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“I wouldn’t have been able to attend MIT without [financial aid],” says Melissa Ko Hahn, who recently made a major gift to provide unrestricted support to the Institute.

“I benefited tremendously from my education and from the financial generosity of the institution. Needless to say, it’s incredibly rewarding to give back. I know how precious unrestricted gifts are. I felt MIT would do a better job of deploying the capital.”

Ko Hahn was born in Seoul, Korea, and moved to the United States at age 13. She excelled in math in high school and earned an MIT degree in chemical engineering in 1990. After a stint as an information technology consultant at Price Waterhouse, in 1994 she earned an MBA from the Wharton School, where, she says, “I discovered my love of finance.”

After working at Citibank on the emerging-markets currency trading desk, she accepted a senior position at Bankers Trust in 1998, leading the Latin American currency desk. Soon that institution was acquired by Deutsche Bank, where she led a proprietary currency trading effort until 2001. Then she joined hedge fund Blue Border Partners as a junior partner. Two years later, she joined Bear Stearns, where she founded a hedge fund that now has become Covepoint Capital Advisors.

In 2002, she married Doug Hahn, who earned a degree in public policy from the University of Chicago and an MBA from New York University. He now publishes a New York lifestyle magazine. They have two children and enjoy traveling around the world.

“A big part of what I do is figuring out how the different pieces of the economic puzzle fit together, and that definitely relates to the problem-solving and analytical skills that I learned at MIT,” Ko Hahn says. “My MIT education in many ways made my achievements possible. MIT has always had a special place in my heart.”

For giving information, contact Stuart Krantz:
617-253-5905; skrantz@mit.edu.
Or visit giving.mit.edu.

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Credit: Susan Farley

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