Asia Society Announces Appointment of Katie Soo and Michael Gisser to Co-Chair Asia Society Southern California Advisory Board; Richard Drobnick to Serve as Chairman Emeritus
Los Angeles, CA, November 30, 2020—Asia Society today announced that Michael Gisser and Katie Soo will serve as Co-Chairs of the Asia Society Southern California (ASSC) Advisory Board. They will succeed Richard Drobnick, who will serve as Chairman Emeritus. Gisser and Soo will assume their new positions on December 1, 2020.
The new Co-Chairs bring a wide range of talents and great enthusiasm. Soo is an award-winning global media and tech marketer recognized for her leadership in both category design and digital transformations. She currently serves as Senior Vice President of Growth Marketing for HBO Max. Soo, who was recently named on Ad Age’s 40 Under 40 list, also serves on Pinterest’s advisory board, Vox Media’s Brand Council, and co-chairs ASSC’s Programming Committee as well as the Asian Women Empowered (AWE) initiative. Gisser brings 25 years of experience as a cross-border business and legal affairs expert, having played a key role in building Skadden Arps’s vibrant presence in Asia. He led that practice and lived between Hong Kong, Beijing, Los Angeles and Silicon Valley for 25 years, structuring innovative, major transactions in four continents. A long-time advisory board member of ASSC, Gisser acts as a director and senior advisor to a number of companies in the U.S., Asia and Europe, including advising an activist investor and a leading European venture capital firm focusing on technology investing.
Gisser and Soo succeed Richard Drobnick, who has served as Chairman for three years and has been associated with Asia Society Southern California almost since its creation in 1985.
During his tenure as Chair, Drobnick has been instrumental to ASSC’s growth. Under his leadership, ASSC has launched a number of new programming initiatives including the U.S.–Asia Real Estate Initiative (USAREI). USAREI is a comprehensive, multi-year initiative to promote a deeper understanding of real estate issues that are of shared importance to Southern California and Asia’s urban areas. The inaugural programs for this initiative were launched earlier this year in collaboration with the Lusk Center for Real Estate at the University of Southern California and the Ziman Center for Real Estate at the University of California Los Angeles.
“Katie and Michael will bring fresh energy and a diversity of background to our Southern California Center. We look forward to the growth of the Center and its impact under their leadership”, said Josette Sheeran, President and CEO of Asia Society.
She continued, “Dick has been a great force for us in Southern California. We look forward to keeping him in the family, and to his service as Emeritus Chair for the Center.”
“Dick’s contribution to ASSC has been truly extraordinary. Along with Vice Chair Brian Treiger, Executive Director Charlie Coker, a very active board and the global Asia Society, the organization has never been more robust than it is right now,” said Michael Gisser, incoming Co-Chair of the ASSC Advisory Board.
"I am honored to accept this opportunity to Co-Chair Asia Society Southern California and take on this impactful role in partnership with Michael. I’ve long admired Asia Society’s commitment to arts and education, and I look forward to connecting our incredible ASSC programs with a new generation of voices and communities. I’m deeply grateful to Josette Sheeran and Janet Yang for bringing me into this distinguished institution, and I couldn’t be more excited to continue this work,” said Katie Soo, incoming Co-Chair of the ASSC Advisory Board.
“I am very pleased that Katie and Michael have been recruited to become Co-Chairs of the Asia Society’s Southern California Center. I am confident that they will do a great job leading ASSC’s upward trajectory,” said Richard Drobnick, Chairman of the ASSC Advisory Board.
Asia Society Southern California is the Los Angeles branch of the leading nonpartisan nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening relationships and forging understanding among the people of Asia and the United States. Founded in 1956 by John D. Rockefeller 3rd, Asia Society is based in New York and has centers in Hong Kong, Houston, Los Angeles, Melbourne, Manila, Mumbai, San Francisco, Seoul, Sydney, Tokyo, Washington, DC, and Zurich. Find out more at AsiaSociety.org/SouthernCalifornia.