March 30, 2016 Latest News


The US-Japan Foundation is proud to announce the newest class of Delegates to the US-Japan Leadership Program (USJLP). The purpose of USJLP is to develop a network of communication, friendship and understanding among the next generation of leaders in the U.S. and Japan. The Program aims to foster a continuing dialogue among rising stars in leadership from a variety of backgrounds and professions. It starts this process by bringing together some 20 young leaders, ages 28-42, from each country for two intensive weeklong conferences over two years, with discussions revolving around historical and current issues in bilateral relations, as well as issues reaching beyond our two countries. Through serious conversation as well as recreation and shared cultural activities it seeks to nurture lifelong relationships.

Once selected for the Program, members gain lifelong access to the unique pool of USJLP talent and are able to engage in activities that take place throughout the U.S. and Japan, from intellectual gatherings to informal meetings. After sixteen years the USJLP network boasts 367 members in both countries. Prominent members of the Program include Cabinet of Japan minister Taro Kono, members of Japan’s House of Representatives Motohisa Furukawa and Keiichiro Asao, renowned violinist Midori Goto, Claire Chino (Executive Officer, Itochu Corporation), Johnathan Capehart (The Washington Post), CNN anchor John Berman, Dr. Mona Khanna (Fox Chicago News), composers Todd Frazier and Christopher Theofanidis, racing driver Keiko Ihara, architect Satoshi Okada, NASA astronaut Dan Tani, actor Tetsuya Bessho, U.S. State Senators Aaron Ford (Nevada) and Benjamin Allen (California), former U.S. Ambassador to Sweden Mark Brzezinski, and Olympic silver medalist Yuko Arimori.

The pool of candidates for seats at the 2016 conference was extremely competitive. In addition to leadership criteria, selections for each class aim to shape the unique delegation of first and second-year participants with a diverse representation of professions, geographic areas and perspectives. In total, 26 new Delegates (17 American and 9 Japanese) will join 23 returning second year Delegates for the Program’s Seventeenth Annual Conference in Seattle from July 16-23, 2016. The Class of 2016-2017 will convene for their second conference next summer, to be held July 23-30, 2017 in Japan. Delegates will be joined by Fellows (alumni) on the final two days of each conference, creating new and strengthening existing inter-class bonds.

2016-2017 Japanese Delegates:

  • Yusuke Asakura, Visiting Scholar, Shorenstein Asia Pacific Research Center, Stanford University
  • LTC Junko Furuta, Lieutenant Colonel; Plans Officer, Air Power Studies Center of Excellence, Air Staff College, Japan Air Self Defense Force (JASDF), Ministry of Defense, Japan
  • Emi Hariyama, Ballerina/Producer/Artist
  • Sohei Ide, Correspondent, Economic News Section, Kyodo News
  • Koji Isozumi, Vice Principal, Seiko Gakuin High School
  • Kosuke Mitsumoto, Attorney, URYU & ITOGA; Executive Director, Sezon Museum of Modern Art
  • Atsuhiko Sakamoto, Managing Director, Bain Capital
  • Fumino Sugiyama, LGBT Rights Activist; Official Representative, Tokyo Rainbow Pride
  • Yuji Yamamoto, CEO, MinaCare Co., Ltd.

2016-2017 American Delegates: 

  • Pat Basu, Chief Medical Officer, Doctor on Demand
  • Christopher Carr, Research Scientist, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Research Fellow, Massachusetts General Hospital
  • LTC Jasmin Cho, Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army Reserves, U.S. Department of State
  • Nell Derick Debevoise, Founder and CEO, Inspiring Capital
  • Nikole Hannah-Jones, Staff Writer, The New York Times Magazine
  • Erin Krampetz, Senior Change Leader, Ashoka; Co-Founder, Ashoka U
  • Jeffrey Le, Assistant Cabinet Secretary, Office of the Governor of California, Edmund G. Brown, Jr.
  • Margaret Lewis, Professor of Law, Seton Hall University
  • Joshua Marcuse, Senior Advisor for Policy Innovation, U.S. Department of Defense
  • Aerosyn-Lex Mestrovic, Artist
  • Robert Moore, Major; Chief Wing Executive Officer, 62nd Airlift Wing, U.S. Air Force
  • Kerry O’Connor, Design Director, IDEO
  • Eze Redwood, Partner, Wings Café; Founder, Twenty30CEO
  • Tracey Ross, Associate Director, Poverty to Prosperity Program, Center for American Progress
  • Jessica Tarlov, Senior Strategist, Schoen Consulting
  • Mike Waltz, President, METIS Solutions; Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army Special Forces (reserve); Author, Warrior Diplomat; Senior Fellow, Foundation for the Defense of Democracies
  • Dawn Yamane Hewett, Deputy General Counsel for Strategic Initiatives, U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of General Counsel