Stephen D. Bloom

International Affairs Fellow in Japan, sponsored by Hitachi, Ltd.

Stephen D. Bloom is executive director of the Portland Japanese Garden. Steve has implemented a fund development program for the Garden, strengthened relationships with local organizations, and cultivated national and international associations—all while improving the Garden’s financial stability. Moving the Portland Japanese Garden into leadership role within the local community, while giving the Garden a much greater national and international presence has been a keystone of Steve’s tenure at the Garden. A natural leader, Steve started his career as an orchestra conductor, where he became intimately knowledgeable about the inner workings of the world of symphonies and non-profits. For 15 years Steve served various roles with major symphony orchestras, including general manager, executive director, and most recently, president. As President of the Honolulu Symphony, Steve was challenged with the task of creating and implementing a new financial plan that resulted in the organization being debt-free for the first time in over 20 years. In addition, the symphony established a sizable cash reserve, while increasing annual operating revenues by over a million dollars. Prior to Honolulu, Steve showed early success, where at the age of 27 he served as Executive Director of the Tacoma Symphony (1996-2000), and over a four year period substantially increased revenues, increased attendance, and more than doubled the number of seasoned subscribers. Steve received his BA in Music Education in 1991 from the State University of New York’s Crane School of Music, and in 2003 was a recipient of a Social Innovation Fellowship to attend the Stanford University Graduate School of Business executive education program on non-profit management. He has served on the Board of Regents of Chaminade University in Honolulu, the Board of the Japan America Society of Oregon, and also served as the President of the Washington State Arts Alliance.  In 2004, Steve was the recipient of the Pacific Business News “Forty under 40” award, recognizing young business leadership. Other professional positions have included employment with the Buffalo Philharmonic and the Sacramento Symphony. Steve is spending his fellowship tenure at Tokyo University of Agriculture.