About the U.S.-Japan Bridging Foundation (USJBF) Founded in 1998, USJBF strengthens the U.S.–Japan relationship through the Bridging Scholars program, which grants hundreds of scholarships to U.S. undergraduate students to study in Japan for a semester or academic year. These scholarships support cultural and educational exchange to support a growing global workforce with experience in trade, security, cultural, educational, and governmental relations between Japan and the U.S.
The Bridging Scholars program awards approximately 100 scholarships annually, ranging from $2,500 to $7,500, to help students overcome financial barriers that may prevent them from studying abroad in Japan. Scholars are selected by a volunteer committee that reviews applications and makes recommendations to USJBF. Over $7 million has been awarded to more than 2,000 Bridging Scholars in the past 20 years.
The USJBF board is recruiting its first full-time Executive Director in 2020 as a result of strong interest in the Bridging Scholars program and the increasing need to support prospective scholars. Over the past two decades, USJBF shared its leadership with partner organizations the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission and CULCON. Moving forward, a full-time Executive Director will bring new focus and strategies to USJBF in order to significantly expand the number of Bridging Scholars that study abroad in Japan.
Position Summary The Executive Director will lead USJBF’s efforts to significantly increase the number of Bridging Scholars awarded each year. They will set strategic direction, oversee administration, while also developing strong relationships with USBJF’s donors, partners, and Bridging Scholar alumni. A key priority will be to develop a robust revenue strategy to increase support for the Bridging Scholars program in close partnerships with the board.
The ideal candidate is an effective spokesperson for USJBF’s mission with a successful record of fundraising in domestic and global settings. They are a self-driven leader and comfortable communicating with a geographically-dispersed team and board. They are adept at building systems, processes, and protocols as the organization launches its next chapter.
While USJBF has been historically headquartered in Washington, DC, the board of directors is conducting a national search and is open to a remote work situation for the right candidate.
Collaborate with the board of directors to successfully achieve USJBF’s mission;
Manage the day-to-day administration of the organization, with oversight of financial management, operations, human resources, and information technology;
Develop and execute on a cohesive strategy to expand and diversify USJBF’s support from corporations, foundations, individual donors, and alumni;
Design and implement fundraising systems to consistently identify and cultivate prospects and steward and recognize donors at all levels;
Seek, build, and maintain meaningful partnerships across public and private sectors in the U.S. and in Japan;
Support additional scholar and alumni engagement opportunities, including webinars, social events and meetings;
Cultivate a strong working relationship with USJBF’s board, with a focus on open dialogue about the organization’s metrics of success;
Foster a culture of excellence, service, and transparency for USJBF through a supportive team of contractors;
Develop and execute a communications strategy with the support of contractors; and
Serve as the principal spokesperson for USJBF at meetings, conferences, and other public forums.
Sincere passion for USJBF’s mission;
Effective spokesperson about the long-term benefits of cultural exchange and educational immersion to diverse audiences;
Proven skills diversifying a portfolio of individual and/or institutional/corporate donors through stewarding existing donors and cultivating new relationships;
Exceptional interpersonal abilities, with demonstrated comfort in intercultural settings;
Demonstrated ability to work effectively across countries, cultures, and time zones;
Successful record developing, managing, and executing strategies that have scaled programs or organizations to the next phase of growth;
Experience managing and motivating remote teams, committees or boards;
Polished and persuasive written and verbal communication skills;
Outstanding analytical, project management and problem-solving skills; and
Unwavering commitment to excellence in organizational and project management.
7-10 years of work experience in a nonprofit / NGO setting, with experience managing individual and/or institutional/corporate fundraising programs;
Educational or professional experience in Japan preferred, but not required;
Background in higher education or alumni relations preferred, but not required;
Ability and willingness to travel up globally and domestically a few times a year; and
Bachelor’s degree (or international equivalent).
About Good Insight
Good Insight recruits talented senior leaders for a variety of nonprofit clients across different industries.