Irene Hirano is President of the U.S.-Japan Council, a non-profit organization headquartered in Washington, D.C., dedicated to building people-to-people relationships between the United States and Japan. She is the former President and founding CEO of the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles. After twenty years, she stepped down as CEO in 2008 with her marriage to U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye (HI). A recipient of bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Public Administration from the University of Southern California, Ms. Hirano has more than 35 years of experience in nonprofit administration, community education and public affairs with culturally diverse communities nationwide. Ms. Hirano’s professional and community activities include serving as Board member and past Chair, American Association of Museums; Trustee and immediate past chair, Kresge Foundation; Trustee, Ford Foundation; Member, National Board Smithsonian Institution; and Trustee, National Trust for Historic Preservation. She is a former member of the Business Advisory Board of Sodexho Corporation and the Toyota Diversity Advisory Board; served on the President’s Committee on Arts & Humanities by Presidential Appointment, and served as Chair of Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics, the California Commission on the Status of Women, and L.A. Inc./The Los Angeles Convention & Visitors Bureau.
NMAH Board Alumnus; Executive Advisor, U.S. Japan Council