Dr. Jane Chu was sworn in as 11th chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) on July 23, 2014. At the ceremony, Dr. Chu stated: "My most important job is to help all Americans understand the value and meaning the arts have in their lives."
Most recently, Dr. Chu was president and CEO of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, Missouri, where she oversaw a $413-million building campaign. The Kauffman Center is the performance home of the Kansas City Ballet, Kansas City Symphony, and Lyric Opera of Kansas City.
Previously at the Kauffman Center, Dr. Chu was a fund executive. Prior to that, she was vice president of external relations for Union Station Kansas City, and vice president of community investment for the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation. She served as a trustee at William Jewell College and was on the boards of the Ewing Marion Kauffman School and the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce.
Born in Shawnee, Oklahoma, Dr. Chu was raised in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, by her Chinese immigrant parents. She received bachelor's degrees in piano performance and music education from Ouachita Baptist University and master's degrees in music and piano pedagogy from Southern Methodist University. She also holds a master's degree in business administration from Rockhurst University and a Ph.D. in philanthropic studies from Indiana University, as well as an honorary doctorate in music from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance.