Chief Operating Officer

U.S.-Japan Council

Posted: 5/7/2019

Position Type: Full-Time (Paid)

Function: Administration/Operations

Primary domain: Education

City: Washington

Postal code: 20036

State: Washington, DC

Country: United States

Organization Information:


Not Available


Mission statement:

The U.S.-Japan Council develops and connects diverse leaders to create a stronger U.S.-Japan relationship. Founded by Japanese Americans, the Council brings together leaders of the United States and Japan from across backgrounds, sectors, and generations to partner for a better future for the Asia-Pacific region and beyond. 

Position Details:

Job Description:


The U.S.-Japan Council is a 501(c) 3 non-profit educational organization that contributes to strengthening U.S.-Japan relations by bringing together diverse leadership, engaging stakeholders and exploring issues that benefit communities, businesses and government entities on both sides of the Pacific. The Council cultivates an international network of leaders  and collaborates with other organizations and institutions to develop programs that allow leaders to engage with their counterparts in the United States and Japan. The Council promotes people-to-people relations as crucial to a strong U.S.-Japan relationship. 

The Council was founded in 2008 and is headquartered in Washington, DC with staff in California, Hawaii and Tokyo. In 2012, the U.S.-Japan Council (Japan) was created to support the administration of the TOMODACHI Initiative, and in 2013, it became a Public Interest Corporation (koeki zaidan hojin). The U.S.-Japan Council (Japan) maintains an office in Tokyo, Japan. 



The U.S. Japan Council (USJC) has experienced exceptional growth and development over the past ten years and seeks an experienced COO, who will report to the President, to lead the organization to implement practices needed to operate at the scale and scope planned over the next decade.   The position will be based in Washington, D.C.  The COO will work across the enterprise with staff in Washington, D.C., Tokyo and in regional areas including California and Hawaii.  Periodic domestic and international travel will be required.


The COO will work with the President, Executive Vice-President, CFO and key executives of USJC to implement an operational strategy that strengthens the organization’s effectiveness and managerial controls across several functions including Human Resources and Professional Development, IT and Digital Platforms, Administration, Financial Analysis and development and implementation of an Annual Operating Plan. 


The COO will work closely with the President, Executive Vice President, and key executives in ensuring operational support of programmatical areas including regional networking; initiatives both in the U.S. and Japan; partnership development with government business and non-government partners at the international, national and regional level; and in the expansion and development of an array of cross-cultural leadership development and educational programs between the U.S. and Japan. 


Collaborating with the President, Executive Vice-President, and key executives who oversee Leadership Initiatives, Regional Programs and External Connections, Partnerships & Development, and Communications, the COO will have responsibility for implementing operating practices to strengthen effectiveness and managerial controls in the areas discussed above. 



  1. Work with the President to enhance the organization’s financial analysis and improve the effectiveness in the functions and operating practices in Human Resources and Professional Development, IT and Digital Platforms, Administration, and development and implementation of an Annual Operating Plan.
  2. Assist the President, CFO and key executives in developing and overseeing the business and financial strategies of the organization.
  3. Assess and manage the principal risks of the organization’s business within operations (proposals, projects and staffing).
  4. Ensure practices are in place to effectively communicate plans, assess progress and report against plans related to the USJC’s calendar and activities including putting in place actions or initiatives to resolve issues.
  5. Foster an organizational culture that promotes ethical practices, stakeholder focus and service and encourages individual integrity.
  6. Attract, develop, retain, and motivate a diverse group of top-quality employees at all levels.
  7. Perform other functions related to the responsibilities of the COO or that the President may request.



The U.S.-Japan Council is an EEO/AA employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, national origin, sexual orientation, age, disability, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.


  1. Proven experience as Chief Operating Office or relevant role in a non-profit organization.Minimum five years-experience preferable.

  2. Understanding of and experience in business functions such as HR, IT, Administration, Finance,etc.
  3. Demonstrable competency in strategic planning and organizational development.
  4. Working knowledge of data bases, data analysis and performance/operation metrics.
  5. Working knowledge of IT/Business infrastructure and Administration.
  6. Outstanding organizational and leadership abilities.Demonstrated effectiveness in working as a member of a cross-cultural team and developing effective working relationships with staff, members, donors and external stakeholders.
  7. Experience in U.S.-Japan relations required. Experience working in a multi-national setting preferable.
  8. Demonstrated sensitivity and flexibility to American and Japanese work culture.
  9. Excellent interpersonal and communications skills.Fluency in English required.

Japanese language helpful.

  1. Commitment to professional ethics in working with confidential, sensitive information.
  2. Comfort with ambiguity, the ability to respond adeptly to rapidly changing priorities, and ability to work well under pressure.
  3. Detail-oriented and organized, with the strong ability to successfully multi-task as necessary or requested.


Not Specified


Commensurate with Experience

Posting Expiration Date:


How to Apply:

To apply, please send Cover Letter, CV (resume) and 3 professional references to: [email protected], subject line, Chief Operating Officer.  Candidates must provide all necessary information and documents.  Review of applications begins in May 2019, with the intention to hire as soon as possible.   Annual salary will be dependent on experience.  The U.S.-Japan Council does not sponsor visas to work in the United States.


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