Yul Kwon Joins FCC

yul-kwon

Yul Kwon, the first Asian American to win Survivor (who used his notoriety from his victory to champion Asian American causes in the media), announced by email today that he recently joined the FCC as Deputy Chief of the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau.

Here’s the press release:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                 
October 21, 2009                                                                                

FCC CHAIRMAN JULIUS GENACHOWSKI ANNOUNCES SENIOR STAFF IN INTERNATIONAL AND CONSUMER AND GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS BUREAUS 

Washington, DC — Today, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski announced the appointment of Mindel De La Torre as Chief of the International Bureau and Yul Kwon as Deputy Chief of the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau. 

“The FCC has an important role to play in empowering and protecting consumers and ensuring that they have access to world-leading communications networks and technologies,” said Chairman Genachowski. “These talented individuals have vast public and private sector experience in communications policy and I am delighted to have their expertise at the agency.”

 Chief, International Bureau, Mindel De La Torre. Since 1998, Ms. De La Torre has been the president of the consulting firm Telecommunications Management Group, Inc. (TMG).  Prior to joining TMG, Ms. De La Torre was the deputy chief of the Telecommunications Division at the International Bureau, which she joined in December 1994.  Ms. De La Torre also worked at the Department of Commerce — for over four years at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and for three years in the General Counsel’s office.  She has been a member of various U.S. delegations to International Telecommunication Union conferences, such as World Radiocommunication Conferences, World Telecommunication Development Conferences, and Plenipotentiary Conferences. Ms. De La Torre has a B.A. from Vanderbilt University and a J.D. from the University of Texas.  Having lived overseas most of her life, she speaks fluent Portuguese, French, and Spanish, and is proficient in Italian.

 Deputy Chief, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Yul Kwon. Mr. Kwon’s diverse career spans across law, technology, business, and media. His government experience includes lecturing at the FBI Academy, drafting science and technology legislation as an aide to Senator Joseph Lieberman, and clerking for Judge Barrington D. Parker on the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals. In the business and technology sector, Mr. Kwon has held positions at McKinsey & Company, Google, and the Trium Group. He also practiced law as an attorney at Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis and at Venture Law Group. In 2006, Mr. Kwon became the first Asian American to win the CBS reality show, Survivor. His subsequent media activities include working as a special correspondent for CNN and as a co-host for the Discovery Channel. Mr. Kwon obtained his B.S. degree in Symbolic Systems from Stanford University and his J.D. from Yale Law School, where he served on the editorial board of the Yale Law Journal. 

 –FCC–

 News and other information about the FCC is available at www.fcc.gov

It’s good to see Yul getting back into public service! He has been an amazing advocate for the Asian American community, and I always appreciate his intelligent and insightful perspectives on Asian Americans and the media. Yul was also a big proponent of improving Asian American voter outreach and political participation during the ’08 election, a commitment which was of tremendous importance during that (and any) election.

If my archives hadn’t been deleted, I’d include a link to my interview with Yul here. Stupid blog restart.

In his email announcing his new position, Yul muses on the irony of joining the FCC, which has, at times “imposed fines for the kind of wardrobe malfunctions that seem to be an ever-present risk on the TV show that propelled [him] to public recognition in the first place.” Could this be a not-so-veiled reference to Yul’s own apparent love/hate relationship with clothing on his season of Survivor? The image included in this post is one of the few I could find on Google Image of Yul where he’s got a shirt on: most of the other ones on the Internet would be enough to make any FCC Deputy Chief blush.

Shirtlessness aside: congratulations, Yul! I’m sure your thoughtful perspectives and history of great advocacy work will ensure incredible success at the FCC!

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