Director of Public Programs

About China Institute:

Founded in 1926 by Chinese reformers Hu Shi and K.P. Wen, and U.S. educators John Dewey and Paul Monroe, China Institute is the leading non-profit organization in America to focus exclusively on China. Its mission is to advance a deeper understanding of China through programs in education, culture, art, and business. The Institute provides a vital forum for dialogue, connecting, and learning through its School of Chinese Studies, the China Institute Gallery; and Public Programs.

This is a transformative time at China Institute with the Lower Manhattan headquarters’ ground-floor buildout nearing completion and the expansion of programs and activities to serve this critical mission and achieve greater impact. It is an excellent opportunity to collaborate with senior leadership to grow the brand of China Institute (CI), its reach and impact, through increased and sustainable corporate philanthropic support and visibility.

About the Role:

The Director of Public Programs creates and manages the full spectrum of public-facing programs at CI. The ideal candidate will bring a wealth of experience in Chinese arts, culture and business, with a specialization in at least one of these areas, as well having a portfolio of contacts in this fields. This individual will be the outward face of the public programs for CI and develop world-class, cutting-edge programs and events that advance a deeper understanding of China. This position reports to the President and works closely with him and other senior staff members, as well as managing a growing team of 2-5 people.


  • Create the vision for the Public Programs department in alignment with CI’s mission
  • Direct, manage and deliver world-class programs and events, both in person and online
  • Identify and arrange for top-tier speakers and thought leaders for a range of public programs
  • Provide thought leadership and strategy on growing audiences and increasing engagement; monitor the reach and impact of public programs and events
  • Oversee the expansion of programming into cuisine, as part of our new Cuisine Center at CI in our ground-floor Washington Street space
  • Design and implement CI’s annual US-China Executive Summit, a 2- day business conference
  • Establish annual work plans and key performance indicators in collaboration with the President
  • Develop and maintain relationships with a broad spectrum of cultural organizations and businesses, both in the US and in China. Leverage industry expertise and market trends
  • Liaise with staff, Board, and other stakeholders, in US and China, to achieve public program and event objectives
  • Work with the Marketing and Development departments on public relations, communication and fundraising strategies
  • Manage and work with the Board of Trustees’ Public Programs Committee and assist on the Corporate Engagement Committee
  • Collaborate with the Development department selecting corporate prospects for honorees for CI’s annual Blue Cloud Gala
  • Ensure database management including speakers and attendee information and mailing lists
  • Manage an annual departmental budget


  • Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree highly preferred
  • A minimum 7-10 years of relevant experience in the US and/or China with demonstrated increasing responsibilities
  • Knowledge and experience of China is required; experience with US/China business climate is a plus
  • Fluency in Mandarin is a plus
  • Background in marketing, fundraising, and/or non-profit sector is an advantage
  • Excellent organizational, analytical, and interpersonal skills, both oral and written
  • Self-starter, detail-oriented, ability to handle multiple priorities simultaneously
  • Outstanding management, networking and presentation skills
  • Proficiency with MS Office Suite, non-profit databases, and CRM systems. Ability to do web-based research

Salary and Benefits:

  • The salary is dependent upon qualifications. China Institute offers competitive compensation and benefits package, including 403(b) pension plan and generous paid time-off.

To Apply:

Please include a resume, cover letter, and salary requirements and send to No calls please.


China Institute is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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