Chief of Staff Susan Kang Schroeder was born in Seoul, Korea. She moved to the United States two weeks before turning 10 years old and has always called Orange County home, apart from brief stints in Los Angeles and San Diego while attending school. She is fluent in Korean - reading, writing and speaking.
Schroeder graduated with honors from the University of Southern California (USC), where she received her bachelor of arts degree in journalism and political science. She attended USC on multiple scholarships including Gilmore Citation, SCions, Orange County Alumni Association, and General Alumni. While at USC, her journalism experiences included The Daily Trojan and KSCR Radio. Before and during her attendance at USC, she worked on several political campaigns and served as an intern for President Ronald Reagan in Century City.
Schroeder attended the University of San Diego, School of Law on scholarship. During law school, she clerked three times for the San Diego District Attorney’s Office and the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office, where she won her first jury trial. After law school and before being admitted to the California State Bar, Schroeder worked as Deputy Communications Director for the California Republican Party. Her first client after law school was Congressman Mike Huffington and the Fair Elections Foundation, partnering with Patton Boggs LLP to investigate voter fraud.
Between 1995 and 1999, she served as Deputy City Attorney for the City of Anaheim and conducted over 40 jury trials before coming to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office (OCDA).
In July 1999, she joined the OCDA, where she served stints in the Juvenile, Central, and Harbor Municipal Division. Schroeder was out on a personal leave in 2002 serving as the District Attorney’s campaign manager when 6-year-old Samantha Runnion was brutally kidnapped, sexually assaulted and murdered. Schroeder was called back to the office and began developing the Public Affairs Unit (PAU).
The PAU serves the community by providing media and the public with critical and accurate information regarding public safety, significant cases, and the criminal justice system. The unit aids the OCDA in investigations and trial preparations, developing policies, providing analysis, and formulating strategies.
In 2010, District Attorney Tony Rackauckas promoted her as the Chief of Staff. Schroeder’s duties now include providing legal and policy advice to the District Attorney and working with OC GRIP and with the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force. Her duties include representing the District Attorney and the OCDA at public and private events, providing the District Attorney with advice and strategies to advocate for legislative reform and high-profile, sensitive cases in the OCDA, and recommending and advising the District Attorney in personnel and staffing issues.
In 2013, she founded and continues to co-supervise the Human Exploitation and Trafficking Unit (H.E.A.T.), which targets perpetrators who sexually exploit and traffic women and underage girls for financial gain, including pimps, panderers, and human traffickers. She is the OCDA's representative to the California District Attorney Association's Human Trafficking Committee.