Mayor Steven S. Choi, Ph.D., was elected in 2012, after having served eight years on the Irvine City Council. Previously, he served as a Trustee of the Irvine Unified School District from 1998 to 2004.
Mayor Choi's vision for the City is to maintain and improve the quality of life for its citizens by assuring responsible growth, effectively managing traffic, keeping Irvine one of America's safest cities, and providing quality education for our children, while building the Great Park and ensuring the City's fiscal stability and economic growth. He is dedicated to supporting programs for children and senior citizens.
Mayor Choi is committed to his goal of building a new Metropolitan Library at the Great Park. He is also leading the effort for Irvine to become the 21st century’s “Tech Valley”. In advancing these goals, he works closely with Irvine’s education and business leaders through the Mayor’s Forum on Education and the Mayor’s Advisory Council on Business.
Mayor Choi values Irvine's cultural and ethnic diversity and harmony as much as he values its other wonderful assets, such as its aesthetic beauty, high standard of living, and high intellectual standards. He is eager to hear the voices of Irvine's residents and periodically highlights City news via his e-Newsletter.
Mayor Choi earned his Ph.D. in Library and Information Science at the University of Pittsburgh, his Master's degree in Library Science from Louisiana State University, and his BA degree from Kyung Hee University in Seoul, Korea.
After coming to the United States from Korea as a Peace Corps language instructor for the State Department in August 1968, he continued his post-graduate education and resumed his teaching career, primarily in higher education. Mayor Choi has taught at several universities and colleges including USC, UCI, California State University, Los Angeles, Henderson State University in Arkansas, Saddleback College and most recently, Coastline Community College. He and his wife, Janie, have operated Kumon Math and Reading Centers in Irvine since 1990.
Mayor Choi serves as Irvine’s representative to the National League of Cities, the Southern California Association of Governments Regional Council, the Orange County League of Cities, the City of Irvine/IUSD Liaison Committee, the Orange County Sanitation District, the Library Advisory Board of the Orange County Library System, the Community Energy Partnership, the Orange County City Selection Committee, the Orange County Council of Governments and on the Orange County Great Park Board of Directors.
Previously, he served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Orange County Fire Authority, the Newport Bay Watershed Executive Committee, the Orange County Vector Control Board, and the Orange County Housing Authority Advisory Committee. In the community, Mayor Choi is a member of the Concordia University President's Advisory Council and the Crime Survivors, Inc. Advisory Council. He attends Mariners Church and Bethel Church.
Mayor Choi and Janie have lived in Irvine since 1993. Their two children, Daniel and Michelle, attended Eastshore Elementary, Lakeside Middle, Rancho Middle and University High Schools. Daniel is now a physician at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, while Michelle is an attorney who practices business law here in Irvine.