Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has tapped Grayce Liu as the interim general manager of the department that oversees the city’s neighborhood council system.

She will replace BongHwan Kim, who stepped down as head of the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment (DONE) earlier this month to accept a new position in San Diego.

“With Grayce Liu at the helm, I am confident that the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment will continue fostering a robust and empowered neighborhood council system that enables meaningful civic participation for all Angelenos,” Villaraigosa said. “Grayce is a capable and qualified liaison who will serve as the voice for improving government responsiveness to our local communities.”

DONE provides oversight for the city’s 95 neighborhood councils and works to make government more responsive to local needs.

Prior to her work for DONE, Liu served as co-chair of the Asian and Pacific Islander Domestic Violence Task Force and community program director for the Center for the Pacific Asian Family. Liu, who began her career as a lawyer, has worked as the senior project coordinator for DONE since November 2007.

Kim stepped down as the longest serving general manager of DONE to become vice president/executive director for civic engagement for the San Diego Foundation.

“Leading the department over the past five years, has been the most challenging, yet inspiring, experience of my professional life,” Kim wrote in a letter to colleagues. “I am proud of what we have been able to accomplish during this time in building a more stable foundation for neighborhood empowerment.”

Liu will be overseeing the administration of the neighborhood council elections, which began Aug. 4 in the Northeast Valley and will run throughout the city until Nov. 15.

Liu holds a juris doctor from Loyola Law School and a bachelor of arts from University of California-Santa Cruz.

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