Chief Executive Officer

The Board of Directors of the U.S.-Japan Council (USJC) has opened a search for a Chief Executive Officer for the Council. USJC develops and connects global leaders to create a stronger U.S.-Japan relationship. It is an organization whose members believe people-to-people relationships are a powerful way to bring together leaders in the U.S. and Japan to address and create solutions to mutual concerns. The Council is a 501(c)3 nonprofit educational organization that was founded in 2008 and is headquartered in Washington, DC, with staff in California, Hawaii and Tokyo. In 2012, the U.S.-Japan Council (Japan) was created to support the administration of the TOMODACHI Initiative, and in 2013, it became a Public Interest Corporation (koeki zaidan hojin). The U.S.-Japan Council (Japan) maintains an office in Tokyo, Japan.


The U.S.-Japan Council has experienced exceptional growth and development over the past ten years and seeks an experienced CEO who will lead the organization to grow the scale and scope of the organization’s strategic plan, including an Endowment campaign and new Leadership Initiative, over the next decade. It is expected that the individual will spend considerable time in Washington, DC, and will work across the enterprise with staff in Washington, DC, Tokyo and in regional areas including California and Hawaii. Extensive domestic and international travel will be required.

The CEO will report to the Board of Directors and will work closely with the Executive Management team, including the Chief Operating Officer, Executive Vice President and key directors of USJC, to ensure implementation of a strategy encompassing fundraising and extensive networking; initiatives both in the U.S. and Japan; partnership development with government, business and non-government partners at the international, national and regional levels; and in the expansion and development of cross-cultural leadership development and educational programs between the U.S. and Japan. 

Compensation will be commensurate with experience and qualifications.


  • Experience in U.S.-Japan relations, with a minimum of 10 years serving in a leadership position within the U.S.-Japan realm.
  • Experience working with senior leaders in Japan and the U.S. The Council has established strong ties with leaders in government, business and civil society in the U.S. and Japan. Ideally, the candidate is recognizable and respected by key government, business and civil society leaders.
  • Given the legacy of USJC and its strong foundation of Japanese American leaders, the successful candidate should have experience working with Japanese American leaders and communities as well as working with Japanese in the U.S., e.g., government, business and media.
  • Demonstrated ability to facilitate partnerships with and fundraise from various stakeholders, including the government and corporate sectors, foundations and individuals.
  • Demonstrated public-speaking and interpersonal communication skills that would make the candidate an effective spokesperson for the organization in Japan and the U.S. The successful candidate is fluent in English and preferably also in Japanese.
  • Demonstrated leadership skills with a track record of impact and ability to “get the job done.” Past work should reflect accomplishments and contributions to U.S.-Japan relations.
  • Ability to work with a wide variety of stakeholders, including donors, board members, USJC staff and Council members; can bring consensus and move work forward.
  • Ability to work with a management team to build effective teams. Can attract talent, and inspire and retain a strong staff; can build a working culture of collaboration, diversity and action-orientation; and can support the development of employees for future leadership roles.
  • Ability to think and act strategically in overseeing the organization to ensure progress towards goals.


  • Board Governance: Works with the Board of Directors to fulfill the organization’s mission.
    • Communicates effectively with the Board, providing, in a timely and accurate manner, all information necessary for the Board to make informed decisions.
    • Engages the Board in fundraising and USJC’s public visibility.
    • Performs other duties as assigned by the Board of Directors.
  • Profile and Fundraising: Builds USJC’s financial resources by cultivating close relationships with existing supporters and building relationships with new funders. 
    • Represents USJC externally to existing and new audiences through public speaking, hosting and attending public events, and networking.
    • Maintains and builds relationships with key stakeholders, including those in the Japanese and the U.S. governments, as well as corporate stakeholders and USJC members and prospective members.
  • Financial Performance and Viability: Works with the COO to develop and manage resources sufficiently to ensure the financial health of the organization.
    • Responsible for fundraising and developing other sources of revenue necessary to support the organization.
    • Responsible for the fiscal integrity of USJC, including submitting to the Board a proposed annual budget and regular financial statements that accurately reflect the financial condition of the organization.
    • Responsible for fiscal management that generally anticipates operating within the approved budget, ensures maximum resource utilization, and maintains a positive financial position for the organization.
  • Organization Mission and Strategy: Works with Board, COO, EVP and USJC staff to ensure that the organization’s mission is fulfilled through programs, strategic planning and outreach.
    • Responsible for implementation of USJC’s programs that carry out the organization’s mission.
    • Responsible for strategic planning to ensure that USJC can successfully fulfill its mission into the future.
    • Responsible for the enhancement of USJC’s image by being active and visible in the community and by working closely with other organizations.
  • Organization Operations: Works with COO to oversee and implement appropriate resources to ensure that the operations of the organization are effective and efficient.
    • Responsible for the hiring and retention of qualified staff.
    • Responsible for effective administration of USJC operations.
    • Responsible for signing notes, agreements, and other instruments made and entered into and on behalf of the organization.


  • Proven experience as a CEO, or in a relevant executive leadership role in an established nonprofit organization with at least $2 million in revenue. Minimum five years of experience preferable.
  • Experience in U.S.-Japan relations required. Minimum 10 years of experience and working in a multi-national setting preferable.  
  • Demonstrated sensitivity to and flexibility in U.S. and Japanese work cultures.
  • Successful track record generating new revenue streams and improving financial results.
  • Successful fundraising experience. Excellent donor-relations skills and understanding of the funding community.
  • Previous success in establishing relationships with individuals and organizations of influence, including funders, partner organizations and other stakeholders.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communications skills. Fluency in English required and Japanese speaking ability highly desirable.
  • A Master’s or equivalent degree.
  • Extensive experience working successfully with a board of directors.
  • Strong financial management skills, including budget preparation, analysis, decision-making and reporting.
  • Track record of leadership that demonstrates transparency and high integrity.
  • Solid organizational abilities, including planning, delegating, program development and task facilitation.
  • Detail-oriented with a strong ability to effectively multi-task.
  • Is comfortable with ambiguity, can respond adeptly to rapidly changing priorities, and works well under pressure.
  • High-level strategic thinker and planner with the ability to envision and convey the organization’s mission and strategic future to the staff, board, stakeholders and the overall community.
  • Demonstrated ability to lead, inspire and collaborate with management team and staff.


To apply, please send a cover letter, CV (resume), and three professional references (names, titles, contact information) to [email protected]. The subject line should read: Chief Executive Officer Application. Candidates must provide all necessary information by Friday, Feb. 28, 2020. 

The U.S.-Japan Council is an EEO/AA employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, national origin, sexual orientation, age, disability, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.