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Director of the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy

Japanese American National Museum
California, United States
Salary Not specified
Closing date
May 18, 2022





National Center for the Preservation of Democracy

at the Japanese American National Museum








The Opportunity


The Japanese American National Museum is revitalizing its National Center for the Preservation of Democracy (NCPD) and is seeking an experienced dynamic leader to serve as its new Director to realize its full potential as a conduit that promotes democracy in the 21st century. A purpose-driven leader, the Director of the NCPD will be responsible for the vision, strategy development, and implementation of NCPD’s programs advancing its goals and purpose of ensuring equity and justice. The Director will bring new perspectives and energy to the work of NCPD to activate and engage audiences around challenging issues confronting democracy to increase civic engagement. The purpose of the NCPD is to activate all people toward reimagining democracy today so that it is equitable for all. The programs will inform and enable participants to deeply consider issues and motivate them to take action fostering change.


The ideal candidate brings substantive program and leadership experience in a comparable role, deep knowledge of social justice, racial equity, the Asian American experience, and the intersectional nature of democracy, with knowledge and passion gained through lived experience. The Director will possess a deep passion for societal change and a strong belief in civic dialogue and the democratic process as the basis for NCPD programming.


The Director will serve as the NCPD team lead reporting to the JANM President & CEO, working closely with the JANM team to advance organizational priorities. The Director will grow and lead a team of three dedicated NCPD staff, and will cultivate a team-centric culture and cohesive, collaborative, and supportive workplace environment. The Director will invest in recruiting, developing, and retaining a high-quality workforce.



About National Center for the Preservation of Democracy

The National Center for the Preservation of Democracy (NCPD), which opened in 2005, convenes and educates people of all ages about democracy to transform attitudes, influence culture, and promote civic engagement.

Located at the Japanese American National Museum (JANM) in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo community, NCPD is a place for dialogue about race and social justice where visitors examine contemporary and historical frameworks, including the Asian American experience. The Center explores the rights, freedoms, and enduring fragility of democracy, helping to build bridges and find common ground between people of diverse backgrounds and opinions.

In 2021, the Center embarked on a process to revitalize its programs while retaining its educational focus and deep connection to the Japanese American community. 


Key Responsibilities


  • Vision and Strategy–Provide strategic leadership, vision, and oversight of NCPD program activities.


  • Management–Lead program development, working cross functionally with JANM’s Marketing and Communications, Fund Development, and Public Programs.


  • Programs–Develop new NCPD programs that elevate themes exploring issues of Democracy to engage the public, including a speaker series, arts and culture programming, artists-in-residence and democracy fellowships, and internship programs for historians and democracy scholars.


  • Outreach & Engagement–Create NCPD partnerships with organizations, thought leaders, and community members.


  • Fundraising–In coordination with JANM fund development staff, identify, and secure resources and support for NCPD and its programs.


  • Team Leadership–Manage a program associate, volunteers, and interns, and develop a plan to grow the NCPD staff to three, including program manager and program coordinator.


  • Operations–Manage and lead NCPD operations including scheduling, production, events, and operations.


Skills and Experience


Ideal candidate will possess the following qualifications:

  • A leader with a passion for social justice, racial equity, and deep knowledge and experience creating and managing programs that advance these areas. 
  • An inspiring manager with a track record of success leading and contributing to impactful programs and successful outcomes.
  • A track record and history of community-based work including grassroots, movement building, familiarity with public policy and the democratic process, especially to address vulnerable populations. 
  • Experience in organizational planning and developing and implementing strategic and business plans.
  • Bachelor’s degree in History, Communications, Asian American Studies, Management or Education, MA. is preferred; or an equivalent combination of education and experience.  



Personal Characteristics and Values


  • Excellent listener, values diverse viewpoints
  • Maturity and judgment, act thoughtfully
  • Analytical thinker
  • Curiosity and intellectual capacity
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills including presentation and facilitation abilities
  • Enthusiasm, patience
  • Sensitive, respectful, empathetic, ability to build trusting relationships
  • Collaborative, transparent
  • Unquestioned integrity, ethics and values


Position is Full-Time/Exempt

No Paid Relocation, Requires full vaccination + booster of COVID-19 to work on-site

Benefits: Medical, Dental, ERISA 403(b) retirement plan, Group Life, optional group vision and FSA. 17 paid holidays, sick time, 2 weeks of vacation time, on-site parking, complimentary museum membership, discount in museum store and at on-site Chado Tea Room.


To apply, please submit cover letter, resume and an application form

Japanese American National Museum

Attn: Human Resources

Re: Director, NCPD

100 N. Central Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012


JANM is an Equal Opportunity Employer and welcomes diverse candidates.  Candidates /selected for advancement will be invited to participate in several rounds of interviews, background check and professional references. 



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