The KASWEA was initially formed as a network group of Korean American social work educators who attended at the CSWE Annual Program Meetings around 1980.
Then the most senior Korean professor and acting dean of West Virginia University School of Social Work, Dr. Sung Lai Boo was asked to serve as the first presidency for the group. There were only less than ten Korean social work full-time faculty members in the United Sates including Dr. Sung Lai Boo of University of West Virginia, Dr. Dong Soo Kim and Dr. Sookja Baik of Norfolk University, VA, Dr. Phil Jay Cho of North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC, Dr. Daniel B. Lee of Loyola University Chicago, Dr. Paul K. H. Kim of University of Kentucky, Dr. Edward Suh of University of South Florida, and few others who were not identified.
The second presidency was taken up by Dr. Dong Soo Kim around 1990 for his two-year term. When Dr. Daniel B. Lee took the third presidency (1992-1996), the KASWEA became more established with the adoption of its by-laws, the publication of newsletters, and other scholarly exchange activities, the Association was more formally recognized by the CSWE as a standing Asian Caucus Group. The membership grew from less than ten to more than twenty. During his terms, the Association made intentional efforts aiming at: (1) the promotion of scholarly exchange between Korea and the U. S.; (2) the provision of mentorship for the ethnic Korean social work students in advanced degree programs; and (3) the collaboration with social work practitioners in addressing the needs of Korean immigrant communities.
The annual business meetings of the Association have been held at the CSWE APM. The succeeding presidents include: Dr. Phil Jay Cho, the 4th president (1997-1998), Dr. Daniel Lee, the 5th president (1999-2001), Dr. Young Song of California State University at Hayward, the 6th president (2001-2002), Dr. Ailee Moon of UCLA, the 7th president (2002-2005); Dr. Dong Pil Yoon of University of Missouri at Columbia, the 8th president (2005-2007), Dr. Kui-Hee Song of California State University at Chico, 9th president (2007-2009), Dr. Sung Seek Moon of University of Texas at Arlington, 10th president (2009-2011), and Dr. Kyoung Hag Lee of Wichita State University, the current 11th and 12th president (2011-2015), Dr. Mingun Lee of Ohio University, 13th president (2015-2017), and Dr. Soonhee Roh of University of South Dakota, the current 14th president (2017-present).
There are now more than 80 Korean Social Work Educators and approximately 200 doctoral students of Korean ancestry in major Social Work Advanced Programs in the United State.