Chief Operating Officer

Founded in 1956, the Asia Society’s purpose is to navigate shared futures for Asia and the world across policy, arts and culture, education, sustainability, business, and technology. We provide a platform for dialogue and encourage a diversity of views as we try to find the most effective ways forward. Headquartered in New York City, the organization has 12 other Centers around the world, a global staff of 235, and an annual global operating budget in excess of $44m.

The Asia Society is at an exciting cross-roads as we best position ourselves for the new opportunities presented by the rapidly accelerating transition to a digital world, while celebrating our history and maintaining our core mission and activities. The Asia Society seeks a dynamic, visionary executive based in New York to serve as our Chief Operating Officer (COO) to support the President and CEO and work with other senior managers in this global reinvention.


  •  Acting as the key operational bridge between the President and CEO’s strategic vision, goals and policy direction and the   critical support functions of the Asia Society. 
  • Ensuring that all critical support functions of the Asia Society allow for the high quality, cutting edge curation and delivery of all Asia Society content. This includes overseeing public event program management as well as the organization’s digital and communications strategy. 
  • Ensuring the Asia Society’s global centers are working together at an operational level to deliver Asia Society content as an integrated global community. 
  • As a critical support service for the Asia Society’s future, and as the direct report of the Chief Digital & Communications Officer, the COO will be ultimately responsible for developing and delivering the Asia Society’s “Digital First” strategy as an operational reality (both in New York and across our global centers) so that the Asia Society has the best digital content and presence of all our peer institutions. 
  • Overseeing the management of the Asia21 leadership network with the objective of deepening its impact, further supporting its participants, and turning it into an even more significant resource for the institution. 
  • Forging partnerships with key external and global stakeholders across nonprofits, media, business, and other sectors as needed to deliver on the above. 
  • Working closely with the CFO and CAO as a member of the senior management team, including standing in for the President and CEO as needed, and undertaking other duties as assigned.


  • College degree; a master’s degree is a plus
  • 10+ years of related leadership experience, preferably with significant experience at a COO level in nonprofits
  • Exceptional executive presence, business acumen and verbal and written presentation skills.
  • Demonstrated skill in effectively managing across departments; experience in an international organization is a plus
  • Knowledge of, or experience in, Asia is a plus
  • Effective at motivating and working with staff at all levels and in creating a culture of collaboration
  • Strong project management skills and attention to detail 



  • Persuades others; builds consensus through give and take; gains cooperation from others to obtain information and accomplish goals
  • Develops networks and builds alliances; collaborates across boundaries to build strategic relationships and achieve common goals.
  • Serves as an ambassador of the Asia Society in public settings when the President is not available 

Professional and Results-Oriented:

  • Seeks to consistently produce results that achieve goals and objectives
  • Conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments and observing deadlines
  • Able to work independently with minimum supervision
  • Good judgment, tact and discretion
  • Ability to translate ideas into action

Collaboration and Teamwork:

  • Excellent skills in communicating with people from different cultures, backgrounds, and across time zones
  • Works with others towards common purposes to achieve shared goals by developing and maintaining responsive, cooperative and mutually beneficial internal and external relationships
  • Acts as a global facilitator to have conversations, exchange ideas and build understanding


  • Identifies new and creative ways of doing something or solving a problem that improves, changes and results in value to the organization and constituencies (could be through technology or introducing new ways of thinking)
  • Uses technology for impact, reach and efficiency, such as through social media, databases, etc. 

Technical Expertise:

  • Professional competencies in the related field of work
  • Recognizes trends in theory and practice of one’s own technical area and effectively prepares for anticipated changes 

Ability to Attract Resources:

  • Builds external partnerships, financial and otherwise, to leverage the Asia Society’s work and brand
  • Works with the President and the Board of Trustees staff to steward key Trustee relationships 

Developing Staff:

  • Develops the ability of others to perform and contribute to the organization by providing ongoing feedback and by providing opportunities to learn through formal and informal methods 

Managing a Team:

  • Plans and organizes work in accordance with organizational and departmental goals
  • Builds and manages workforce based on organizational goals, budget considerations, and staffing needs
  • Ensures employees are appropriately recruited, selected, appraised, and rewarded; takes action to address performance problems 

 Asia Society offers a competitive salary, as well as a comprehensive benefits package.    For benefits information please visit and click on “Employee Benefits” to view our full benefits summary.

How to apply:

For positions in New York, please email your cover letter and resume indicating salary requirements to: List job title and job code FA-2021 in the subject line. Resumes without cover letters will not be accepted.  No phone calls, please. Only those candidates considered for an interview will be contacted.  Please regard your resume as having been received unless your email is bounced back.

The Asia Society is an equal opportunity employer. 






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