Asian Cultural Council
Headquartered in New York City, the Asian Cultural Council (ACC) is a leading nonprofit promoting cultural exchange between Asia and the United States. ACC awards individual fellowships, as well as a limited number of grants to organizations, to support research, study, and creative work by leaders in the arts and humanities. With the goal of transformative cultural exchange that advances international dialogue, mutual understanding, and respect, ACC grants support travel from Asia to the U.S., from the U.S. to Asia, and regional travel within Asia.
Fellowships to individuals include not only grant funds to cover the costs of international travel, per diem, and research activities, but also substantial program support in the form of professional guidance, introductions to artists and other cultural leaders, and extensive logistical assistance. Staff members in New York City work closely with four regional offices in Hong Kong, Taipei, Tokyo, and Manila, and with grantees representing 16 disciplines across 25 countries in Asia.
Position Summary: Executive Director
The Asian Cultural Council’s (“ACC) Executive Director (“ED”) will be a visionary leader with a proven track record of professional and organization success and a passion to build and lead a dynamic, innovative and unique organization focused on advancing cultural exchange between Asia and the US.
Reporting to the Board of Trustees, the Executive Director will oversee all aspects of the organization’s work, including execution of organizational strategies and oversight of the strategic, programmatic, fundraising, communications, human resources and financial operations.
The successful candidate will believe that cultural exchange will create greater understanding. S/he will have a passion for the arts and culture, an understanding and strong interest (demonstrable by academic and/or relevant professional and/ or personal experiences) in the countries of Asia and will be culturally sensitive.
The Executive Director will have built high-performing teams and partnerships, recognizing what her/his institutions have brought to the table and what complementary capabilities ensured success. S/he has proven that s/he will deliver results and can manage and influence others to do so. S/he must have experience fundraising.
The Executive Director’s role will require annual travel to Asia and attending performance and other events in the evenings.
A proven track record of success in leading an organization and in creating, developing and implementing strategies. Ideally having also successfully accomplished significant fund-raising activities/ capital campaigns.
Leading Successful Teams
A record of successful team creation, management, and leadership. An understanding of team dynamics and a record of effective communications at all levels. Inspiring, visionary style. Place a high priority in managing and inspiring others and fostering and encouraging collaboration and team work. Evidence of a legacy for nurturing and developing talent.
Reports to the Board of Trustees
Current Direct Reports:
- Director of Finance and Operations
- Director of Advancement
- Director of Programs
- Administration and Board Relations
- Executive Administration & External Relations Director
- Hong Kong Director
- Manila Director
- Tokyo Director Taipei Director
Other Key Relationships:
- Asian Cultural Council (HK) Foundation Limited
- Asian Cultural Council Japan Foundation
- Asian Cultural Council Foundation
- Asian Cultural Council Taiwan Foundation
- Asian Cultural Council Patron Groups
- Arts and Cultural Institutions in Asia and the US
Champion ACC’s Vision: the ED must be able to describe the ACC vision in a clear, engaging, and exciting way for all stakeholders, and serve as a compelling spokesperson for ACC’s work in Asia and the US.
Balance Resources: the three most important ones being people, ideas, and capital. The ED must manage, attract and secure all three in the right quantities and at the right time.
Anticipate and Respond to Dynamic Changes: Asia and the US are changing rapidly. The ED must anticipate such changes and respond accordingly, including exploiting new opportunities as they will surely emerge.
Expand Fundraising: the ED must communicate with new and existing patron groups and donors, play an active role in any capital campaigns and promote a membership group in New York.
Encouraging and Aligning Asian Offices: ensuring Asian offices ongoing alignment with ACC’s vision, while encouraging office initiatives from programming through fundraising.
Lead the 60th Anniversary: in 2023, ACC will celebrate its 60th Anniversary; the ED will oversee events to honor ACC’s legacy while positioning ACC toward the future. Drive Impact: the ED sets the bar for the level of performance to be reached. S/he will lead an ambitious agenda that accelerates impact and is open to transformational ideas. Cultivate Partnerships: design effective partnerships to expand ACC outreach and mission.
Nurture Alumni Networks: ACC’s alumni network in Asia and in the US are its greatest asset. The ED will nurture and strengthen ACC’s relationships with its alumni community in Asia and in the US to further the mission of ACC.
Enhance Technology: ensure ACC’s platforms including but not limited to the database, website, communications and programming platforms using optimal technology. Facilitating ‘omnichannel’ approaches to arts exchange and ensuring for best practice construction and most importantly best use integration of technology to promote and move ACC’s mission forward.
Represent ACC: serve as a compelling and credible ambassador of ACC’s work to a wide and diverse range of people and organizations.
Sustain and Enhance the Culture: the ED ensures that ACC’s core values are applied consistently from top to bottom, throughout the organization.
Make Sound Decisions: the ED must be able to make tough decisions in a thoughtful, balanced, and inclusive manner.
- Build a strategic vision for ACC that advances and balances its Asia offices with the New York office which advances an organization with a 60year old tradition into the digital age;
- Forge partnerships with multiple entities to strengthen our mission;
- Continue to transform and impact arts and culture in Asia and US; and
- Become a strong presence in the cultural exchange field.
Critical Leadership Capabilities
As the leader of multiple goal-driven programs focused on cultural exchange between Asia and the US, the ED will do this by creating a strategy and vision that:
- Integrates current programmatic issues and initiatives, competitive challenges, core values, and future needs in a clear and coherent way.
- Provides a clear strategic direction for the entire organization and recognizing the external environment, leading to logical changes in actions across the organization.
- Reaches beyond five years.
Collaborating and Influencing:
The ED will need to mobilize a range of partners to collaborate with ACC to achieve its vision. Therefore, the ED:
- Uses complex, coordinated influencing/negotiation strategies, adapted to people, organizations and/or the situation, e.g., networks.
- Leverages direct reports to facilitate increased collaboration across the organization, tapping their motives and values to energize them.
- Builds partnerships based on a common agreement and looks for synergies.
- Travels, including overseas when appropriate, to build ongoing partnerships with key stakeholders.
ACC’s strength is its people. The ED will foster a sense of community, common purpose and development of staff. Therefore, the ED:
- Inspires and motivates people to mobilize behind the long-term direction and to collaborate on how to reach it.
- Delegates strategic objectives to the whole team with clear and explicit intent; knows the precise level of challenge and how individual team members will handle it.
- Sets up forums or practices to reinforce independent and open communication among the team members.
- Holds people accountable for their commitments, providing clarity and outlining in advance ramifications of failure.
Other Personal Characteristics
- Intellectually curious
- A steady source of optimism and energy
- Entrepreneurial and confident
- Honest, ethical, and known for integrity and credibility
- Principled, and values- and mission-driven
- Able to work well with, listen to, and respect all
- Versatile, centered, strategic, and able to take the long view
- Open to and excited by creative ideas about how to build and grow the organization
- Cool under fire; able to balance multiple points of view, and able to negotiate and influence effectively.
ACC is an equal opportunity employer. Please email a cover letter describing your specific interests and qualifications for the position as well as a copy of your resume with ACC EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR POSITION in the subject line to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Only applicants with legal authorization to work in the United States will be considered. For more information on ACC, visit www.asianculturalcouncil.org.