Irene Hirano Inouye


President of the U.S.–Japan Council

The Global Ambassador Award recognizes an individual who best represents the mission and expertise of the School in a global setting. In awarding this honor to Irene Hirano, the Price School recognizes her exceptional achievements serving as the President of the U.S.–Japan Council, which enhances relations with the U.S. and Japan through people-to-people connections. In addition, we recognize her outstanding leadership role as the former CEO and President of the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles, and her service with prominent philanthropic and nonprofit boards across the country, including the Ford Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, the Smithsonian Institution, and the President’s Committee on the Arts & Humanities, among others.

About the Honoree:

Irene Hirano Inouye 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, a position she held for twenty years. A recipient of bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Public Administration from the University of Southern California, Ms. Hirano has extensive experience in nonprofit administration, community education and public affairs with culturally diverse communities nationwide. Ms. Hirano’s professional and community activities include serving as Chair, and Trustee Ford Foundation, Trustee and immediate past chair, Kresge Foundation; Trustee, National Trust for Historic Preservation, Trustee, Washington Center, and Trustee, Independent Sector. Additionally, Ms. Hirano is an active member of the Board of Advisors for the Price School’s Center for Philanthropy and Public Policy. She was married to the late U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye of Hawaii.