Reflecting its diversifying community, the Japanese American National Museum announced Friday that it had hired a fourth-generation Alaskan of Japanese and European heritage as chief executive of one of Little Tokyo's most important institutions.
G.W. "Greg" Kimura, who headed the Alaska Humanities Forum, will take over the museum as it struggles with an aging donor base, fundraising difficulties and the challenge of appealing to younger and more assimilated Japanese Americans.
Gordon Yamate, chairman of the museum board, said Kimura's fundraising skills would be particularly needed, even as his institution has financially stabilized after retiring about $2 million in short-term debt in the past few years.
Kimura, 43, more than doubled revenue at the Alaska humanities council during his five-year tenure, Yamate said. Previously, Kimura taught religion and humanities at Alaska Pacific University, and is an ordained Episcopal minister.