USJC Management and Staff

Ms. Irene Hirano Inouye

President at U.S.-Japan Council

Irene Hirano Inouye is President of the U.S.-Japan Council, a position she has held since the founding of the Council in late 2008. Through her work at the Council, she also administers the TOMODACHI Initiative, a public-private partnership with the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo and the Government of Japan that invests in young Japanese and Americans through educational and cultural exchanges and leadership programs. She is the former President and founding CEO of the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles, a position she held for twenty years. A recipient of bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Public Administration from the University of Southern California and an honorary doctorate degree from SMU, Ms. Hirano Inouye has extensive experience in nonprofit administration, community education and public affairs with culturally diverse communities nationwide. Ms. Hirano Inouye's professional and community activities include serving as Chair, Smithsonian Institution Asian Pacific American Center; Trustee, The Washington Center; member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences; member of the Advisory Board, Center on Philanthropy & Public Policy, Price School of Public Policy, University of Southern California; and Chair of the Advisory Board, Terasaki Center for Japanese Studies, University of California at Los Angeles. She served as former Trustee and past Chair, Ford Foundation; and former Trustee and past Chair, Kresge Foundation. She was married to the late U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye of Hawaii.