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PETER LEE HAMILTON

Founder & Chair

In the summer of 2020, Peter, looking at the lack of grasstops and grassroots organizations for Asian Pacific American conservatives in the United States, founded Young Asian Pacific American Leaders in order to build the bench of APA leaders in politics and business. Peter has been active in Republican and Asian American organizing for the past 5 years, and realized that now was the time to combine those two passions. 


As an Irish-Korean simultaneously 2nd- and 4th-generation American, Peter was raised in the Christian faith, attending both Catholic Mass and non-denominational protestant services growing up. As the son of a veteran, Peter also developed a deep appreciation for the United States military. His mother’s family’s escape from North Korea and emigration to the United States inspired his appreciation and love for the American dream and the opportunities provided by the free-market economy of the United States. Peter is committed to the principles of free-market capitalism and limited government. Growing up in a household that emphasized religion, family values, and responsibility taught him to prioritize self-reliance and pursue excellence, all values encompassed by the Republican Party.


Peter is a first-year law student at the University of Virginia School of Law. He serves on the First- Year Committee of the Federalist Society, is a First-Year Representative for the Emerging Companies and Venture Capital Society, and is a member of the Virginia Law Republicans, Law and Business Society, Asian Pacific American Law Student Association, Rivanna Investments, Jefferson Literary and Debating Society, Lone Star Lawyers, and St. Thomas More Society. 


He graduated from Georgetown University in May 2020 as an Entrepreneurship Fellow, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government and studying journalism. While on the Hilltop, he served as a Senior Class Senator, Vice President of the Korean Student Association, Vice President of the College Republicans, Chief of Staff of the International Relations Club, and was a member of the Philodemic Debate Society and Blue & Gray Tour Guide Society. Professionally, he interned for Congressman John Faso, Matthew Swift of Concordia, and Jean Lee of the Woodrow Wilson Center as a Council of Korean Americans Public Service Intern. He studied abroad at Yonsei University in the Spring of 2019 in the Republic of Korea where he focused on East Asian security policy and competed as a debater for the Yonsei Underwood Union, where he was ranked as the 9th best debater in Korea. While at Georgetown he made First Honors and the Dean’s List several times. 


Peter attended a local public school, called International School (I.S.) in Bellevue, Washington for high school, studying abroad for his freshman year at the International School of Frankfurt in Frankfurt, Germany. At I.S. he served as Junior and Senior Class President, Chairman of the Titan Robotics Club, and Debate Team Captain. He also assisted in the co-founding of the Pacific Model United Nations Conference and served as Director of Political Engagement for the Pacific Northwest Region of the Junior State of America. He attended the American Legion-hosted Boys Nation as a Senator representing the state of Washington in 2015, was the Washington State Congressional Debate Champion that same year, and German Junior National Champion in World Schools Debate in 2013. He was a National Merit Scholar and AP Scholar with Distinction, graduating near the top of his class.


Peter is an avid basketball and squash player, Seahawks fan, and sports movie aficionado. In his free time he enjoys catching up with old friends, reading about American history and political figures, coming up with business ideas, and practicing calisthenics or weightlifting.