The trustees and staff of the Asian Cultural Council mourn the passing of Life Trustee Michael Ira Sovern. Mr. Sovern was a founding trustee of the Asian Cultural Council, when it was incorporated in 1980. He served on our board for 31 years, expertly guiding ACC's work and generously supporting our commitment to international cultural exchange.
In recognition of his innumerable contributions to ACC, Mr. Sovern was appointed as Life Trustee in 2011. Throughout his tenure, ACC invested more than $100 million in exchanges between artists and scholars working across borders and artistic disciplines in the U.S. and Asia. ACC's work is made possible through leaders like Mr. Sovern, and their dedication to our mission of advancing international respect and understanding through cultural exchange.
When asked once what the most important quality of a leader was, he replied: "Good judgement." In the complex world we live in today, ACC is fortunate to have benefited from Mr. Sovern's exemplary leadership, unwavering integrity, and exceptionally good judgement. He was an integral part of the ACC family, a brilliant leader, and a wonderful friend.
We will miss him dearly, and extend our heartfelt condolences to his wife, Dr. Patricia Walsh Sovern, and children, Douglas, Elizabeth, Jeff, and Julie, and their families.
Published on NYTimes.com from Jan. 22 to Jan. 23, 2020
ACC Board and Life Trustees at ACC's New York Gala in November 2019