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New U.S.-Japan Council Board of Directors

By US-Japan Council staff
NAP Contributor

The U.S.-Japan Council (USJC) Board of Directors has selected Audrey Yamamoto to be the Council’s next president and chief executive officer.

Currently chief operating officer at The Asian American Foundation (TAAF), Ms. Yamamoto will succeed President and CEO Suzanne Basalla at the end of March. Ms. Yamamoto will lead USJC’s staff in the U.S. and Japan, and work closely with the Council’s boards in both countries in carrying out the Council’s mission of developing and connecting diverse leaders to strengthen bilateral ties.

Ms. Yamamoto, a fourth-generation Japanese American, was a member of the 2023 class of the Japanese American Leadership Delegation, a program sponsored by Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and organized by USJC. Prior to joining TAAF, which is working to increase investment in the Asian American and Pacific Island community by addressing the root causes of hate and discrimination, she was president and executive director at the Asian Pacific Fund and executive director of the Children’s Creativity Museum, both in the Bay Area.

“Audrey brings more than 20 years of leading nonprofits in the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors where she has consistently helped organizations maximize their impact and increase their fundraising capacity while building a collaborative, team-oriented culture,” said USJC Board Co-Chair Kathy Matsui. “As only the third president in the Council’s history, her ability to optimize networks while drawing upon the richness of the Japanese American experience will contribute to meaningful new connections across sectors, generations and geographic regions.”

“It is the honor of a lifetime to build on the legacies of Founding President Irene Hirano Inouye and President and CEO Basalla,” said Ms. Yamamoto. “Being a part of USJC has been transformative for me, and I feel a deep personal connection to the mission. I am excited by its tremendous potential and look forward to helping the organization achieve its next phase of growth and impact.”