Dr. Joshua W. Walker Named Japan Society President and CEO


Dr. Joshua W. Walker / Eurasia Group
New York, NY | October 1, 2019 — Dr. Joshua W. Walker will be the new president and CEO of Japan Society, a 112-year-old non-profit, non-political organization. The Society's Board of Directors announced that Dr. Walker will assume his new leadership role on December 2, 2019. He succeeds Ambassador Motoatsu Sakurai, who has been the Society’s president since April 7, 2009, and is retiring.

“I am incredibly honored to be joining Japan Society as its next president and CEO,” said Dr. Joshua W. Walker. “Having grown up biculturally and bilingually, I care deeply about how Japan is perceived in the world, and I am passionate about bridge-building between Americans and Japanese, to help them know and understand each other. I can’t imagine a better way to deepen and strengthen the relationship between the people of both countries than through the leading and innovative work being done at Japan Society.”

Joseph R. Perella, Chairman, Japan Society, and Founding Partner, Perella Weinberg Partners, said, “The Board unanimously approved Dr. Walker’s appointment, and I could not be more thrilled. From his childhood years living in Japan through his most recent strategic successes with Eurasia Group, he has approached life with a multi-cultural perspective. His rich insights, bolstered by his robust accomplishments in academia, government, and the private sector, uniquely and solidly position him to lead Japan Society into its next era.”

Japan Society Board Member and search committee representative, Justin A. Rockefeller, echoed these sentiments.

“After a thorough search, we are so fortunate to have secured Dr. Walker as Japan Society’s next President and CEO,“ said Rockefeller, Global Director of Family Offices, Addepar, and Cofounder and Chairman, The ImPact. “He's utterly compelling and has the experience, and the diplomacy and leadership skills necessary to thrive in his new role. His values and priorities are consistent with the vision set by my grandfather, John D. Rockefeller 3rd, who led Japan Society from the 1950s to the 1970s. I look forward to working closely with Dr. Walker.”

As president and CEO, Dr. Walker will work in dynamic partnership with the board, corporate sponsors, key patrons, and over 80 staff members, to set the institution’s vision and ensure that the mission, relevance and influence of the organization move forward in powerful and exciting ways. As an energetic leader, he will oversee the Society’s far-reaching programs encompassing art, culture, education, business and social innovation, serving as a profile-raising advocate and ambassador.

Motoatsu Sakurai, departing president, Japan Society, said, “I am very pleased to know Dr. Joshua W. Walker has been appointed as my successor. After proudly serving as Japan Society President for more than ten years, I can say with confidence that Dr. Walker is well-suited for this role. With his vast experience in international policy, expansive global connections, and strong passion for Japanese culture, he will be highly effective in carrying out the Society’s longstanding mission of deepening mutual understanding between the U.S. and Japan.”

The appointment of Dr. Walker concludes an extensive search conducted by Japan Society in consultation with Spencer Stuart.

About Dr. Joshua W. Walker

Dr. Joshua W. Walker is well-networked across the relevant academies, civil societies, departments, ministries, and private sectors in Washington, DC and Tokyo. He comes to Japan Society from Eurasia Group, the world's leading political risk analysis firm, where he has been serving as global head of strategic initiatives and Japan in the Office of the President. He has actively expanded global events and new business offerings, including leading the company's first ever “GZERO” geopolitical summit in Japan. He has worked with clients worldwide with a focus on Japan and in a variety of sectors to evaluate global geopolitical risks.

Dr. Walker has more than two decades of experience in international business and diplomacy. Prior to Eurasia Group, he was CEO and president of the USA Pavilion of the 2017 World Expo in Astana, Kazakhstan; founding dean of the APCO Institute; and senior vice president of global programs at APCO Worldwide, a leading global strategic communications firm based in Washington, D.C. Before joining the private sector, he worked in numerous roles at various U.S. government agencies, including the State Department and the Defense Department. He is a Transatlantic Fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, Senior Fellow at the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress, and professor of Leadership and the American presidency at George Mason University and the Reagan Foundation.

He co-founded the Yale Journal of International Affairs and Young Professionals in Foreign Policy in New York along with being instrumental in the Project on Religion, Diplomacy, and International Relations at Princeton. He has taught at numerous academic institutions, served on a variety of boards and won various awards along with being a Presidential Leadership Scholar, Trilateral Commission Rockefeller Fellow, Mansfield Foundation Network for the Future Member, Munich Young Leader, Council on Foreign Relations Member, Fulbright Scholar, Foreign Policy Initiative Future Leader, Sister Cities International Honorary Board Member and Truman National Security Project Fellow. He earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Richmond, a master's degree from Yale University, and a doctorate from Princeton University.

Dr. Walker grew up in Japan where his parents still serve as missionaries, came to the United States when he was 18, and is bicultural and bilingual.

About Japan Society

Founded in 1907, Japan Society in New York City presents sophisticated, topical and accessible experiences of Japanese art and culture, and facilitates the exchange of ideas, knowledge and innovation between the U.S. and Japan. More than 200 events annually encompass world-class exhibitions, dynamic classical and cutting-edge contemporary performing arts, film premieres and retrospectives, workshops and demonstrations, tastings, family activities, language classes, and a range of high-profile talks and expert panels that present open, critical dialogue on issues of vital importance to the U.S., Japan and East Asia.

Japan Society is located at 333 East 47th Street between First and Second avenues (accessible by the 4/5/6 and 7 subway at Grand Central or the E and M subway at Lexington Avenue).

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