John Choi

At the age of three, John Choi immigrated to Saint Paul from South Korea along with his parents. John and his family began their American experience in low income housing at Skyline Towers. For the next thirty years, John’s father worked two jobs: as a Teamster employee at Coca-Cola in Eagan and as a local branch journalist for the Korea Central Daily Newspaper; while his mother worked as an IBEW employee for Sperry Univac and then later as a registered nurse.

John earned his bachelor’s degree from Marquette University, his law degree from Hamline University School of Law, and was a Humphrey Fellow at the University of Minnesota.

Currently in his second term as Ramsey County Attorney, John was first sworn in on January 3, 2011. 

Prior to this role, John served from 2006-2010 as the Saint Paul City Attorney where he led a public law agency and prosecution office of 70 employees with an $8 million budget. Among his many accomplishments as City Attorney, John prudently managed the City’s tort liability budget, resulting in record lows for payouts and judgments in 2007, 2008 and 2009. In addition, John initiated a data-driven approach to manage resources and evaluate outcomes in his office and developed a strong working relationship with his employees.

During his tenure as Saint Paul City Attorney, John was the 2009 recipient of the Joseph Mulligan Award, which is given to the top city attorney in North America for public leadership.  He was also the 2009 recipient of the Saint Paul Jaycees' Warren B. Hart Award for Public Leadership and the Dispute Resolution Center's Kay Pranis Award for Leadership in Restorative Justice.

Prior to his appointment as City Attorney, John was a partner at Kennedy & Graven, a law firm specializing in local government law. In private practice, John focused on government relations, administrative law, municipal law and civil litigation, rising to the level of partner within six years of graduating from law school. He also served on the firm's Executive Committee. Designated a “Super Lawyer” by Minnesota Law and Politics, John serves on the board of the Ramsey County Bar Association. 

In his spare time, John serves our community as a volunteer board member of several Saint Paul non-profits including: the Women's Foundation of Minnesota, the Northern Star Council of the Boy Scouts, and Saint Paul Rotary Club number 10. John enjoys cooking, reading the newspaper cover-to-cover, following the Minnesota Twins, and spending time with his family.

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