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Executive Director

1990 Institute
San Francisco, CA


San Francisco, CA

Pulled from the full job description

  • 401(k)
  • Dental insurance
  • Health insurance
  • Paid time off

Full job description

The 1990 Institute seeks a full-time Executive Director to lead the organization through its next stage of development. The Institute has a proud 31-year history of executing programs in both China and the U.S. Led by a Board of prominent academic, business, and community leaders with a deep interest in U.S.-China relations and Asian American affairs, the Institute has expanded its programming. The Executive Director will have an opportunity to shape further and expand these programs and create new ones to increase the Institute’s impact.

The ideal candidate is a visionary and strategic leader who promotes and represents the organization to a diverse group of stakeholders, inspires others to take action, has an entrepreneurial mindset, and effectively manages the organization's day-to-day operations. This person will also expand the Institute’s strong partnerships with other professional, business, and educational groups and individuals in order to drive collective impact.

About The 1990 Institute

The United States and China are arguably the two most important countries in the world today. The need to understand one another better to ensure global harmony and prosperity is paramount. The 1990 Institute seeks to encourage greater social, economic, and cultural understanding between the two countries. Its mission is to broaden constructive dialogue and relationships between Americans and Chinese through education and collaboration.

The Institute also has the mission to champion the fair and equitable treatment of Asian Americans. Asian Americans have contributed significantly to all facets of American society and yet remain stereotyped, blamed, and often ignored. The Institute provides education on the Asian American experience and promotes understanding, inclusion, and activism.

The two parts of our mission are intertwined. We also want to show how U.S.-China relations impact the perceptions of Asian Americans.

Throughout its history, the 1990 Institute has focused on education as a pillar to create better understanding, friendship, trust, and constructive relationships. We target our programs to teachers, our next-generation youth, and influencers. We utilize digital means to provide our programs to broaden our reach and impact. This includes videos, podcasts, webinars, newsletters, essay contests, and an online reference library.

We look to our Executive Director, staff, board members, and volunteers to suggest, analyze, and help implement new programs and initiatives. As the Institute expands its programs, it also intends to expand its staff.

The 1990 Institute has a working Board of Directors composed of passionate and dedicated individuals with significant experience working on China-related and Asian American-related activities. We also have a strong Advisory Council of experts in U.S.-China relations and ethnic studies. This includes professors at Stanford, UC Berkeley, University of Southern California, San Francisco State University, business leaders, media and cultural experts, and political experts. Furthermore, the Institute has a NextGen Council made up of our new generation leaders. We also have interns and many volunteers. The Executive Director works with the Board and leverages the Institute’s network and experience while maintaining our reputation for excellence and relevance.

Summary of Position

The Executive Director is a staff leadership position responsible for the overall management of the Institute’s programs, operations, finance, and staff, including interns and volunteers. This person will report to the Board Chair and coordinate and communicate closely with the Executive Committee and other Board members.

  • Leadership, Vision, and Strategy: Promote and articulate the Institute’s mission to stakeholders. Work with the Board to develop and implement strategic initiatives. Build a strong staff team committed to the Institute’s mission.
  • Program Management: Work collaboratively with the Board, volunteers, and staff to develop, implement, and manage programs and events to maximize outreach, visibility, effectiveness, and impact.
  • Media and Communications: Be the chief spokesperson for the Institute and develop a marketing and media strategy that includes the effective use of partners, mainstream and social media, and our website. Work to increase the visibility of our programs and track their impact. Develop and maintain relationships with media, funders, political and community leaders, and opinion leaders. Serve as the primary liaison with the media.
  • Operational Management: Manage the day-to-day operations of the Institute and review or develop needed processes and procedures. Keep track of corporate documents, HR filings, and other compliance-related documentation.
  • Fundraising: Lead the Institute’s fundraising efforts, ensuring that the organization has sufficient resources to maintain a high level of programming. Create and implement a fundraising plan with the Board and identify, cultivate, and build relationships with individual donors, foundations, and companies. Write or work with staff on grant proposals and reports.
  • Financial Management: Work with the CFO to manage the financial affairs of the Institute, including preparation and management of an annual budget, cash management, and banking relationships. Oversee accounting safeguards and act as liaison with the bookkeeper and tax accountant and provide timely program and event P&L financial reports.
  • Board of Directors: Work collaboratively with Board members to support the Institute’s endeavors. Communicate regularly with the Board and leverage its relationships to grow the Institute.
  • Partnership Development: Strengthen existing and develop new relationships with other organizations in the U.S. and China to develop and implement programs and activities.

Desired Background and Experience

  • Bachelor's degree required.
  • Knowledge and experience working on U.S. and China relations and with the Asian American community a plus. Minimum of five years of professional experience.
  • Previous office management experience including use of CRM systems.
  • Previous management experience with Board members and committees, staff, volunteers, budgeting, and program management.
  • Experience in fundraising. Strong ability to engage donors from diverse backgrounds, respond to the needs of corporate sponsors, and knowledge of, or experience with, foundation funding.
  • Experience working with business and community leaders. Capable of leveraging established organizational contacts and networks to further our mission.

Personal Skills and Qualifications

  • Has a strong interest in The 1990 Institute’s educational mission and sensitivity to the broad range and scope of U.S.-China and Asian American issues.
  • Has entrepreneurial skills and the ability to adapt. Has the ability to plan and meet deadlines.
  • Has excellent written and oral communication, public speaking, and interpersonal skills.
  • Enjoys working collaboratively and is a versatile and resilient team player.
  • Possesses a strong work ethic, high energy, and commitment to excellence.
  • The ability to speak (Mandarin) and read Chinese is a strong plus, but not required.


Compensation will be commensurate with the candidate’s level of expertise and related experience.

Application Instructions

Please submit a cover letter indicating why you think you are a fit for the Executive Director position at The 1990 Institute and send your resume by email.

The 1990 Institute provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or genetics. In addition to federal law requirements, the Institute complies with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment in every location in which the Institute has facilities. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, and training.

The Institute expressly prohibits any form of workplace harassment based on race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, genetic information, disability, or veteran status. Improper interference with the ability of the Institute’s employees to perform their job duties may result in discipline up to and including discharge.

Job Type: Full-time


  • 401(k)
  • Dental insurance
  • Health insurance
  • Paid time off


  • Monday to Friday

COVID-19 considerations:
The job will be fully remote for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.


  • Bachelor's (Preferred)


  • any Asian languages (Preferred)

Work Location:

  • One location

Work Remotely:

  • Yes