The US-Japan Leadership Program
The purpose of the US-Japan Leadership Program (USJLP) is to develop a network of communication, friendship and understanding among the next generation of leaders in each country. The relationship between two of the world’s most powerful democracies and economies has become so complex and broadranging that it is beyond the ability of governments or specialists to manage. Yet it continues to suffer from misunderstandings, neglect or stereotyped images of each other that arise from our very different histories and cultures.
The Program aims to foster a continuing dialogue among future leaders in a broad variety of professions. It starts this process by bringing some 20 young leaders together 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 friendships. The Program is designed to keep the leaders in touch with each other throughout their careers through a dedicated website, directory, frequent reunions and a semi-annual newsletter. To date, 307 young leaders have participated in the Program. The goal is to bridge the gap between East and West that has plagued the world since our earliest contacts.
USJLP accepts new participants on a yearly basis to serve as Delegates in two week-long conferences over the course of two summers: one in Japan (in odd-numbered years) and one in Seattle (in even-numbered years). Representatives from a broad range of careers, regions and backgrounds are brought together to form the delegation for each conference. Each conference joins together Delegates serving their first year, as well as Delegates returning for their second. Selections are carefully made so that each class contains a diverse and dynamic group of individuals who have a proven track record, or strong potential, for leadership in their field.
After completing two years as a Delegate, participants continue their lifelong membership in USJLP as Fellows (alumni). Fellows are expected to remain active in USJLP by attending and organizing events, staying in touch over a mailing list and dedicated website, sharing news and updates with the community, and keeping their profile information current. Fellows are also encouraged to help in discovering new young leaders and to contribute to securing the financial future of the Program.
The Program is managed by the United States-Japan Foundation (USJF). USJF grew out of the vision and generosity of Ryoichi Sasakawa (1899-1995), who conceived of an entirely independent foundation dedicated to strengthening cooperation and understanding between the two countries. Originally endowed by what is now The Nippon Foundation, USJF was founded on October 21, 1980, and is governed by a board of prominent Japanese and American private citizens. It is the only private American grant-making foundation dedicated to the mutual interests of the American and Japanese people.
The Program director is Dr. George Packard, President of the Foundation in New York, and the deputy director is Mr. Tomoyuki Watanabe, Japan Representative of the Foundation in Tokyo. An Executive Committee of Japanese and American Fellows (participants who successfully attended previous conferences in both the U.S. and Japan) of the Program is assuming an increasing share in the planning and conduct of future conferences.
Chairman of the Program's Honorary Advisory Board
Mr. Minoru Makihara
Senior Corporate Advisor
Members of the Honorary Advisory Board
Mr. John Creighton
Strategic Director, Madrona Venture Group
Former Chairman & CEO, UAL Corp. and United Airlines
Former CEO of Weyerhaeuser
Mr. Richard Danziger Esq.
Lawyer, philanthropist, expert on tea ceremony
Dr. Yoichi Funabashi
Mr. Yotaro Kobayashi
Former Chairman of the Board
Fuji Xerox Co., Ltd.
Hon. Walter Mondale
U.S. Ambassador to Japan (1993-1996)
Partner, Dorsey & Whitney, LLP
Mr. Scott Oki
Chairman & CEO
Oki Development, Inc.
Hon. William Ruckelshaus
Strategic Director, Madrona Venture Group
Former Secretary of the Environmental Protection Agency
Hon. John Whitehead
Former Chairman, Lower Manhattan Development Corporation
Former Deputy Secretary of State
Former Chairman, Goldman Sachs and Company