President: Yuko Kaifu
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Prior to joining Japan House in January 2016, she was Managing Director in the Corporate Communications Department of MUFG Union Bank, owned by the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, where she was charged with media relations, internal/external publications of the bank, and with CSR activities for the Japanese and Japanese American communities and for the US-Japan relations.Read more.
She started her career at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. Her past assignments include the Embassy of Japan in Canada, North American Affairs Bureau, Economic Cooperation Bureau, Foreign Policy Bureau, and Cultural Affairs Department, where she was Deputy Director in Tokyo. During her service at the Ministry, she was appointed official interpreter for Her Majesty the Empress, Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Japan.
After she served as Consul at the Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles from 2001 to 2007, she left the government to work as Vice President of the Japanese American National Museum. She has sat on the boards of various community organizations including Nisei Week Foundation and International Visitors Council of Los Angeles, and is the Executive Vice President of Japan Business Association of Southern California, and is honorary advisor for the Japanese Flower Arrangement Association of Southern California, the Omote Senke Tea Ceremony Association of Southern California and the North American Calligraphy Association.
She graduated from Nara Women’s University and received Master’s degree in Sociology from Queen’s University in Canada.
Executive Vice President: Michael McDowell
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Previously, McDowell was the first Vice President for Cultural Tourism at the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, where he promoted Los Angeles as a premier cultural center for visitors worldwide since 2004. In 2011, he also assumed responsibility for marketing efforts created to attract African-American, Asian/Pacific Islander, Latino and LGBT visitors, which together account for 42 percent of all visitors to Los Angeles. Before that, McDowell held leadership positions at the CalArts and USC as well as top positions in higher education, government and publishing on the East Coast.Read more.
As a volunteer, McDowell has served on boards for Arts for LA, the U.S. Cultural & Heritage Tourism Alliance, the International Visitors Council of Los Angeles, the LA Stage Alliance, and the Travel & Tourism Marketing Association of Southern California, among others.
He holds a bachelor’s degree, with distinction, from the University of Virginia.
Producing Director: Leslie Tamaribuchi
Photo provided by Leslie Tamaribuchi
Tamaribuchi is responsible for the administration of all public programs. Previously, she served on the Creative Producing and Management faculty at California Institute of the Arts and as Producing Director of CalArts Center for New Performance. Before CalArts, Tamaribuchi was Managing Director of Cornerstone Theater Company. She studied at Kyoto University and Konan University, collaborated with sho-gekijo and butoh artists, and earned masters and bachelor degrees from Harvard University. Tamaribuchi has served on grants panels for the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, California Arts Council, and the city and county of Los Angeles, among others.