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Yul  Kwon

Yul Kwon

Winner of Survivor: Cook Islands

Yul Kwon

Winner of Survivor: Cook Islands


Yul Kwon won the hit CBS reality show Survivor: Cook Islands during 2006’s controversial, racially segregated season. On his way to victory, Kwon skillfully led a multi-ethnic team, earned a reputation as one of the show's most strategic and honest players, and smashed stereotypes about Asian American men in the media. 

Most recently, Kwon has hosted PBS’s America Revealed, a four-part documentary series that takes a unique look at what makes America tick—specifically, the industrial operations that dominate a lot of daily life in the United States. Kwon’s other recent activities include working as a special correspondent for CNN, appearing as a regular guest lecturer at the FBI Academy, and speaking at many of the country’s top corporations and universities, including Yahoo, Verizon, AT&T, McKinsey, Goldman Sachs, Dell, Yale, Duke, and Northwestern. He has been active in a number of charitable efforts and has organized a nationwide campaign to increase the number of minority bone marrow donors—a cause he began championing when his best friend died from leukemia in college. 

Kwon obtained his B.S. degree in symbolic systems from Stanford University, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa and received the James Lyons Award for Service. He went on to Yale Law School and served on the editorial board of the Yale Law Journal.  Following graduation, Kwon enjoyed a diverse career straddling both the private and public sectors in law, politics, business, and technology. As an attorney, he clerked on the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals and practiced a mix of litigation, appellate, transactional, and regulatory work at several law firms. As a legislative aide to Senator Joseph Lieberman, he helped draft portions of the Homeland Security Act, authored a landmark bill on nanotechnology, and organized a bipartisan caucus on science and technology. Several years ago, Kwon transitioned into the business sector, first joining McKinsey as a management consultant and then crossing over to Google's business strategy group.

Kwon was recently named in VIBE Magazine's annual "Juice" list of upcoming people who will change the world, People Magazine's Sexiest Man Alive and Hottest Bachelor's issues, and EXTRA TV’s list of Most Eligible Bachelors.  

Speech Topics

Beyond Math Geeks & China Dolls: Overcoming Stereotypes About Asian Americans to Find Success in the Real World

Despite graduating from top schools in increasingly large numbers, Asian Americans often have difficulty rising to the highest levels in business, entertainment, and politics—a phenomenon known as “hitting the bamboo ceiling.” Survivor winner, Stanford and Yale Law graduate, and former McKinsey and Google employee Yul Kwon will talk about how negative stereotypes regarding Asian Americans affected his childhood and career, and why he decided to go onto a reality show to try to change these stereotypes. He will then give advice on how Asian American students today can prepare themselves to thrive beyond the classroom and overcome the bamboo ceiling.