Courtney Sakai

Vice President of Development
SakaiC [at]
Area of Expertise: 

Executive leadership in fundraising, business planning, communications and institutional development for nonprofit, corporate and government organizations.

Courtney Sakai joined the East-West Center as Vice President of Development on July 1, 2017. Ms. Sakai assists the East-West Center president in building upon the Center’s established legacy as a preeminent organization focused on the Asia-Pacific region. She leads institutional strategies for marketing and communications and for diversifying the institution’s funding base among public and private donors and partners in the United States and internationally.

She was previously Senior Vice President of Global Development for Oceana in Washington, D.C., the largest international advocacy organization focused solely on ocean conservation. While there she led fundraising efforts, designed and led large-scale initiatives on trade, science, and conservation issues, and improved quality and efficiency in the organization’s operations.

Sakai has also served as vice president of the Coalition of Services Industries, where she worked to reinvigorate the world’s leading association on trade in services, leading international trade initiatives for approximately 35 companies including UPS, FedEx, Citi, MetLife, Aflac, Microsoft, 21st Century Fox, VISA, eBay and others. She was previously an award-winning PR and public affairs practitioner at Cohn & Wolfe in Washington, D.C. and Joe Shumate & Associates in Sacramento, California. From 1996 to 1998, she was a deputy assistant secretary of the California Resources Agency, and previously served on the professional and political staffs of California Governor Pete Wilson.

Sakai holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Smith College and is a graduate of the California Executive Fellowship.