Irene Hirano Inouye to Chair Ford Foundation

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Irene Hirano Inouye

NEW YORK. — The Ford Foundation announced on May 28 the election of Irene Hirano Inouye as the next chair of its Board of Trustees.

Hirano Inouye, who has served as a trustee since 2006, was elected on May 27 by the full board to become the 10th board chair in the foundation’s 75-year history. She succeeds Kathryn S. Fuller, who retires both as chair and a trustee after the board’s September meeting.

Hirano Inouye is a nationally recognized leader in the nonprofit sector, with more than 35 years experience in nonprofit administration, community education, and public affairs. She served as the president and founding CEO of the Japanese American National Museum from 1988 to 2008, bringing it to national prominence and affiliation with the Smithsonian Institution. Hirano Inouye is the immediate past chair of the American Association of Museums, a standards-setting and best practices organization working with more than 3,000 institutions nationwide. She is also a trustee and served as chair of the Kresge Foundation from 2006 to 2008.

“Irene will bring to this role invaluable experience as a social entrepreneur, having built a large, independent, and mission-driven organization,” said Luis Ubiñas, president of the Ford Foundation.
Under Hirano Inouye’s leadership, the Japanese American National Museum grew into a national institution, opening its restored historic building in 1992 and expanding into a state-of-the-art 85,000-square-foot facility with programs in arts, culture and history in 1999.

The New York Times reported in 2009 that the Ford Foundation is the nation’s second largest foundation, with assets of $9.5 billion.

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