Recruiting exceptional leaders for mission-driven organizations.




President Honolulu, HI

The East-West Center (EWC) seeks an entrepreneurial and visionary leader to serve as its next President. Headquartered in Honolulu, HI, the East-West Center is a leading education, research, training, 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 defining moment in world politics, fueled by a global 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 unbiased entity in the advancement of global security, environmental stewardship, and a stronger network of Pacific Island nations. Furthermore, in a world hungry for nonpartisan 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 Indo-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 an independent, public, nonprofit organization with core funding from the U.S. government and additional support from foundations, corporations, other public agencies, and international organizations.[1] A truly nonpartisan entity, the EWC is governed by an 18-member board with appointees of the U.S. Secretary of State, the Governor of Hawai‘i, five elected international members, and three ex-officio members. Conducting advanced educational, research, and professional development programs for scholars and fellows from the United States and Indo-Pacific countries, the Center boasts an alumni base of more than 68,000 distinguished leaders, many of whom are located throughout Asia and the Pacific. Based in Honolulu, on 21 acres adjacent to the University of Hawai‘i at M?noa, 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 has a multinational, multidisciplinary staff of 160, including members of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees trade union. 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 regional government leaders in Asia, NGOs, businesses, think tanks, military 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 U.S./Asia relations;
  • Expand and sustain the revenues necessary to fulfill the Center's aspirations, including clarifying and strengthening the role of the EWC Foundation Board;
  • Re-establish the East-West Center as the “go-to” organization for thought leadership and capacity-development on critical challenges facing the Indo-Pacific region;
  • Clearly define, coordinate, and grow key programs, activities, and/or services to be fully supported and executed by the Center to achieve its mission goals;
  • Provide inclusive 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 U.S. agencies and organizations;
  • Develop key partnerships and affiliations to fully leverage a broader set of intellectual assets in the Indo-Pacific region and Hawai’i;
  • 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; and
  • Fortify U.S./Indo-Pacific relations and multinational cooperation into this decade and beyond.

Screening of complete applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. Please see below to submit inquiries, nominations, and applications.

Regan Gough and David Bellshaw are leading this search with Joe Kralick.


[1] For the fiscal year ended September 2020, EWC revenues totaled $27.3 million (federal appropriation: 58%, donations and other sources: 21%, federal contracts and grants: 11%, and other contracts and grants: 10%).


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