education and outreach to low-income immigrant communities on how to access social services and healthcare coverage.
Previously, at the Montefiore Medical Center, Seongeun directed a multi-site study to increase access to effective treatment for opioid use disorders in primary healthcare settings. Also, at New York University Langone Health (NYU Langone Health), she managed the Asian American Tobacco Free Partnership, and supported primary healthcare programs at Charles B. Wang Community Health Center (CBWCHC), the second largest federally qualified health center providing care to underserved Asian Americans.
Seongeun is a 2020 RWJF Culture of Health Leader, and received her MPH from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. In 2022, she was named to New York’s City & State Health Care Power 100—a distinguished list that highlights public health officials, hospital executives, labor leaders, activists, and other influential figures who shaped New York’s response to the pandemic—and other pressing healthcare matters—over the past year.
Born in South Korea, Seongeun now lives in New York City with her husband, a physician and entrepreneur, and their daughter. She credits her parents who, as newly arrived immigrants struggling to navigate American healthcare, economic and social systems, with inspiring her to advance the rights of low-income immigrants.
In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, traveling, and enjoying New York’s many museums and parks.