Image - James Rhee and Yul Kwon
San Francisco

James Rhee and Yul Kwon: Reimagining Leadership and the Social Compact

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Join Commonwealth Club World Affairs and Council for Korean Americans for an inspirational and thought-provoking fireside conversation with James Rhee, the acclaimed CEO, investor and national bestselling author of red helicopter – a parable for our times. Rhee is one of the top thought leaders and innovators in leadership, change, and entrepreneurship—his TED Talk and interview with Brené Brown about his shocking and transformative tenure as the CEO of Ashley Stewart, a business with deep roots in the African American community, have captured the imagination of millions.

Rhee is changing hearts and minds about the role of kindness and math in our society, including the workplace. For his efforts, he earned an unprecedented appointment at Howard University, where he serves as the Johnson Chair of Entrepreneurship. Rhee also holds appointments at MIT Sloan School of Management and Duke Law School. He was elected to serve in the inaugural class of Ashoka E-to-E Fellows and was recently honored as the recipient of 2023 Council of Korean Americans Trailblazer. He continues to serve on the boards of Xponance and JP Morgan Chase Advancing Black Pathways.

In conversation with Yul Kwon, CKA board member and vice president of product management at Google, Rhee will discuss the themes and predictions underlying his book, which made its debut as USA Today’s #7 overall book across all formats and channels. He will also discuss red helicopter’s rapid global expansion (the Korean translation will be finished later this year) and the adaptation of the operating system into music, curricula, and film.

Please join us as we celebrate community and Korean American identity. Copies of the book will be available to purchase during registration and at the event.


This is an in-person only program. 

Commonwealth Club World Affairs is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public forum; we welcome donations made during registration to support the production of our online programming.

This program is presented in partnership with the Council of Korean Americans.

Speaker photo courtesy the speaker.

All ticket sales are final and nonrefundable.

Thu, Jun 20 / 6:30 PM PDT

The Commonwealth Club of California
110 The Embarcadero
Taube Family Auditorium
San Francisco, CA 94105
United States

Image - James Rhee

James Rhee

Owner and Author, red helicopter―a parable for our times

Image - Yul Kwon

Yul Kwon

Vice President, Google; Winner, "Survivor"—Moderator


5–6:30 p.m. doors open, check-in and rooftop networking reception
6:30–7:30 p.m. fireside chat
7:30 p.m. book signing
(all times Pacific Time)


$15 members
$25 nonmembers
$45 members with a book
$55 nonmembers with a book
Free for students (with valid I.D.)