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Vivian Liao Korich
Principal

Vivian Liao Korich is Co-Founder and Principal of Totem, overseeing day-to-day operations, branding and narrative strategy, and project management. With a professional background spanning the fields of communications, economic development, and public affairs, she served as Chief of Staff and Managing Director of Programs + Partnerships at the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership from 2012 to 2016. In her nearly five-year tenure, she developed and implemented the narrative strategy positioning Downtown Brooklyn as one of the most vibrant downtowns in the nation, supported by the organization’s Webby award-winning website and year-round programming, including signature entrepreneurship events like the Make It in Brooklyn pitch contests. She also worked with local communities and organizations to forge innovative partnerships like the Brooklyn Education Innovation Network (BE.IN), a first-of-its-kind academic consortium that aimed to strengthen the talent pipeline between higher education and industry. 

Vivian previously worked at global public relations firm Edelman, managing a diverse roster of nonprofit, academic, and corporate clients. From 2008 to 2010, Vivian was Vice President at the New York City Economic Development Corporation, where her chief responsibilities included implementation of a strategic communications plan to advance the Bloomberg Administration’s agenda to diversify and strengthen the City’s economy. She also worked several years as a journalist at NY1 News, where she helped produce the top-rated political broadcast Inside City Hall.

Vivian holds a B.A. from the University of Puget Sound, where she graduated the top student in the Business Administration department, but she considers herself a storyteller at heart. While obtaining an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Colorado, she taught undergraduate courses, worked part-time as a criminal defense investigator, and wrote a historical novel based on the life of her grandfather, a chef who worked for notable figures in China, Taiwan, Iran, and the American Southwest. She serves on the board of the Brooklyn Community Foundation and lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two daughters.