president and chief operating officer, East West Bank
Julia S. Gouw is the President and Chief Operating Officer of East West Bank. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of East West Bancorp, Inc., the parent company of East West Bank. Headquartered in Pasadena, East West Bank is a full service commercial bank with over $28 billion in assets and over 130 locations across the U.S. and Greater China. It is ranked among the top 25 largest publicly traded banks by market capitalization in the nation. The Bank’s outstanding performance has won it recognition as one of the top 10 of “America’s 100 Best Banks” by Forbes for the last four consecutive years (2010-2013).
With outstanding business leadership, Gouw has been ranked one of the “25 Most Powerful Women in Banking” five times by American Banker magazine and has twice received the Los Angeles Business Journal’s “Women Making a Difference” award. She has also been selected among Los Angeles Business Journal’s “L.A.’s Top Women in Finance.”
Named as Philanthropist of the Year by the National Association of Women Business Owners in Los Angeles and by the Los Angeles Business Journal, Gouw has been taking the initiative to contribute to the community. She has actively supported medical research, education programs and organizations that help to improve the lives of people in need. Led by Gouw and other executives, East West Bank has partnered with the United Way of Greater Los Angeles for over 15 years, supporting their volunteer work and local charities. Gouw currently serves on the Board of Overseers for the UCLA Health System. She is especially devoted to promoting women’s health and has been the Founding Chair of the Executive Women’s Advisory Board for the Iris Cantor-UCLA Women’s Health Center. Gouw recently joined UCLA Foundation’s Philanthropy Committee to actively promote philanthropy and impact advancements of UCLA school and programs. With an international perspective, Gouw is also associated with the Clinton Global Initiative. It was established in 2005 by former President Bill Clinton to convene global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions for the world’s most pressing challenges.
Born and raised in Indonesia, Gouw came to the U.S. in 1978 where she later earned her B.S. degree in accounting from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Prior to joining the Bank, she was a Senior Audit Manager at KPMG LLP.