Gil Asakawa's Nikkei View | “Survivor: Cook Islands” winner Yul Kwon is up next on
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“Survivor: Cook Islands” winner Yul Kwon is up next on

Yul Kwon is the first Asian American to win one of the seasons of "Survivor." He won the "Cook Islands" season in 2006.The second interview lined up for‘s AAPI Empowerment Series is with Korean American attorney-turned-TV celebrity Yul Kwon. The interview will be held Tuesday, June 9 at 6 pm PDT (9 pm EDT).

Erin and I were fortunate to see Yul speak during last year’s Democratic National Convention in Denver, and more recently during Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month at an event in Denver. He’s a great role model because of his accomplishments, and because he’s on a mission to dispel myths and stereotypes about Asian American Pacific Islanders, and to urge AAPIs to enter the political process.

Kwon has a diverse background in law, politics, technology, business, and media — except for his exceptional “Survivor” victory, he’s almost a model for the “model minority” myth!

He received his B.S. in theoretical computer science from Stanford University and his J.D. from Yale Law School. He clerked on the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, practiced law at two firms, served as a legislative aide to a U.S. Senator, worked as a management consultant for McKinsey & Company, and joined Google’s business operations and strategy group.

Kwon won the “Survivor” prize in 2006, and gave part of his $1 million prize to charities, including a bone marrow drive for Asian Americans (his college roommate died of Leukemia, and he may have been saved if there were more AAPI marrow donors). He also co-founded the Asian Political Leadership Fund.

His recent activities include working as a guest lecturer for the FBI Academy, a host for the Discovery Channel, and a special correspondent for CNN.

He is also the Northern California franchisee for Red Mango frozen yogurt, one of the fastest-growing retail brands in the country.

Kwon’s active in a wide range of charitable efforts and has been profiled in VIBE Magazine’s annual “Juice” issue of people with power and People Magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive” issue.

We’re pretty thrilled to get the chance to talk to Kwon and learn what drives him to excel!

Here’s an interview with Kwon on the CBS “Early Show” by Julie Chen:

(Note for the curious: Our interview with author and social activist Phoebe Eng, which had been scheduled for Tuesday June 2, has been postponed. Stay tuned for the new date!)

Here’s how works: First, you need to register for the AAPI Empowerment Series. The interviews are conducted live over a teleconference line, so you can call in to listen (long distance charges may apply), or tune in via live streaming webcast (FREE). You’ll receive the dial-in and webcast page information when you sign up. If you can’t make the call or have to miss the call, no worries — register anyway and you can listen to the recording later!