Vice President, External Affairs & Partnerships (TAS)

The Client

Founded in 1956 by John D. Rockefeller III, Asia Society is the leading nonpartisan, nonprofit institution dedicated to promoting mutual understanding and strengthening partnerships among the peoples, leaders, and institutions of Asia, the United States, and Europe by creating neutral platforms that facilitate respectful understanding.  Across the fields of arts, policy, education, business and culture, the Society provides insight, generates ideas and presents programs, art exhibitions and policy forums to address present challenges and create a shared future. In addition to its Park Avenue headquarters, Asia Society has 13 other Centers throughout the world and has recently launched a 5-year strategic plan to maximize global impact, leveraging its programs and content digitally. The Centers are located in Hong Kong, Tokyo, Seoul, Manila, Mumbai, Delhi, Melbourne, Sydney, Zurich, Washington, DC, Houston, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.


For more than 60 years, Asia Society has sought to explain the diversity of Asia to the United States and the complexity of the United States to Asia, and to be a bridge in problem-solving within the region and between Asia and the wider world. With a solution-oriented mandate, the Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI) builds on this mission by tackling major policy challenges confronting the Asia-Pacific in security, prosperity, sustainability, and the development of common norms and values for the region. ASPI is a think/do tank designed to bring forth policy ideas that incorporate the best thinking from top experts in Asia and to work with policy makers to integrate these ideas and put them into practice. In the three years since ASPI was founded, the University of Pennsylvania, which does an annual ranking of think tanks, has ranked ASPI in the top 50 of think tanks in the US and in the top 100 of all the think tanks in the world. In addition, to help forge a more constructive bilateral relationship with China, Asia Society has established the Center on US-China Relations with a generous gift from the late Arthur Ross.

Arts & Culture

From its inception Asia Society has sought to build cultural bridges through art and culture. Its museum, founded with John D. Rockefeller III’s historic collection of ancient Asian art, has long been renowned for introducing Americans to traditional and contemporary pan-Asian art.  Headquartered in the Society’s New York Center, Asia Society Art Department is organizing a boundary-breaking Triennial, to be launched in June 2020. It will feature art from 19 Asian countries at venues throughout New York City, including Times Square, Lincoln Center, the Bronx Botanical Gardens and Governor’s Island. Asia Society also hosts annual Asia Arts Game Changer Awards in Hong Kong and Mumbai, honoring artists and arts professionals for their significant contributions to contemporary art.

In addition to this innovative expertise in the visual arts, Asia Society is widely acknowledged as a leader in film, literature, and the performing arts. For example, Asia Society's Creative Voices of Muslim Asia is a multidisciplinary initiative using the arts as a springboard to understand the complexity of the many cultures included in the Muslim world. This year Asia Society launched Culture & Diplomacy, an initiative using culture as a connective force when diplomatic channels might be strained.


The Center for Global Education (CGE) at Asia Society brings together leaders and institutions from around the world to tackle one of the most critical education challenges today: how to prepare young people for employability and citizenship in a global era. CGE strongly believes in the power of cross-sector dialogue to shift policy and practice on global education issues. The Center will transform education to prepare young people for a global 21st century by bringing together the most influential educators, businesses, and government officials; commissioning research and publishing insights; and partnering with schools and education systems to change policy and practice.

CGE has recently partnered with OECD, who is using the Global Competency curricula as a global standard. This material has recently been prepared for sale in online modules through a partnership with Arizona State University. This opportunity is consistent with Asia Society’s strategic direction of using the power of digital distribution to increase reach and impact.

Global Centers

Asia Society recently invested in a digital infrastructure to better connect its 14 centers and to facilitate cross-center collaboration and content sharing. This global focus opens the opportunity to leverage strengths as we seek global partnerships and funders as we create, grow and support a truly global leadership network.

Asia Society’s global budget in F18 was $45 million, with a staff of 225 employees and the budget for its 501c3 (which encompasses its operations in New York, Washington, D.C. and California) totaled $31 million. The endowment of Asia Society is currently $85 million. More information about Asia Society can be found at


The Opportunity


Asia Society was founded on the belief that genuine understanding across cultures unlocks the potential for a peaceful and sustainable world.  With a continued commitment to these principles, Asia Society is looking for an extraordinary development leader that will be a key member of the senior leadership team. This position will report to the President and CEO, and will work closely with the Chief Finance Officer, managing a team of 13 development professionals. This person will be responsible for the oversight, diversification, and growth of the Asia Society’s development program, including recruitment, training and prioritization.

The developing team must achieve annual revenue goals to support other programs and initiatives as it stewards its giving Board of Trustees, existing and new patrons, expands its general, patron and corporate membership programs and realizes new opportunities that will advance Asia Society’s ambitious fundraising goals. This individual will also reinvigorate Asia Society’s $135 million capital campaign, achieving the final $35 million, and increasing Trustee participation as it generates the resources to actualize the strategic plan.

As part of this exciting next phase of Asia Society’s expansion, the Vice President, External Affairs and Partnerships will also oversee a multi-million-dollar campaign to support the organization’s inaugural Asia Society Triennial of Art, Ideas and Innovation. This event, which will take place at Asia Society as well as venues throughout New York City will open in June of 2020. Titled “We Do Not Dream Alone,” the Triennial will be a collaborative platform to join artists, thought leaders and innovators from Asia and throughout the world to explore key themes - Democracy and Freedom, Identity and Boarders, Gender and Sustainability.

This is a unique opportunity for a top-tier development executive to partner with a dynamic and forward-thinking leadership team to advance the vital work of this golden legacy organization as it refreshes its brand into the 21st Century.



Responsibilities will include but are not limited to:

Strategic Leadership:

The VPEAP will develop and lead the execution of a comprehensive and integrated development strategy that advances Asia Society’s overall strategic plan through short and long-term fundraising goals. In addition, they will:


  • Serve as a member of the senior leadership team, participating in setting organizational priorities and carrying out tactical initiatives that align with Asia Society’s mission, vision and values.
  • Ensure that all such activities align with the organization’s ambitious fundraising targets and meet Presidential priorities.
  • Oversee an integrated fundraising program across all levels of support including annual giving, individual and major gifts, planned-giving, corporate and foundation support, membership, special events and capital campaigns.
  • Oversee and evolve development systems, procedures, and performance management that provide both support and accountability. This includes training and ensuring 100 percent departmental compliance with the newly installed Salesforce CRM system.
  • Ensure all development strategies and work incorporate and effectively optimize data and analysis to drive effective donor strategy, moves management and reporting.
  • Share revenue reports with senior management to ensure evidence-based decision making.
  • Collaborate with senior leadership to create a strategic, highly effective communications strategy to increase the visibility and awareness of Asia Society, align donor interests and ultimately lead to principal gifts.
  • Serve as a leader and mentor to a young staff to maximize talent and create internal opportunities for staff development.
  • Serve as an influential ambassador to key donors and external partners and supporters.

Relationship Management and Donor Stewardship:

  • In partnership and consultation with the President and senior leadership team, maintain and cultivate relationships across philanthropic, corporate and governmental arenas that will expand the donor base of the organization.
  • Maintain, cultivate and grow a personal portfolio of donors and prospects with the capacity to make significant contributions while facilitating donor relationships with senior and program leadership.
  • Work directly with the Board to build donor prospecting strategies that will maximize their engagement and secure gifts that will advance Asia Society’s mission.
  • Foster strong interdepartmental/cross-functional coordination and communication between Development and all departments including Marketing and Communications, Finance, Policy, Arts, Education and Program teams that support organizational priorities and fundraising efforts.
  • Serve as an expert resource to global Centers as they develop their fundraising strategies and identify and help execute opportunities for cross-Center development.
  • Oversee efforts and ensure that donors are well-informed, recognized, and appreciated in meaningful and timely ways throughout the donor life cycle.

Team Leadership & Management:

  • Shape and provide visionary leadership to build a best-in-class development team that is committed to the mission of Asia Society.
  • Increase team productivity and collaboration by building a collaborative team culture, both within Development, but also across the organization.
  • Serve as a champion, coach, and mentor; motivate team members, build morale and ensure a positive work environment.
  • Empower team through active communication and delegation. Support staff in their combined goal attainment and ongoing professional development, including proficiency with Salesforce CRM and Marketing Cloud tools.


Candidate Profile

The successful incoming VPEAP will possess the following qualifications and attributes:

  • Passion for and commitment to the mission and core values of Asia Society.
  • Minimum 10+ years of successful experience developing, growing and executing a successful, comprehensive and integrated development strategy within a non-profit; and a track-record with increasing levels of management.
  • At least 5 years as a top-level director, showing increasing levels of management responsibility.
  • Demonstrated ability to design and implement impactful and comprehensive development strategies that result in new and diversified funding and increased sustainable revenue.
  • Experience with developing a fact-based culture, facilitated by 100% compliance with CRM and other digital tools.
  • Experience and/or oversight of a diversified development program with revenue streams that include annual giving, individual giving, major gifts, planned-giving, corporate and foundation support, membership, special events; demonstrated oversight of a capital campaign is a necessity.
  • Proven experience securing six and seven-figure gifts.
  • A love of “the ask” and an ability to cultivate a “culture of giving.”
  • Collaborative, decisive, inspiring leadership style.
  • Expert managerial and operational experience; demonstrated ability to build and restructure high-performing teams, tactics, roles and responsibilities.
  • Demonstrated experience building and improving development operations tools, moves management systems and reporting that is grounded in solid analysis and the utilization of CRM technology; Salesforce and Marketing Cloud strongly preferred.
  • Excellent facilitation and organizational skills; ability to prioritize tasks, and remain flexible and shift priorities as needed.
  • Extraordinary communication skills including listening, writing and analytical aptitudes, and the ability to articulate a persuasive case for support.
  • A polished, and refined style with a demonstrated ability to successfully interact with high-level individuals and groups in a variety of settings with comfort and ease.
  • Unquestioned integrity and ethics; discretion in dealing with sensitive information.
  • An authentic commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • A collaborative and proactive style in seeking to meet the needs of an organization.
  • A team player with positive and solution-oriented attitude and a sense of humor.
  • Global fundraising experience with an advocacy organization desirable.
  • Some experience with and in Asia or fluency in an Asian language is highly desirable.
  • Bachelor's degree is required; an advanced degree in a related field is preferred.
  • Ability and willingness to travel 15-20% of the time.

This position description is based upon material provided by the Asia Society, an equal Opportunity Employer that is committed to building a culturally diverse staff and encourages applications from diverse candidates.



Eboni S. Gates, Search Specialist, DRG Search

Debbie Katz, Senior Associate

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