The Board of Trustees would like to announce an upcoming transition at the Asian Cultural Council. On October 2, 2020, Miho Walsh will be stepping down from her role as Executive Director after more than 11 years at ACC. It is with deep gratitude and respect that we thank Miho for her dedication and passion towards ACC’s work and mission.
Miho joined ACC as Associate Director in 2009 and was appointed Executive Director in 2012. She led ACC through a series of firsts: our first capital campaign (The Elizabeth J. McCormack Fund), the creation of two new foundations in Asia (ACC Hong Kong Foundation and ACC Japan Foundation), the launch of ACC’s online public programs (inDialogue), and the establishment of five new endowments, including ACC’s first endowed public program series (East-West Dialogues).
As Executive Director, Miho unified the organization and deepened ACC’s global impact. She enhanced communication across ACC’s five offices, increased staff diversity, ensured transparency, and led the development of ACC’s most comprehensive strategic plan. Miho’s leadership fostered a culture of openness, trust, and respect, resulting in a collaborative and collegial organization better poised to realize ACC’s mission.
As the Asian Cultural Council launches a search for an Executive Director, Eileen Connor, Director of Finance and Operations, will serve as Interim Executive Director and guide ACC through this period of transition. With a 35-year career at ACC, Eileen’s knowledge of and commitment towards the organization is unparalleled.
Meanwhile, together with our 5,000+ alumni, four sister foundations in Asia and other partners, ACC will resume our traditional travel-based programming as circumstances allow and champion new digital initiatives to increase the accessibility of cultural exchange opportunities. Amidst the rapidly changing international landscape, the world needs cultural bridges between Asia and the U.S. more than ever before. We look forward to sharing more on these initiatives in the upcoming months. We’d also like to share a message of heartfelt gratitude from Miho below.
Asian Cultural Council
Dear ACC Family,
It is with a myriad of feelings that I write to you, but the most profound is that of heartfelt appreciation. I am deeply grateful to the countless partnerships and collective efforts of ACC’s community at large—it is together that we make ACC’s work possible.
Cultural exchange is a profoundly personal experience. During my tenure at ACC, I was often asked why cultural exchange? Why artists and creative professionals?
If a society’s culture is the sum of its beliefs, values, customs, traditions, history, arts, and ideas—our individual cultural identity is the sum of everything that makes each of us who we are. When we are given the opportunity to be immersed in another culture, it is an undeniably transformative and deep learning experience. We gain understanding of others, we see things differently, we develop the ability to think in new ways, and we become uniquely aware of our own selves. Through the bond of common values and purpose, we learn to not only appreciate our differences, but to celebrate diversity. At the heart of my ACC experience is the opportunity to create connections and watch lifelong relationships grow. This network of individuals, our illustrious ACC grantees, continue to create, inspire, explore, heal, question, teach, and guide us to be the very best versions of ourselves. It has been my enormous privilege to learn from all of you.
At this time of unprecedented challenges, many have called this philanthropy’s moment—a time to center a love of humanity in all that we do. I firmly believe that ACC was built for this moment. At our core is a fervent dedication to building trust, respect, and above all, empathy. ACC remains unwavering: creating connections, deepening relationships, and bridging divides against forces that threaten to tear us apart.
To our outstanding Board, extraordinary colleagues, steadfast supporters, and brilliant grantees—thank you. You are the creative and transformational leaders that are evolving us into a better and more harmonious world.
With hope and love,
Asian Cultural Council