Yumi Hogan, Maryland’s first lady, is set to receive South Korea’s Order of Civil Merit, the country’s “highest and most prestigious” honor for civilians, the governor’s office announced in a news release.
Hogan, a native of South Korea, was honored for “serving Maryland’s many diverse communities as well as her international diplomatic skills,” according to the release.
She has helped lead trade missions and helped create a sister-state relationship between Maryland and Jeollanam-do, her home province, the release noted. In 2017, she went to South Korea in the midst of nuclear tensions related to North Korea and promoted the state, including Maryland-based Under Armour and the University of Maryland.
“As a first-generation Korean American and the first Korean American First Lady of any state, I have made it my mission to bring different generations of Korean Americans together, to connect Korea and Maryland, and to promote the value and beauty of Korean culture and heritage,” Hogan said in the release. “Our success is thanks to the many Korean Americans in Maryland who have kept our community’s legacy alive, and our partners in Korea who share special friendships with our state.”
Gov. Larry Hogan has said the first lady isn’t a politician, but an artist who has played a significant role in his campaigns because she supports him.
“In Maryland, we are proud to have a special bond with Korea, and that is due in large part to the passion and dedication of my wonderful wife, Yumi,” the Republican governor said in the release. “She is a strong voice for the Korean American community, and thanks to her leadership, increasing engagement with the Republic of Korea has been a key effort of our administration.”