Michele Kang is an American businesswoman, investor, and philanthropist. Born and raised in South Korea, Kang came to the United States as a student to pursue her American dream. She has spent her career building businesses that challenge the status quo—and leveraging her own successes, she has focused on helping others achieve their own American dreams.
Kang is the founder and CEO of Cognosante. A visionary in the field of health information technology, she founded Cognosante to disrupt the U.S. healthcare system. Under Kang’s leadership, Cognosante has grown rapidly and emerged as a trusted provider of innovative health technology solutions for key Federal health, military and intelligence agencies as well as state health programs.
In 2022, Kang became the first woman of color to own a National Women’s Soccer League team: the 2021 League champions, the Washington Spirit. In addition to building a premier team, she took on this role with a firm commitment to help move the League forward, by ensuring parity in infrastructure, sponsorship, and media as well as diversity among League owners. Kang has become a leading global advocate to create a level playing field between men and women in soccer, starting with equal pay—and she was selected as one of Sports Business Journal’s 2022 Power Players in Women’s Sports.
To build on her transformational work in both health IT and women’s sports, Kang invests in early-stage companies that challenge the conventional wisdom. She established Cognosante Ventures to fuel and mentor digital health companies that will profoundly change the way patients experience healthcare. Kang also supports women-led sports startups including Just Women’s Sports, the leading media platform dedicated exclusively to women’s sports. Kang is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion—and she is focused on expanding opportunity to all by providing meaningful careers to those who are too often excluded from corporate America. Cognosante offers various internship and scholarship programs designed exclusively for HBCU students, first-generation college students, and women in STEM. One of Cognosante’s wholly owned subsidiaries hires Americans with disabilities offering full-time employment with full benefits. As a result of the innovative and inclusive culture Kang has built, Cognosante is a Great Place to Work-Certified Company.
In gratitude for the U.S. soldiers who helped defend her home country during the Korean War, Kang stands with American Veterans. She has been a proud supporter of the National Museum of the Marine Corps and The Chosin Few, which is a member organization of Veterans, spouses, and lineal descendants of one of the bloodiest battles of the Korean War, the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. She also supports organizations that aim to eradicate homelessness among women Veterans and find employment for wounded Veterans and their caretakers.
As a long-time, art-loving philanthropist, she currently serves as a Trustee on the boards of the Washington National Opera and the Norton Museum of Art. She has also served on the Kennedy Center International Committee on the Arts and the Palm Beach Symphony Orchestra.
Kang has been recognized for her philanthropic work and trailblazing entrepreneurship with numerous awards. She is the recipient of the 2023 Horatio Alger Award. In 2022, Junior Achievement of Greater Washington inducted her as a Hall of Fame Laureate. She received the EY Entrepreneur of The Year® for the Washington, DC region and the U.S. Award for Services. Along with U.S. senators, high ranking government officials, and top executives of Fortune 500 companies, Kang was named an inaugural member of 100 Women Leaders in STEM in 2012 and one of the Top 100 CEO Leaders in STEM in 2016.
Kang earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from The University of Chicago and a master’s degree in public and private management from the Yale School of Management.