Hawaii, United States
Salary Not specified
May 29, 2021
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

East-West Center

Search for the President 

Honolulu, Hawai‘i


The East-West Center (EWC) seeks an entrepreneurial and visionary leader to serve as its next President. Located in Honolulu, HI, the East-West Center is a leading education, research and convening organization dedicated to strengthening international relations and understanding among the peoples and nations of Asia, the Pacific, and the United States.  At a critical and defining moment in world politics and foreign affairs, fueled by a global public health crisis and increased attention to the world’s interconnectedness, the President will propel the Center into its next era of growth and distinction, fulfilling its promise to be a central force and neutral entity in the advancement of global security, environmental stewardship, and a stronger network of the Pacific Island nations. Furthermore, in a world hungry for bipartisan solutions, leadership, and foreign diplomacy in Asia, the Center is poised for tremendous impact. By leveraging its convening power and applying its educational and research strengths, the President will continue to build on the Center’s mission of building a vibrant trans-Pacific community and an Asia-Pacific future that is more just, peaceful, and prosperous.


Established by the U.S. Congress in 1960 as the Center for Cultural and Technical Interchange between East and West, the East-West Center is a unique American institution dedicated to enhancing Asia-Pacific relations. It is an independent, public, nonprofit organization largely funded from the U.S. government with additional support provided by private agencies, individuals, foundations, corporations, and governments in the region. A truly bipartisan entity, the EWC is governed by an 18-member board with appointees of the U.S. Secretary of State, Governor of Hawaii, five elected members, and three ex-officio members from across the globe.  Offering education, research, and seminar programming for scholars and fellows, the Center boasts an alumni base of more than 68,000 distinguished leaders many of whom are located throughout Asia.  Based in Honolulu, on 21 acres adjacent to the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, the EWC is comprised of numerous residential, research, and conference facilities, in addition to its  Washington, D.C. office which provides connection and programming to congressional offices and other agencies. The Center’s 160 staff, including members of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees trade union, conducts multi-disciplinary programming and research and provides thought leadership and leadership development training to leaders in the Asia-Pacific. The EWC also serves as a critical communicator and bridge builder to the local and native Hawaiian community through various arts and educational outreach initiatives.


The President will further invigorate and extend the East West Center’s influence, expanding its visibility and partnership activity with a wide range of stakeholders (including government leaders in Asia, military officers, NGOs, businesses, think tanks, U.S. Congressional leaders, and academic partners). In so doing, the President will be expected to address a wide range of opportunities and challenges, including:


  • In close collaboration with the Board and other key stakeholders, develop a vision that positions EWC at the nexus of the creation and development of positive and productive US/Asia relations
  • Re-establish the East-West Center as the “go-to” organization for thought leadership on critical issues in the Asia/Pacific region 
  • Clearly define, grow, and support key programs, activities, and/or services to be fully supported and executed by the Center to achieve its mission goals
  • Provide leadership and support to researchers, fellows, staff, and administration as they carry out the important work of the Center
  • Further steward EWC’s key relationship with the State Department and establish and expand relationships with other agencies and organizations in Washington, D.C.
  • Develop key partnerships and affiliations to fully leverage a broader set of intellectual assets in the Asia-Pacific region and Hawai’i
  • Expand and sustain the revenues necessary to fulfill the Center’s aspirations, including clarifying and strengthening the role of the EWC Foundation Board
  • Establish a close working relationship with the EWC Board of Governors, fully leveraging the many assets of the governing body
  • Be a positive and visible representative of the Center in the civic, military, and business community in Hawai’i


The East-West Center has retained Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm, to assist in this search. Screening of complete applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. For more details and to submit inquiries, nominations, and applications, visit:   


Regan Gough, David Bellshaw, and Joe Kralick

Isaacson, Miller

1000 Sansome Street, Suite 300

San Francisco, CA 94111

Phone: 415.655.4900