The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers announced the appointment of Clara Kim as the music performing rights organization’s executive VP and general counsel. She succeeds Elizabeth Matthews, who was named CEO in January.

In her new position, effective June 1, Kim will oversee all legal and business affairs, managing ASCAP’s legislative team, internal and outside legal services in all areas of ASCAP’s global operations.

In a statement, Matthews said Kim’s “expertise across the global media landscape and her knowledge of complex business transactions in the development, distribution and content areas are a perfect match for ASCAP as we evolve to offer best-in-class new services to our diverse constituents, including members and licensing partners.”

It’s a key position for the worldwide organization, since one of its primary responsibilities is collecting royalties for its 530,000 members and ensuring fair compensation for the public performance of their works — not an easy proposition in the Internet age, when so much music is streamed for free or shared on the Web.

For her part, Kim — who is relocating to New York from Washington D.C. to work for ASCAP — stated that she’s “eager for the opportunity to use my knowledge and experience to help songwriters, composers and music publishers succeed in maximizing their opportunities in this rapidly evolving media landscape.”

Prior to joining ASCAP, Kim served as EVP, business and legal affairs for National Geographic Channels. Other previous positions included general counsel and co-founder of Multi-Verse Media, LLC; executive VP, global business and legal affairs for Discovery Communications; and as general counsel and in senior legal posts at Viacom Inc.’s Spike TV, Nickelodeon, MTV Networks International and Showtime Networks.