GOP announces first generation Korean American, as president and CEO of Charlotte 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Republican Party announced a Korean American and White House aide to Pres. Donald J. Trump will serve as president and CEO of the 2020 Charlotte Convention. Marcia Lee Kelly will leave the White House and assume her new role with the Republican National Convention, which takes place Aug. 24-27.

            Lee Kelly’s specific title in the White House, according to the Trump administration, was “Assistant to the President and Director of Management and Administration, and Director of the Office of Administration, Executive Office of the President.” Her position reported to the Chief of Staff, who is currently Mick Mulvaney.

            The Republican National Convention’s chair described Lee Kelly as a first generation Korean American who worked on two presidential transition teams. Lee Kelly also worked at the Republican National Conventions in Minneapolis, Tampa and Cleveland.

            “In 2016, [Lee Kelly] served as director of operations where she managed overall logistics and a budget of $27 million and dozens of venues,” Republican National Committee staff said in a released statement. “Most recently, [Lee] Kelly was the assistant to the President, director of White House management and administration and director of the office of administration where she oversaw hundreds of personnel and was responsible for the day-to-day management and centralized operations efficiency across the Executive Office of the President.”

            A news report published by in June 2018 stated Lee Kelly’s resume also included overseeing security clearances and managing the West Wing’s recent renovation.

            Lee Kelly was also the Chief Advancement Officer of Trinity Law School, director of Mercy Foundation and the Chief Development Officer of Riverfront Inc. She graduated from Manhattan College with a BA in Political Science and Urban Affairs.

RNC in Charlotte

            Trump is expected to seek re-election in 2020. The prospect of Trump earning his second GOP nomination in Charlotte was a tough pill to swallow for some local policymakers and thought leaders, according to various news reports

            Charlotte’s City Council narrowly voted in favor of hosting next year’s Republican National Convention; the vote was 6-5, on a council where nine of the 11 members are Democrats. One council member – Democrat Larken Egleston – was viewed as casting the deciding vote in favor of the convention coming to Charlotte. Some implied Egleston’s job with a company representing adult beverage brands such as Bacardi USA and Remy Cointreau influenced his vote – Charlotte hosting any event as large as the Republican National Convention would likely boost alcohol sales.

            Egleston, to be fair, denied his vote was marred by a potential conflict of interest, the Charlotte Observer reported.

             Four Democrats, including Egleston, also joined the two Republicans in supporting the GOP’s bid to host its 2020 convention in the Queen City, North Carolina’s largest.

            The Los Angeles Times, however, did report the city’s Democrat mayor would not deliver the convention’s welcome speech. The move by Mayor Vi Lyles broke with tradition.

            Charlotte’s only competition for the 2020 Republican National Convention was Las Vegas, but Sin City didn’t have the backing of the Nevada GOP, according to news reports.


            News reports also indicate Trump fundraiser Louis DeJoy would be appointed as the convention’s finance chair.