David Kim isn’t the only state dinner guest we correctly predicted last week. We also reasoned that actor John Cho — the Seoul-born Korean-American star of the “Harold and Kumar” movies might have a shot of getting invited, what with his connection to co-star/former White House staffer Kal Penn. . . and we were correct. (**Updated, 11 p.m.: State dinner fashion: What guests wore to the White House **)
Just one of the interesting names to show up on the guest list for the South Korea state dinner. Also in the house tonight: David Chang, the D.C.-raised celebrity chef behind NYC’s Momofuku. And Chang-Rae Lee, the novelist and Princeton professor who has scooped up so many literary prizes. Dr. Peter Rhee, one of the trauma surgeons who operated on Gabrielle Giffords after she was shot. And Mark Keam, a Seoul-born Virginia state delegate from Vienna. Not surprisingly, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.
Also, Julián Castro, the 37-year-old mayor of San Antonio is in attendance. Sloan Gibson, the president of the USO. In case you’re wondering, that’s Christina Kim the L.A. fashion designer on the list, not the golfer by the same name. But professional sports is represented nonethless with tennis champ Billie Jean King.
Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook is a guest. Alan Mulally, the president and CEO of Ford. And Robert Gallucci, the former dean of Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service made the list — he’s currently president of the MacArthur Foundation. Also, CNN’s Candy Crowley, escorted by her producer Mike Roselli; and CBS anchor Scott Pelley and his wife Jane.
There’s the usual cohort of official Washington types: John Kerry, Orrin Hatch, Nancy Pelosi, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Valerie Jarrett, Susan Rice, Tom Vilsack, Tim Geithner, Ron Kirk, Jim Leach.
But who gets to sit with the president? We obtained the seating arrangements for the head table. Below, a rough schematic of how the Obamas have seated 18 of their guests with them around a long rectangular table.
Erica Lira Castro Gabriel Catone
Robert King Kathlene King
Madam Kim Mayor Julian Castro
President Obama Ban Ki-Moon
President Lee Nancy Pelosi
Mrs. Obama Bruce Cohen
Alan Mullaly Emily Rhee
Mrs. Ban John Cho
Paul Pelosi Peter Rhee
Bob King is the president of United Auto Workers; Kathene is his daughter. Bruce Cohen is the Oscar-winning producer of “American Beauty” and “Milk,” who recently collaborated with the first lady on a star-studded PSA to support military families; Gabriel Catone is Cohen’s husband. June Jay Cho is the guest of John Cho; we don’t know their relation, but a tweet from the actor this afternoon suggests that’s his dad.
South Korea state dinner guest list, 6:29 p.m.
State dinner menu, entertainment, 5:40 p.m.