Kurnia graduated with an architecture degree from the Institute of Technology Bandung (ITB) . He graduated in 1995 and worked at PT. Pembangunan Jaya Ancol in Jakarta. A great opportunity opened for his career when he joined Development Design Group Inc. (DDG), an architectural firm in Baltimore, USA. With his wife, Betty Simarmata, and two sons, Mesakh and Sadrakh Hutapea, they moved to Baltimore in 2004.
He grew up in the city of Medan with his parents, father Sahat M.P. Hutapea, and mother Taruli D. Banjarnahor. Growing up in Medan made him love North Sumatra culture, and his parents influenced him to embrace Batak culture and ceremonial activities. During Kurnia’s time at ITB, he showed his love for his culture by joining the North Sumatra Arts Group (UKSU). While living and working in Jakarta, Kurnia was active in Batak culture and ceremonies through fellowship with other Hutapeas and Simarmatas. In America, Kurnia associated with fellow Bataks in the Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia area in a Bataknese group called Parsadaan Bangso Batak (PBB). Kurnia was then elected to be the President of PBB for two terms, from 2012-2016. During his presidency, PBB provided activities to showcase Batak culture through music, dance, fashion show and video presentations.This presentation was called The Treasure of Batak (TTOB) and took place in 2013 at the Indonesian Embassy, in Washington DC.
He has two dreams. First, for the beauty of Batak and North Sumatra culture to spread beyond its original area, to be enjoyed by every nation and to enrich the world’s culture. He believes Batak culture will bring a positive impact for people. Second, for the culture to be passed down from generation to generation. He believes those who know their identity possess a self-belief that can help them fulfill a unique role for those that surround them. Saroha is one way for Kurnia to accomplish his dream.