MENLO PARK, Calif.—The William and Flora Foundation announced today that Emiko Ono is the new program director of the foundation’s Performing Arts Program. Hewlett Foundation President Larry Kramer announced the news of Emiko’s appointment in an email to grantees and colleagues:
It is with great pleasure that I write to tell you that we have chosen our own Emiko Ono as the new program director of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation’s Performing Arts Program. Many of you already know Emiko well, but for those who don’t, she has served as a program officer at the Hewlett Foundation since 2011, managing grants that support a portfolio of more than 80 performing arts organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Emiko brings to her new role extensive experience in developing and leading education, professional development and grantmaking programs. Prior to joining the Hewlett Foundation, she served as the director of grants and professional development at the Los Angeles County Arts Commission and at the Arts Council for Long Beach, where she held the same title. Before that, she supported volunteer programs and helped to establish a multi-disciplinary arts partnership program at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.
It is unusual, though not unprecedented, for the Hewlett Foundation to promote someone from our own staff to a leadership role. In this case, the choice became clear as we moved through an extensive, nationwide search process. In addition to her deep knowledge of the Bay Area arts community and our own program, she is recognized as a national leader in arts philanthropy, and her name came up over and over again in conversations with colleagues both inside and outside the foundation as the ideal candidate for this position.
In addition to managing a large portfolio of grants at the Hewlett Foundation, Emiko has also led the development of a grantmaking strategy focused on cross-generational leadership in the arts, which she described in a 2016 report, Moving Arts Leadership Forward. As a member of the foundation’s Building an Inclusive Culture working group, she helped lead an internal review of the foundation’s approach to issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
She currently serves on the advisory council for Fund the People, which works to ensure funders invest in a well-supported, diverse, and sustainable nonprofit workforce. She holds degrees from the University of California, Berkeley and Bank Street College of Education in New York City.
Emiko succeeds John McGuirk, who completed his term as program director last November. Under John’s leadership, our Performing Arts Program achieved impressive results, evolving to meet the changing needs of the Bay Area arts community and the audiences it serves, and Emiko has been pivotal in the program’s development over that time.
Please join me in congratulating Emiko. I am confident that she is the right person to lead the next evolution of our Performing Arts Program while maintaining one of the foundation’s oldest and deepest commitments—to sustaining artistic expression and encouraging public engagement in the arts in the San Francisco Bay Area.