Philip Yun

Co-President & Co-CEO
Commonwealth Club World Affairs of California
NCNK Advisory Committee



Philip W. Yun’s career has spanned the private and public sectors for the past 40 years, with experience in security affairs, foreign policy, diplomacy, international development, law, business, politics, and philanthropy. He is currently Co-President and Co-CEO of Commonwealth Club World Affairs of California (CCWA), a leading nonpartisan public forum based in San Francisco.

CCWA is the product of a merger between the World Affairs Council of Northern California, founded in 1947, and The Commonwealth Club of California, established in 1903. Combined, both organizations have been an integral part of the Bay Area’s civic life for over 200 years. CCWA continues to provide a local, regional, and national platform for newsmakers, changemakers, and leaders to discuss and advocate for local and global solutions facing our world while advancing diverse ideas and viewpoints. Its platform includes weekly radio programs and podcasts that are carried by almost 300 radio stations throughout the U.S.

Mr. Yun transitioned to his current position on November 1, 2023, following four years as President and CEO of World Affairs. Previously, Mr. Yun was the Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of Ploughshares Fund. Before joining Ploughshares Fund, he was a vice president at The Asia Foundation (2005-2011), a Pantech Scholar in Korean Studies at the Shorenstein Asia Pacific Research Center at Stanford University (2004-2005), and a vice president at the private equity firm of H&Q Asia Pacific (2001-2004).

Mr. Yun was a presidential appointee at the U.S. Department of State (1994-2001), serving as Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs. During this time, he also worked as a senior advisor to two U.S. Coordinators for North Korea Policy: former Secretary of Defense William J. Perry; and then former Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman. Mr. Yun was a member of a government working group that managed U.S. policy and negotiations with North Korea under President Clinton and was part of the U.S. delegation that traveled to North Korea with Secretary of State Madeline Albright in October 2000.

Prior to government service, Mr. Yun practiced law at the firms of Pillsbury Madison & Sutro in San Francisco and Garvey Schubert & Barer in Seattle. He was also a foreign legal consultant at the firm of Shin & Kim in Seoul, Korea.

Mr. Yun’s writings and commentary have appeared on CNN, The Hill, Foreign, AP TV, Fox News, NPR, NBC, U.S. News and World Report, and the Los Angeles Times, among others. He is the co-editor of a book entitled “North Korea and Beyond” (2006).

Mr. Yun attended Brown University (magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa) and the Columbia University School of Law. He was a Fulbright Scholar to Korea. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and an emeritus member of the Board of Governors for Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies.