Fellows Network in San Francisco
The Network of Korean-American Leaders (NetKAL) Fellowship Program, which promotes community leadership among successful second-generation Korean-Americans, heads north this year. The program, now in its sixth year, will host weekend leadership retreats in San Francisco for its new class of 26 distinguished fellows selected for their professional success and desire to connect with other motivated individuals from different backgrounds.
A program of the Center for Asian-Pacific Leadership at the USC School of Social Work, NetKAL is the first-of-its-kind educational forum for up and coming second-generation Korean-Americans to gain a solid foundation in today’s most progressive leadership practices and values and examine the multi-faceted role of a Korean-American leader.
“From our program development experience, we have seen the power of networking of exceptionally talented second-generation Korean-Americans who truly shape the community through their leadership,” said Jehoon Lee, director of the Center for Asian-Pacific Leadership. “The growing group of NetKAL fellows and supporters creates an action-oriented network around the nation.”
Since its inception, NetKAL has attracted young professionals from the entertainment, business, finance and political sectors to create a leadership network in Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C. Lee said organizers reached out to the Bay Area for the first time because of its close proximity to the technology and venture firms in Silicon Valley.
“The fact that young Korean-American professionals in various industries and backgrounds want to voluntarily gather to learn, connect and give back to the community is absolutely empowering,” said fellow Sarah Yun, director of public affairs and regional issues at the Korea Economic Institute. “NetKAL exists to create empowered Korean-Americans, not for selfish reasons but for the advancement of the community at large.”
Held one weekend a month, the six professionally facilitated workshops feature prominent guest speakers, peer discussions and networking with thought leaders in the Korean-American community to foster the growth of emerging leaders who value and support public service within their communities. Designed to blend theoretical understanding and practical skills with real-life impact, the program concludes with a community-oriented team project.
“NetKAL was appealing to me because of its incredible network of smart, successful Korean-American visionaries,” said fellow Ju Park, the managing partner and co-founder of international corporate law firm Parsus LLP. “Getting to know these similarly civic-minded visionaries on a deeper level through the NetKAL fellowship program has been both educational and inspirational, and by far one of the most humbling experiences in my profession as an attorney.”
Notable NetKAL guests in past years have included the Hon. Ronald Moon, chief justice of Hawaii State Supreme Court; Bill Hwang, CEO, Tiger Asia Management; Peter Kang, senior vice president, 20th Century Fox; Evans Revere, president of The Korea Society; Jong Kul Lee, National Assemblyman, Republic of Korea; Moonsoo Pyo, CEO, SK Telecom; and Sebastian Sung, MIT neuroscientist.
- Master of Social Work