FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - September 1, 2022


Media Relations - - 213.830.5690

Kelli-Ann Nakayama Named Chief Development Officer at the Japanese American National Museum

LOS ANGELES, CA – The Japanese American National Museum (JANM) has appointed Kelli-Ann Nakayama as the Museum’s new chief development officer.

Nakayama has more than twenty years of professional nonprofit fundraising experience, with a specialty in capital campaigns and major/principal gifts. She provides leadership to the Museum's national philanthropic funding strategies, including membership, individual and institutional giving, and development operations. She received her MA in Museum Studies from San Francisco State University, her BA in Anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley, and has professional certificates in philanthropy and fundraising management. 

Nakayama’s extensive fundraising experience stems from her previous work with Boy Scouts of America National Foundation, where she spearheaded a team of fundraising professionals, forty-four local councils, and hundreds of volunteers to raise over $21.5 million for local membership growth initiatives. As the director of development at the USC Keck School of Medicine, she solicited, managed, and secured over $4.3 million in individual gifts for stem cell research and supported a team responsible for raising $35 million. She also has a strong connection to the Los Angeles Japanese American community and JANM

“When I visited JANM, I felt the gravity of past hardships, saw the resilience of families, and learned about the perseverance of leaders who fought for justice. Those visits were also poignant reminders that many communities today suffer from the same discrimination that plagued the US eighty years ago. As a fourth-generation Japanese American whose relatives were incarcerated during World War II (and whose grandfather started Tokyo Bank and was one of the first Japanese American bankers in the US), I have a deep and personal appreciation of JANM for capturing the shared histories and contemporary narratives of our vibrant and dynamic community,” said Nakayama.

“Kelli brings a wealth and depth of experience in every aspect of fundraising, management, and leadership to JANM—and she is no stranger to the Museum. As she said to me, ‘It’s like coming back home.’ I am excited to have Kelli aboard, and for the passion and leadership she brings to our stellar development team,” said Ann Burroughs, President and CEO of JANM.


About the Japanese American National Museum (JANM)

Established in 1985, JANM promotes understanding and appreciation of America’s ethnic and cultural diversity by sharing the Japanese American experience. Located in the historic Little Tokyo district of downtown Los Angeles, JANM is a hybrid institution that straddles traditional museum categories and strives to provide a voice for Japanese Americans as well as a forum that enables all people to explore their own heritage and culture. Since opening to the public in 1992, JANM has presented over 70 exhibitions onsite while traveling 17 exhibits to venues such as the Smithsonian Institution and the Ellis Island Museum in the United States, and to several leading cultural museums in Japan and South America. For more information, visit or follow us on social media @jamuseum.