The Asia Society has announced that Vishakha N. Desai will step down on Sept. 1 following her eight-year tenure as president.
Desai’s 22 year career at Asia Society began as museum director in 1990. She subsequently became senior vice president and then president and CEO.
In her time as president, Desai oversaw the establishment of new offices in India and South Korea and the opening of two multi-million-dollar centers with gallery exhibition space in Houston and Hong Kong.
“This has been truly a landmark year for the Society,” said Desai in a statement. “In the past two months, we have inaugurated two magnificent buildings in Hong Kong and Houston and completed an ambitious strategic plan. It has been a privilege to preside over the institution during this time of dramatic transformation. It is now the right time to close my chapter and open the way to new leadership at the Asia Society.”
In an e-mail to staff, Desai wrote: “I will leave the institution with a smile in my heart and a lump in my throat. I am smiling, borderline grinning, when I think of all we have accomplished together.”
Desai will join the Guggenheim Foundation as a senior adviser for Global Policy and Programs.
The Asia Society Board of Trustees has launched a search for a new President and CEO.
The Asia Society, founded in 1956 by John D. Rockefeller III, is headquartered in New York, with additional offices in Hong Kong, Houston, Los Angeles, Melbourne, Mumbai, San Francisco, Seoul, Shanghai and Washington, DC.