March 31, 2017 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 seventeen years the USJLP network boasts 392 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 and pianist Gohei Nishikawa, Claire Chino (Executive Officer, Itochu Corporation), Johnathan Capehart (The Washington Post), Nikole Hannah-Jones (The New York Times Magazine), 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 2017 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, 19 new Delegates (6 American and 13 Japanese) will join 25 returning second year Delegates for the Program’s Eighteenth Annual Conference in Kyoto and Tokyo from July 23-30, 2017. The Class of 2017-2018 will convene for their second conference next summer, to be held July 28 – August 4, 2018 in Seattle. Delegates will be joined by Fellows (alumni) on the final two days of each conference, creating new and strengthening existing inter-class bonds.

Click here to view all 44 Delegates to the 2017 Japan Conference

2017-2018 American Delegates:

  • Brian Ferguson, President & Co-Founder, Arena Labs
  • Nadim Hossain, CEO & Co-Founder, BrightFunnel
  • Scott Mulhauser, Visiting Fellow, University of Pennsylvania
  • Sharmeen Premjee, Senior Public Health Advisor, Global HIV and TB, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Sea Thomas, Major, U.S. Marine Corps; J2/Intelligence Directorate, U.S. Pacific Command
  • Amy Webb, Founder & CEO, Future Today Institute

2017-2018 Japanese Delegates:

  • Yutaka Arai, Principal, Sapporo Shinyo High School
  • Michinao Hashimoto, Assistant Professor, Singapore University of Technology and Design
  • Makiko Hirata, Classical Pianist, Rice University; River Oaks Chamber Orchestra; Ensemble MATIMA
  • Hardy T S Kagimoto, President & CEO, HEALIOS, K.K.
  • Tomoko Kubota, News Caster / Reporter, Tokyo Broadcasting System, Inc.; Professional Fellow, Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University
  • Keiko Namba, Deputy Director, Second North America Division, North American Affairs Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
  • Hiro Nozaki, Director, BlackRock, Inc.
  • Koji Okubo, Senior Architect, Nikken Sekkei, Ltd.
  • Eiko Ooka, Director, Corporate Advisory Division, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation
  • Haruko Sasamoto, Assistant Manager, Silicon Valley Branch, Mitsubishi Corporation (Americas)
  • Mio Takaoka, Managing Director and Member of the Board, Monex Ventures; Advisor, Monex Group, Inc.
  • Mayumi Uejima-Carr, Co-President, TABLE FOR TWO USA
  • Mayu Yamaguchi, PhD Candidate, Graduate Schools for Law and Politics, The University of Tokyo