We were thrilled to announce today that Wilbur L. Ross is the new Chairman of the Board, effective June 9.
Mr. Ross, Chairman & CEO, WL Ross & Co., LLC, spoke to The Wall Street Journal* about his appointment and noted, "the world has become more interconnected, making relations with Japan--America's fourth largest trading partner after Canada, Mexico, and China--more relevant today than ever."
Upon his election, he said "I have witnessed Japan Society's power to connect the people of the U.S. and Japan firsthand as a supporter, a participant in its galvanizing programming, and, in the last few years, as a member of its Board. Where mutual understanding remains our mission, I am excited to further support the Society as it seeks a broader, more continuous relationship between the people of the U.S. and Japan."
Since 2000, WL Ross & Co. LLC has underwritten Japan Society's Corporate Program and recently renewed their support as a program partner.
A collector of Japanese photography, Mr. Ross supported Hiroshi Sugimoto: History of History at Japan Society Gallery 2005-06, as well as the Society's 2007-08 centennial celebration.
As a participant in Japan Society programming, Mr. Ross spoke at a major corporate restructuring symposium, presided a Japanese economic recovery discussion with Hiroshi Watanabe, Vice-Minister of Finance for International Affairs of Japan, and talked with Scott Callon of Ichigo Asset Management, Ltd., to discuss the firm's landmark decision to launch what became Japan's first successful proxy solicitation.
Mr. Ross has served on Japan Society's Board of Directors since February 2005. He is a gala chair for the Society's 2010 Annual Dinner on May 24, keynoted by Jamie Dimon, Chairman & CEO, JPMorgan Chase & Co.
*Note: The WSJ article inaccurately reported this appointment marked "the end of an era" for the Rockefeller family's involvement with Japan Society. In fact, we received a generous gift from the Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller Fund during our 100th anniversary year; our centennial gala dinner honored David Rockefeller, Sr., and Senator John D. Rockefeller IV introduced President Clinton's keynote; and Justin Rockefeller currently serves on our Board. Kudos to WSJ though for highlighting our Language Center and the U.S.-Japan Innovators Network, two important JS programs that the media tends to overlook!
Photo Credit: Wilbur L. Ross, Jr. (left) greets Fujio Cho, Chairman, Toyota Motor Corporation (right), in 2007 at the "Centennial Speakers" lecture series during the Society's 100th anniversary year. Photo (c) Ken Levinson.