Josette Sheeran is the seventh president and CEO of Asia Society. In the position, which she assumed in June 2013, she is responsible for leading and advancing the organization's work throughout the U.S. and Asia, and across its disciplines of arts and culture, policy and business, and education.
Prior to her tenure at the World Economic Forum, Sheeran was executive director of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), appointed by U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan in 2006. There she was responsible for managing the world's largest humanitarian organization, leading a team of 13,000 people in more than 70 countries, and managing an annual budget of more than $3 billion — including $1 billion in Asia.
Under Sheeran's leadership, the WFP increased its donor base to more than 100 nations, and became the first global institution to include the so-called BRIC countries and the Gulf States among its top 10 donors. She put in place historic reforms of food aid, helping cut the cycle of hunger and malnutrition by purchasing nutritious food directly from developing world farmers. She also instituted emergency protocols that helped the WFP improve its ability to save lives and livelihoods in disasters and emergencies, most notably in Pakistan, the Philippines, Afghanistan, Haiti and in the Horn of Africa.
Sheeran has held senior positions in the U.S. government, and in those positions she conducted high-level diplomacy with virtually every nation in Asia. As U.S. Under Secretary of State for Economic, Business, and Agricultural Affairs, she led new State Department initiatives which supported economic transformation and reconstruction in Afghanistan and Central Asia and with APEC and ASEAN. Earlier she served for five years as deputy U.S. trade representative, conducting negotiations across Asia, including with China, Australia, Singapore, India, Korea, and Japan.
In 2011, Forbes named Sheeran the world's 30th most powerful woman; Foreign Policy has listed her among its top 100 women on Twitter; and Sheeran's TED Talk on ending world hunger has been viewed more than one million times.
Sheeran is a member of the Council of Foreign Relations and has served on its Washington Advisory Board. She has received several honors for her leadership in the fight against hunger and malnutrition: she was awarded Japan's Nigata International Food Award; named Commandeur de l'Ordre du Mérite Agricole by the government of France; and received Brazil's highest civilian award, the Grand Official Order of the 'Rio Branco,' from President Lula Da Silva. Sheeran was also honored by the Huffington Post with its "Game Changer" award in 2011, along with Liberian President Ellen Sirleaf Johnson and economist Esther Duflo.
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Executive Vice President
Tom Nagorski became Executive Vice President of the Asia Society following a three-decade career in journalism — having served most recently as Managing Editor for International Coverage at ABC News.
Before that he was Foreign Editor for World News Tonight, and a reporter and producer based in Russia, Germany and Thailand. Nagorski was the recipient of eight Emmy awards and the Dupont Award for excellence in international coverage, as well as a fellowship from the Henry Luce Foundation. He has written for several publications and is the author of Miracles on the Water: The Heroic Survivors of a World War II U-Boat Attack.
Nagorski lives in Brooklyn with his wife and two children.
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Museum Director and Senior Vice President, Global Arts and Cultural Programs
Dr. Melissa Chiu is Director of the Asia Society Museum in New York and Senior Vice President for Global Arts and Cultural Programs for the Society's 11 centers and affiliates in the United States and Asia.
She is responsible for the exhibition program in New York and at the organization's new cultural centers in Hong Kong and Houston. She was appointed Museum Director in 2004, after joining Asia Society in 2001 as the first-ever curator of contemporary Asian and Asian American art in the United States. As a leading authority on Asian contemporary art, she has initiated a number of major initiatives at the Asia Society Museum, including the launch in 2007 of a contemporary art collection to complement the museum's renowned collection of traditional Asian art, gifted to the Society in 1978 by Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd. In her role as museum director she has also organized major international first-time loan shows with the governments of China, Vietnam, Pakistan and India.
Chiu is a frequent commentator in the news media, and a go-to expert and authority on Asian contemporary art and artists. She has been a cultural commentator on PBS/Thirteen's Sunday Arts television program, where she interviewed cultural leading figures including Chuck Close, Shirin Neshat and William Kentridge. She has lectured at Harvard University, Columbia University, Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, and Yale University, among others. She was a Getty Research Fellow (2003-2004) and has served on grant and policy advisory committees for the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the New York State Council on the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and Pew. She currently serves on the board of the American Association of Museums and the Museums Association of New York and has served on the board of the Association of Art Museum Directors, the lead professional organization for art museum directors in the United States.
Chiu is the author of a number of books, including Breakout: Chinese Art Outside China (2007), which focuses on the international Chinese artistic diaspora, and Chinese Contemporary Art: 7 Things You Should Know (2008). Recent titles include the first comprehensive introduction to Asian contemporary art, Asian Art Now (Random House and Thames & Hudson, 2010) and the first academic anthology, Contemporary Art in Asia: A Critical Reader (MIT Press, 2010), both with Benjamin Genocchio.
Prior to joining Asia Society, Chiu was Founding Director of the Asia-Australia Arts Centre in Sydney, Australia (1996–2001). She earned her Ph.D in Art History and M.A. in Arts Administration in Australia.
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Vice President, Global Policy Programs
As the Vice President of Global Policy Programs, Suzanne DiMaggio oversees Asia Society's task forces, working groups, and Track II initiatives.
She is currently leading projects focused on US-Iran relations, regional security in South Asia, Burma/Myanmar, and sustainability issues in Asia, including food and water security.
Prior to joining Asia Society in 2007, Ms. DiMaggio served as the Vice President of Global Policy Programs at the United Nations Association of the USA (UNA-USA), where she directed programs aimed at advancing multilateral approaches to global problem solving and encouraging constructive US international engagement. She also led UNA-USA's Track II dialogues with partners in the Middle East and Asia on a range of issues, including regional security, terrorism, nonproliferation, multilateral peace operations, and global environmental governance. From 2002 to 2007, she directed a US-Iran policy dialogue, which served as one of the few bridges facilitating sustained, face-to-face discussions between Americans and Iranians.
Prior to joining UNA-USA in 1998, Ms. DiMaggio was a Program Officer at the United Nations University (UNU), a research institute that links the UN system with international academic and policy communities. First based in Tokyo, Japan, and later at UN headquarters in New York, she focused on international security issues and sustainable development.
From 2000 to 2007, Ms. DiMaggio was an Adjunct Professor at the John C. Whitehead School of Diplomacy and International Relations at Seton Hall University. She holds a B.A. from New York University and an M.A. in international relations from The City College of New York (CUNY). She is a frequent commentator in the news media, and her op-eds have appeared in national and international press.
Ms. DiMaggio resides in NYC's Greenwich Village with her husband, jazz bassist and composer Ben Allison, and their daughter.
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Vice President, External Affairs
Shayne Doty is Vice President for External Affairs at Asia Society, where he is responsible for fundraising for the New York headquarters, and for coordination of fundraising efforts globally.
He joined Asia Society in April of 2010, after six years as Director of Advancement and External Relations at Washington National Opera. During that time he broadened the Board of Trustees, negotiated several million-dollar gifts including support from Asia, created an industry night at the opera for the private equity community, handled relations with the diplomatic community, and shaped many of the galas for which WNO is known.
His past experience includes working as Senior Major Gifts Officer at The Metropolitan Opera, where he assisted the President of the Board of Trustees, working with the Fulbright International Center at the University of Maryland, and previous development work at Duke University.
Mr. Doty's background includes work as a professional concert organist with recitals at locations such as the Basilica Saint-Denis in France, St. Paul's Bloor Street in Canada, and in New York at venues such as St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue, and St. Paul's Chapel of Trinity Church. He is a high school graduate and Kenan Scholar of the North Carolina School of the Arts, a Mary Duke Biddle Scholar and graduate of Duke University, and holds a diploma from the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Lyon. He is a board member of the Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts, the French-American Cultural Foundation and a member of the Board of Visitors of the University of the North Carolina School of the Arts.
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Vice President, Communications and Marketing
Basil Hero is Vice President of Communications and Marketing at Asia Society, responsible for developing and implementing multi-platform strategies to promote the organization's work across all disciplines and throughout its network in the U.S. and in Asia.
Appointed in March 2013, Basil oversees the Asia Society's institutional marketing and promotion, including the organization's digital strategy and website, and coordinates promotional efforts globally.
Basil brings to the Asia Society a strong background in marketing, fundraising and digital media — as well as business experience in Asia. Previously, he was Chief Marketing Officer for Spectacular Ventures, a digital media company, where he initiated and oversaw the launch of a global brand of city-themed pavilions in Asia and the company's rollout in Shanghai and Beijing. Prior to that, he was CEO of Broadway Digital Entertainment, which he founded in 1997. Basil and his team at BDE created the Broadway Theatre Archive to digitally preserve more than 300 prime-time television specials adapted from Broadway plays, and marketed the library to broadcasters, consumers and educators around the world — streaming video over websites at a time when that was nearly uncharted territory. Before that, Basil was an award-winning correspondent for NBC and CBS News affiliates.
Basil is a native of New York and holds a B.A. degree in Political Science from Tufts University.
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Vice President, Education
Anthony Jackson is Vice President for Education at Asia Society. He also leads Asia Society's Partnership for Global Learning (PGL), a national membership network of practitioners and policymakers dedicated to integrating knowledge about Asia and the world as a mainstay of American education.
Over the past six years, he has led the development of Asia Society's International Studies Schools Network, an effort within the PGL to create a network of small, effective, internationally-themed secondary schools across the country.
Before joining Asia Society, he was a Director of the Walt Disney Company's Disney Learning Partnership, where he designed and oversaw the Creative Learning Communities network of reforming elementary schools. Dr. Jackson, trained in both developmental psychology and education, is one of the nation’s leading experts on secondary school reform and adolescent development.
After a stint on Capitol Hill as a Congressional Science Fellow he became a senior staff member on the Select Committee on Children, Youth, and Families, chaired by George Miller (D-CA). Dr. Jackson later directed the Carnegie Corporation Task Force on the Education of Young Adolescents that produced the seminal Turning Points report, which became a key blueprint for the reform of thousands of middle schools nationwide.
While at Carnegie Corporation he created and directed the Turning Points network of over 250 middle schools that operated in 15 states, as well as in Los Angeles and New York City. He also co-authored the follow-up blueprint Turning Points 2000, which transformed many of the design principles in the original report into concrete action steps for new and reconstituted secondary schools. Many urban districts are now using Turning Points 2000 to guide secondary school reform initiatives.
In 2004, Teachers College Press published the latest book Dr. Jackson co-authored, entitled Making the Most of Middle School: A Field Guide for Parents and Others. While at Carnegie, Dr. Jackson also directed an inter-group relations program and research network that led to the design of model inter-cultural school and community programs.
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Chief Financial Officer and Vice President, Operations
Don Nagle joined the Asia Society in July 2007 as Chief Financial Officer. In May 2009 his responsibilities were expanded to include administrative oversight of the Society.
Mr. Nagle oversees its Centers in Asia and the US, its Human Resources, IT, and planning functions, and the running of the organization's headquarters building in New York City. Additionally, he is responsible for managing the institution's financial affairs, including accounting, budgeting, forecasting, and controls.
Prior to joining Asia Society, Mr. Nagle spent most of his career at Kraft Foods, leading the financial organization for several of its businesses. During his nearly three decades with the company, he developed extensive operating experience managing financial organizations through significant business change. Over the years, Mr. Nagle has augmented his corporate experience with service on several boards, including an inner city social services agency, where he focused on improving financial infrastructure and resources. He began his career in the mid-1970s with AFS-USA, the international student exchange organization.
Mr. Nagle earned an MBA from the Darden School at the University of Virginia and holds a BA from Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, in Economics and International Relations.
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Vice President, Global Programs and Executive Director, Northern California
Dr. N. Bruce Pickering is Vice President of Global Programs at Asia Society, overseeing cross-Center program initiatives throughout the organization's global network.
Appointed in July 2012, he is based in San Francisco, where has served as Executive Director for Northern California since 2003.
During his tenure, Pickering has overseen an expansion of Asia Society's multidisciplinary activities in the Northern California region, particularly as they reflect San Francisco's status as America's gateway to the Pacific. He has fostered the Pacific Cities Sustainability Initiative, a partnership that brings together global experts from academia, government, the private sector and civil society to address urban sustainability challenges around the Pacific Rim.
Pickering has an extensive background working on Asia-related issues in the government, non-profit and academic sectors. Prior to joining Asia Society, Pickering was Director of Public Affairs and Development at the Graduate School of Journalism and Special Assistant to the Director of the Institute of East Asian Studies at UC Berkeley. Before that, he was Program Director of the World Affairs Council from 1997-1999, and Executive Director of the US-Japan 21st Century Project, a commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Treaty of Peace with Japan, which was signed in San Francisco in 1951.
Pickering currently serves on the ChinaSF Advisory Board and the advisory council of USC's Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBEAR).
He is a former Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Department of State, serving from 1981 to 1993, and specializing in Political and Arms Control issues. He was Deputy Political Counsel on the U.S. Delegation to the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Vienna during the collapse of the Soviet Union and the creation of the "New Europe" from 1988-1992.
Pickering holds a doctorate in History from the University of California at Berkeley and an MA in Political Science from Stanford University. He and his wife, Eileen Sheehan, have three children.
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