Ms. Irene Hirano
Board Chair

Irene Hirano Inouye is President of the U.S.-Japan Council, a position she has held since the founding of the Council in late 2008. Through the U.S.-Japan Council, she also administers the TOMODACHI Initiative, a public-private partnership, with the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, born out of support for Japan’s recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake. The TOMODACHI Initiative invests in the next generation of Japanese and American leaders through educational and cultural exchanges and leadership programs. She is the former President and Founding CEO of the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles, a position she held for twenty years. A recipient of bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Public Administration from the University of Southern California, Ms. Hirano Inouye has extensive experience in non-profit administration, community education and public affairs with culturally diverse communities nationwide. Ms. Hirano Inouye's current professional and community activities include serving as Trustee and immediate past Chair, Ford Foundation; Trustee and immediate past Chair, Kresge Foundation; Trustee, Washington Center; Trustee, Independent Sector, and Vice-Chair, Smithsonian Institution Asian Pacific American Center. Her previous positions include serving as former Chair Board of Directors of the American Association of Museums, Board Member, National Trust for Historic Preservation, Member, National Board Smithsonian Institution, member Toyota Corporation’s Diversity Advisory Board, member, Business Advisory Board of Sodexho Corporation, President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities by Presidential appointment, and Chair California Commission on the Status of Women. She was married to the late U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye of Hawaii.