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Taro O'Sullivan

Taro O'Sullivan

Taro O’Sullivan was the first non-Japanese citizen to be appointed as the executive director of Amnesty International, Japan. He returned to the United States in 2018 Prior to that, Taro was the Executive Director of the Labor Community Services that provided social services for the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO. He has over 20 years of experience in the non-profit and labor sector as a political advocate, diversity trainer, columnist and author.

After working on the Gore/Lieberman campaign, Taro took his three children and left the United States for Canada where he remained for nearly ten years. There, he was the executive director of the Service Employees International Union, Canada. He was also the Executive Director of ASIA, the Asian Society for the Intervention of AIDS in Vancouver, British Columbia. He served on the Board of Directors of the Asian Heritage Month Society, the Japanese Canadian Citizens Association; the Asian Writer’s Workshop and served on the city of Vancouver Mayor’s Special Advisory Committee on Diversity Issues.

Taro was the first Executive Director for the State Commission on Asian Affairs in Oregon for Governor John Kitzhaber. In Oregon, he served on the Secretary of Education’s Underrepresented and Minority Student Achievement Advisory Team, President’s Board of Visitors for Minority Affairs, Oregon State University, Board of Directors, Immigrant Refugee Center of Oregon (IRCO), Multicultural HIV-AIDS Alliance of Oregon, Multicultural/Multiethnic Education Task Force, Portland Public Schools, Asian Pacific American Network Organization, Oregon Health Division Office of Minority Health Multicultural Health Board, HIV-AIDS Care Consortium of Oregon, Hate Crimes Commission and others.

As a public speaker, he has testified at numerous public hearings, social and community events, press conferences, political campaigns and conferences. Some of his public appearances include; keynote speech at the 60th Anniversary of Executive Order 9066, which imprisoned over 120,000 persons of Japanese ancestry during WW II at Manzanar Relocation Center in the California Mojave Desert, keynote speaker for the 58th Hiroshima-Nagasaki Commemoration for the Physicians for Social Responsibility, Dialogue for Peace, Oct 2001 with panels from the Muslim leadership and Japanese American internment survivors regarding 9-11 and Islamaphobia. He hosted a radio show at KBOO, the largest listener sponsored station in the country and worked on public and local television and radio covering politics and ethnic community issues. Taro wrote a weekly column for 9 years for the Asian Reporter and other ethnic papers including the Rafu Shimpo, the oldest ethnic daily in the country published in Los Angeles.

He has been a featured trainer in the US and Canada in cultural competence, pluralism and social equity for over 20 years. A frequent lecturer at regional Journalism schools, Taro brought his unique perspective to the subjects of reporting, writing and ethnic community reporting.

Taro was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan , he currently resides in the Los Angeles area.