Robert Eric Wone, was general counsel for Radio Free Asia, President-Elect of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association-DC, and general counsel to the Organization of Chinese Americans. He was born in New York City in 1974 to William and Aimee Won, the first of two sons. He was fourth-generation Chinese American, with family members living in Chinatown and neighboring areas. He attended a private, all-boys’ Catholic school, Xaverian High, in Brooklyn. During high school, the Organization of Chinese Americans-Long Island chapter printed an essay that he had written about being Asian American. That chapter also supported his participation in the Presidential Classroom program in Washington, D.C.
Wone attended the College of William and Mary as a Monroe Scholar and majored in Public Policy. He became active in student government, through which he met Joseph Price. Wone was also active in reviving the 13 Club, whose members went around campus doing anonymous good deeds, and was elected to the Omicron Delta Kappa, Mortar Board, and Golden Key honor societies. At his graduation in 1996, he received the college’s Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award, presented to a student excelling in “characteristics of heart, mind and helpfulness to others.”
At the University of Pennsylvania law school, he was active in the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association and published a law review article about racial harassment in the workplace. He received a NLF scholarship and was also senior editor of the law school’s journal on labor and employment law. After graduating cum laude in 1999, he passed the New York state bar and clerked for a year for Raymond A. Jackson, a federal judge in the Eastern District of Virgina.
Wone joined Covington & Burling in Washington, D.C. in 2000, as an associate focusing on employment law and commercial real estate. In 2002, he met his wife, Katherine Ellen Yu, the daughter of Jing Ja Yu and Myoung Joon Yu of Vernon Hills, Illinois, an attorney, at a conference in Philadelphia. After many weekend flights to Chicago, Wone proposed and the two were married the following year, in June 2003, with Judge Jackson officiating. In 2003, Wone was the lead associate attorney handling a lease at 1601 K Street, NW, named as one of three finalists for “Best Office Lease” by the Washington Business Journal. Wone also advised the Museum of Chinese in the Americas in its lease of new museum space in lower Manhattan.
Wone was active in various community organizations and too many activities to list. He served as a boardmember of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association Educational Fund, chair of the William and Mary Washington Council, member of the Virginia Governor’s Commission on Community and National Service and American Bar Association public education committee, and treasurer of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association-D.C (APABA-DC). He was in charge of organizing a judicial clerkship program for APABA, mentored law school students, and helped to draft the OCA’s personnel manual. He and his wife were members of Grace Community Church in Arlington, Virginia. Less than two weeks after his death, he was to have been ushered in as President at the APABA-DC installation dinner.
This bio is compiled from a Judy Tseng article on ModelMinority.com at