Posted on May 13th, 2022

News release: USJLP Class of 2022 Announcement (PDF) [original 5/13/22 release]

The US-Japan Foundation is proud to announce the Class of 2022 Delegates to the US-Japan Leadership Program (USJLP), a next-gen network of both rising and established thought-leaders in the U.S. and Japan now totaling 476 members since the Program’s inception in 2000. 

The Program’s mission is to foster lifelong friendship, continuous dialogue, and greater shared understanding among leaders from a variety of backgrounds and professions in each country. It starts this process by selecting and bringing together approximately 40 Japanese and Americans, ages 28-42, to participate as Delegates to two intensive weeklong conferences (one in the U.S. and one in Japan) over two years. At theses annual conferences, Delegates engage in interactive discussions around current and historical topics of critical importance to understand and cross-examine in the U.S. and Japan, and experience cultural and recreational activities designed to cultivate a deeper appreciation and understanding of the individuals in each cohort and the host country. At the end of the conference week, Delegates are joined by Fellows (alumni who have successfully completed two conferences as Delegates) for a two-day reunion that serves to create new and strengthen existing inter-class connections.

In addition to leadership criteria, selections for each USJLP cohort aim to shape the unique delegation of first and second-year participants with a diverse representation of professions, geographic areas, and perspectives. This year the Program is welcoming 25 incoming first-year Delegates (13 Americans and 12 Japanese) who will join 17 returning second-year Delegates (7 Americans and 10 Japanese) to comprise the Class of 2022 at the Program’s 21st Annual Conference in Seattle from July 23-30, 2022. Members selected for the Class of 2022-2023 will convene for their second conference next summer, currently scheduled to be held over July 23-30, 2023 in Kyoto and Tokyo.

USJLP Class of 2022 Delegate Introductions

Jean Accius
First Year Delegate (2022, 2023)

Senior Vice President
AARP Global Thought Leadership
(Washington, DC)

Jean Accius is a champion and catalyst for removing the barriers that rob people of the opportunity to live longer, healthier and more productive lives. He is an internationally recognized executive at the nexus of cultivating public and private sector partnerships to solve the problems related to health and wealth disparities, particularly in a post-COVID world.  Dr. Accius is an award-winning thought leader, Fast Company honoree, Forbes Council member, and problem-solving global convener. He has been quoted in many media publications, and his most recent initiative — Growing with Age — was named by Fast Company as a “2021 Game-Changing Idea”.

Courtney Beale
Second Year Delegate (2019, 2022)
Executive Assistant to the Secretary, Office of the Secretary
U.S Department of State
(Washington, DC)

Courtney Beale is a career Foreign Service Officer serving as the Executive Assistant to the Secretary of State. She has served in overseas diplomatic assignments in India, Colombia, Pakistan, Mexico, and Cuba and spent two years at the National Security Council under President Obama. Courtney is a Term Member on the Council of Foreign Relations. She has a Masters Degree from Princeton University and a Bachelors Degree from Georgetown University, and speaks Spanish, Hindi and Urdu. Her interests include travel, cycling and exploring the outdoors with her husband and two boys.

Rebecca Linder Blachly
First Year Delegate (2022, 2023)
Director of Government Relations
The Episcopal Church
(Washington, DC)

Rebecca Linder Blachly directs the Episcopal Church's Office of Government Relations, where she oversees the denomination's advocacy on domestic and international policy issues. Previous positions include Senior Policy Advisor for Africa in the Office of Religion and Global Affairs at the State Department, Acting Chief of the Strategic Communication Division at U.S. Africa Command, Special Assistant in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, and Research Associate at CSIS in the International Security Program. Rebecca received her B.A. in philosophy from Williams College, and her M.Div. from Harvard University.

Melissa Boteach
Second Year Delegate (2019, 2022)
Vice President, Income Security & Child Care/Early Learning
National Women's Law Center
(Washington, DC)

Melissa Boteach is Vice President for Income Security and Child Care/Early Learning at the National Women’s Law Center, where she oversees advocacy, policy, and public education strategies to ensure all women and families have the income and supports they need to thrive. Prior to joining NWLC, Melissa spent 9 years at Center for American Progress where she founded and led the Poverty to Prosperity Program, overseeing advocacy campaigns and policy development to advance economic opportunity. Previously, she led interfaith antipoverty campaigns at the Jewish Council for Public Affairs. She has testified before Congress and frequently serves as a media spokesperson.

Chad Cannon
First Year Delegate (2022, 2023)
Composer / Producer, Invisible Sea Productions;
Founder / Director, Asia / America New Music Institute (AANMI)
(Pasadena, CA)

Chad Cannon is a composer & multi-instrumentalist whose recent credits include the Oscar-winning Netflix documentary American Factory (Sundance 2019 premiere), Sony PlayStation’s Ghost of Tsushima (Iki Island Expansion) and Exposing Muybridge (DocNYC 2021 premiere). Upcoming releases include Hidden Letters, co-scored with Leona Lewis (Tribeca 2022 premiere), Surf Nation (Mountainfest 2022 premiere), and a new true crime series for HBO. Fluent in Japanese and conversational in Mandarin, Chad works frequently on Asia-connected projects, most notably as an arranger for Joe Hisaishi. He is an alumnus of Harvard and Juilliard and is the founder of the Asia / America New Music Institute (AANMI).

Brian Churchill
First Year Delegate (2022, 2023)
Los Angeles Police Department
(Los Angeles, CA)

Brian Churchill is a Sergeant-II with the Los Angeles Police Department, currently assigned as the Officer-in-Charge of the LAPD Leadership Program. He is also an elected Commissioner for the Los Angeles Fire and Police Pensions, a $31bn fund. He concurrently serves as a Lieutenant Commander in the Coast Guard Reserve, in the Emergency Management field. From 2018-19 he was a White House Fellow, working as the Senior Advisor for the Indo-Pacific at the Overseas Private Investment Corporation. Brian earned a master’s degree from the University of London, and a bachelor’s from Boston University.  

Danielle Costa
First Year Delegate (2022, 2023)
Vice President, Visual Effects and Animation
Marvel Studios
(Venice, CA)

Danielle Costa is the VP of Visual Effects and Animation at Marvel Studios, and has been with Marvel Studios since 2009 working on all but two of their films. She has over 20 years of experience in visual effects and animation, production and post-production. Besides spending long hours on set and in creative reviews, Danielle has spearheaded the creation of multiple studio-side pipelines for streamlining visual effects, animation, stereo, post production and the digital intermediate process at Marvel. She is also involved in new technologies, including virtual reality.

遠藤 雅人 Masato Endo
First Year Delegate (2022, 2023)
Group Manager, Driver Monitoring Group, Value Chain Service and Technology Development, Technical Project Field of Advanced R&D and Engineering Company, Toyota Motor Corporation;
Automotive Chair, The Linux Foundation OpenChain Project
(Nagoya, Aichi)

Masato Endo is the Group Manager of Driver Monitoring Group, Value Chain Service and Technology Development, Technical Project Field of Advanced R&D and Engineering Company at TOYOTA. He also focuses on building the Open-Source governance structure within Toyota and developing relationships with the Open-Source community, through projects such as Automotive Grade Linux and Open Invention Network. From 2017, he began to work with The Linux Foundation OpenChain Project as a board member and set up OpenChain Japan WG with Hitachi and Sony. In 2019, he launched OpenChain Automotive WG to promote Open-Source Supply Chain Management and standardization in the Automotive industry.

John Paul Farmer
First Year Delegate (2022, 2023)
WeLink Cities
(New York, NY)

John Paul Farmer is the President of WeLink Cities, a next-generation broadband technology company. Previously, he was Chief Technology Officer of the City of New York and adjunct professor at Columbia University. John was Director of Microsoft Cities, where he led a team to build partnerships and design technology products that make urban communities more livable, more productive, and more sustainable. He served as Senior Advisor for Innovation in the Obama White House, where he co-founded and led the Presidential Innovation Fellows program. He holds degrees with honors from Harvard University and the Graduate School of Business at Columbia University.

Aisha Fukushima
Second Year Delegate (2019, 2022)

Performance Lecturer | Cultural Strategist | Founder of RAPtivism | Facilitator | Singer/Songwriter
(Søborg, Denmark)

Aisha Fukushima is a Performance Lecturer, Cultural Strategist, Vocalist, and Founder of the global hip-hop project, ’RAPtivism’ (Rap Activism), Her work has spanned over 20 countries and four continents, amplifying universal efforts for freedom and justice. Fukushima’s ‘RAPtivism’ work has been featured by Oprah Magazine, TEDx (four times), The Seattle Times, HYPE, South Africa’s #1 Hip Hop Magazine, and national television in eight countries. She has also been featured alongside KRS-One, Bernie Sanders, Tarana Burke, Linda Sarsour, The Isley Brothers, George Clinton (Parliament-Funkadelic), M1 (Dead Prez), Emory Douglas, Boots Riley, Herbie Hancock, Rosa Clemente, Tim Wise, Christopher McBride and many more.

古田 大輔 Daisuke Furuta
First Year Delegate (2022, 2023)
Journalist / Founder, media-collab, Inc.;
Teaching Fellow, Google News Lab

Daisuke Furuta started his career as a journalist at The Asahi Shimbun in 2002. He worked first as a reporter in local cities in Japan and then a foreign correspondent in Southeast Asia. After that, he became an editor for The Asahi's digital edition. He joined BuzzFeed as a founder and editor-in-chief of the Japanese edition in 2015 and left BuzzFeed in 2019 to set up his own company "media-collab Inc." He is also the organizer of the Online News Association Japan and an advisor for Factcheck Initiative Japan.

原口 正彦 Masahiko Haraguchi
First Year Delegate (2022, 2023)
Research Fellow, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Harvard University
(Boston, MA)

Masahiko Haraguchi is a research fellow at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard University. He has focused on building resilience and enhancing sustainability throughout his career while collaborating with the private and public sectors. He earned a Ph.D. in Earth and Environmental Engineering from Columbia University, where he worked on projects in the Columbia Water Center at the Earth Institute. Previously, he worked for the urban climate change and disaster risk divisions of the World Bank.

長谷川 耕平 Kohei Hasegawa
First Year Delegate (2022, 2023)
Associate Professor, Harvard Medical School;
Director of Translational Research Program, Department of Emergency Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital
(Boston, MA)

Kohei Hasegawa, MD, MPH, PhD is an emergency physician and the Director of the Translational Research Program at Massachusetts General Hospital. He is also Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School. He applies computational biology approaches to large genomic data to help treat millions of children with lung infection worldwide. As a physician-scientist, he also chairs an NIH research consortium and serves on the Steering Committees of international research teams. His work has attracted tens of millions in funding from NIH, foundations, and industry, and he has published 250+ research papers. Kohei is also a team physician of the Boston Bruins.

波多野 綾子 Ayako Hatano
Second Year Delegate (2019, 2022)
Doctoral researcher, University of Oxford;
Gender and Crisis Policy Consultant, United Nations Development Programme;
Research Fellow, The Centre of Human Rights Education and Training

Ayako Hatano is a research fellow at the Centre of Human Rights Education and Training and a DPhil candidate at the University of Oxford (Clarendon Scholar). Her research interests center on internalization of international law and norms in local contexts with a focus on human rights, development, and gender. Prior to studying at Oxford, she was engaged in law and policy research and practice both within government and international organizations. She obtained her B.A. and M.A. at the University of Tokyo in international relations and LL.M. at New York University School of Law (Fulbright scholar).

廣瀬 裕子 Yuko Hirose
First Year Delegate (2022, 2023)
Policy Specialist, Economic and Enterprise Recovery
United Nations Development Programme
(New York, NY)

Yuko Hirose is a Policy Specialist, Economic and Enterprise Recovery in the United Nations Development Programme’s Crisis Bureau. In this role, she supports countries and communities affected by crises to recover their economy and livelihoods. Prior to UNDP, Yuko spent a decade in the private sector as a strategy consultant based in Japan and Kenya. She has advised corporations and foundations on inclusive growth and inclusive business strategies across Sub-Saharan Africa and emerging Asia. Yuko started her career at Deloitte Tohmatsu Consulting, launching the firm’s first corporate social responsibility program in response to the Tohoku Earthquake. She obtained her MA in Law and Diplomacy from Tufts University as a Fulbright scholar and holds a BA in Economics from Keio University.

堀井 貴史 Takafumi Horii
Second Year Delegate (2019, 2022)
Senior Vice President, Head of Japan Oncology BU, Global Oncology Business Unit, Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited

Taka Horii is a corporate executive with over 22 years of extensive business experience at global, leading firms in pharmaceutical, high-tech and IT industries and who has lived and worked in seven countries. Currently, Taka is SVP, Head of Japan Oncology Business Unit at Takeda Pharmaceutical serving as a member of Global Oncology Leadership Team headquartered in Cambridge, MA in the US and Japan Country Committee at Global Headquarter. Taka holds an MBA from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia in the US and certificate in Global Management at INSEAD Executive MBA program in Paris, France.

小山 佐知子 Sachiko Koyama
First Year Delegate (2022, 2023)
Director, Aoyagi;
Board Member, Global Unit for Study and Transcription of Japanese Cuisine, The University of Tokyo

Sachiko Koyama is the Director of Aoyagi Inc., a ryotei restaurant established in 1910. She has served as Director of the Nihon Ryori Culture Committee, an NPO focusing on Japanese cuisine, since 2011 and is a member of the board of the University of Tokyo’s Global Unit for Study and Transcription of Japanese Cuisine.

Tom Le
First Year Delegate (2022, 2023)
Associate Professor of Politics, Pomona College;
Research Associate, PRIME Institute, Meiji Gakuin University;
Adjunct Fellow, Pacific Forum
(Claremont, CA)

Tom Le is an associate professor of politics at Pomona College and a research associate at the PRIME Institute at Meiji Gakuin University. Le is the author of Japan’s Aging Peace: Pacifism and Militarism in the Twenty-First Century (Columbia University Press, June 2021). His work has been published in the Journal of Asian Studies and Journal of Asian Security and International Affairs, and in popular outlets such as Foreign Affairs and the Washington Post. He received a Ph.D. in political science from the University of California, Irvine, and BAs in history and political science from the University of California, Davis.

町澤 さやか Sayaka Machizawa
First Year Delegate (2022, 2023)
Associate Director, Clinical Science
Signant Health
(Chicago, IL)

Sayaka Machizawa is a Chicago-based clinical psychologist who grew up in a suburb of Tokyo. She works for Signant Health, a technology company that supports clinical trials, as an Associate Director of Clinical Science. In her position, she collaborates with pharmaceuticals to conduct multinational clinical trials to develop new medications for various psychiatric and neurological disorders. Prior to joining Signant, she worked as the Associate Professor/Associate Director of Community Partnerships at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, while working as a neuropsychologist at a private practice. She specialized in neuropsychological evaluations for airplane pilots and individuals with neurodegenerative disorders.

W. David Marx
First Year Delegate (2022, 2023)
Senior Director, Corporate and Product Communications for the Asia-Pacific Region, Google

W. David Marx is the Senior Director of Corporate and Product Communications for Google Asia-Pacific, based in Tokyo. He is also the author of Status and Culture (2022, Viking Books) and Ametora: How Japan Saved American Style (Basic Books, 2015).

松本 恭攝 Yasukane Matsumoto
First Year Delegate (2022, 2023)
Founder & CEO

Yasukane Matsumoto started his career as a consultant in A.T. Kearny. While working on cost-cutting projects there, he realized the inefficiencies that existed in the Japanese printing industry. In 2009, he founded Raksul Inc. then launched, an e-commerce printing platform in 2013, which had the unique feature of taking advantage of the underutilized capacity of existing printing factories to offer more competitive prices. In December 2015, he went on to launch the logistics platform “Hacobell.” In April 2020, he introduced the advertising platform “Novasell.” And just last year in September 2021, he was very proud to launch the corporate IT platform “Josys.” With the vision of “Better Systems, Better World,” he continues to bring the Internet to huge existing industries and transform the structure of traditional industries.

宮沢 絢子Junko Miyazawa
Second Year Delegate (2019, 2022)
Manager, Regional Transportation Business Team, Mobility Business Division / Automotive & Mobility Group CEO Office
Mitsubishi Corporation

Junko Miyazawa has been with Mitsubishi Corporation since April 2007. Until now, she has overseen the accounting of overseas offices and relationship management with local governments, large conglomerates and/or strategic partners in ASEAN and Latin America, sought new business opportunities while stationed at Mitsubishi's Manila office, and been in charge of risk management and portfolio management for Mitsubishi investments in high-risk nations. She currently manages strategic planning for Mitsubishi's Automotive and Mobility business, including developing new business related to regional transportation such as the installation of AI on-demand buses in local communities.

村越 壽代 Hisayo Murakoshi
First Year Delegate (2022, 2023)
Associate Professor, Department of Law, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Shizuoka University
(Shizuoka City, Shizuoka)

Hisayo Murakoshi is an Associate Professor at the Department of Law in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at Shizuoka University in Japan. Her current primary research interest is the theoretical and proven remedies for problems of environmental law that can apply to Japan as well as the United States. Hisayo holds a BA, MA and SJD from Doshisha University.

Micah Murphy
Second Year Delegate (2019, 2022)
Commander, U.S. Navy;
Branch Chief, Strategy Implementation, U.S. European Command
(Stuttgart, Germany)

Micah Murphy is a career Naval Officer currently stationed in Stuttgart, Germany as a member of the Strategy team at the U.S. European Command HQ. His previous two tours were in Yokosuka, Japan, where he and his family fell in love with the country, culture, and citizens. In his spare time, he is involved in a few non-profit and entrepreneurial ventures, but his current favorite activity is traveling Europe with his wife and four young children.  

中川 沙和 Sawa Nakagawa
Second Year Delegate (2019, 2022)
Founder & Partner
ThreeArrows Impact Partner
(Nairobi, Kenya)

Sawa Nakagawa is the Founder & Partner of ThreeArrows Impact Partner, a specialized advisory firm focused on impact investing, social innovation and sustainability based in Johannesburg and Nairobi. Sawa previously served as CEO of E2 Investments, an impact investment company in South Africa. Prior to E2, Sawa worked for Barclay Africa’s Equity Investments and Special Projects team. Before moving to South Africa, she worked at the International Finance Corporation and UBS Investment Bank. She serves as non-executive director of Spartan SME Finance, a non-banking financial institution focused on SMEs in South Africa. She also serves on various investment committees including the National Empowerment Fund, the Equality Fund, and Endeavor South Africa's Harvest Fund II. Sawa holds an MBA and a Masters in International Affairs from Columbia University. She is a CFA Charterholder and holds a CFA Certificate in ESG Investing.

Roshni Nirody
First Year Delegate (2022, 2023)
U.S. Foreign Service Diplomat, U.S. Department of State;
Political and Economic Section Chief, U.S. Consulate General, Surabaya, Indonesia
(Surabaya, Indonesia)

Roshni Nirody leads the Political and Economic Section at U.S. Consulate General Surabaya. A member of the U.S. Foreign Service, her previous diplomatic assignments were in Portugal, Japan, Iraq, and India. Prior to joining the State Department, Roshni worked for Oracle, Sun Microsystems, and other Silicon Valley firms as a demographer, and for the National Geographic Channel as a scientist and explorer while on a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship. Her experiences living and working with nomadic tribes in Burma and nine other countries are the subject of National Geographic’s documentary, The Next Wave. Roshni has a Master’s degree in Labor Economics from Cornell University and an undergraduate degree from Washington and Lee University. She speaks Indonesian, Japanese, Hindi, and Portuguese.

西村 邦裕 Kunihiro Nishimura
Second Year Delegate (2019, 2022)
Founder and CEO
Xcoo, Inc.

Kuni Nishimura is an entrepreneur, founder, and CEO of Xcoo, Inc. which has become the leading precision medicine company in Japan. He has focused on artificial intelligence (AI) and data intelligence in medical and clinical fields, especially for curing cancer with genomic information, collaboration with oncologists and hospitals. He and Xcoo have been chosen winner of the MEXT Minister’s Award under the Award for Academic Startups 2019 Program. Previously, he worked as an assistant professor at the University of Tokyo.

尾﨑 祐子 Yuko Osaki 
Second Year Delegate (2019, 2022)
Visiting Scholar, Asia Pacific Research Center (APARC), Stanford University;
Minister’s Secretariat, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications
(Stanford, CA / Tokyo)

Yuko Osaki is a Visiting Scholar at APARC (Asia-Pacific Research Center), Stanford University, while concurrently working for the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) where she has worked for 20 years. Her career has been centered on local taxation and finance and her previous leadership positions include Director of the Industrial Division and the Director of the Fiscal Division at Yamanashi Prefecture and Director for Women's Empowerment at the Gender Equality Bureau of the Cabinet Office, where she was in charge of Abenomics. She has also been a Lecturer at Chuo University, where she taught a course on "Local Government Finance."  She is a mother of one child.

大里 学 Manabu Ozato
Second Year Delegate (2019, 2022)
Hakuhodo Inc.

Manabu Ozato is Field Director at UNIVERSITY of CREATIVITY, a research institute Hakuhodo established in 2020 to explore, understand, and cultivate human creativity and apply it to address the social issues of today. Manabu leads projects to raise the median creativity in society in society, including Creating Charter City for Creativity Project. With over 15 years in the creative agency, Manabu has experience in problem identification, agenda and vision setting, and solution implementation skills such as design and editing. Manabu is currently in his first year of a PhD program at Japan Advanced Institute for Science and Technology.

Christina Qi
First Year Delegate (2022, 2023)
Founder and CEO
(Sandy, UT)

Christina Qi is CEO of Databento, a market data API platform. She formerly founded Domeyard LP, a quant hedge fund trading up to $7.1B daily. She started Domeyard 10 years ago with $1000 in savings. Christina is among the youngest elected members of MIT's Board of Trustees, a visiting lecturer at MIT and Harvard Business School, and a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer. Christina serves on the Boards of Invest in Girls, Forbes 30 Under 30, the Financial Executives Alliance, and is a 100 Women in Finance Senior Practitioner. She graduated in 2013 with a Bachelor's degree from MIT.

Harper Reed
Second Year Delegate (2019, 2022)
Entrepreneur; Founder & CEO, General Galactic Corporation;
Senior Fellow, USC Annenberg Innovation Lab;
Board of Governors, Pardee RAND Graduate School
(Chicago, IL)

Harper Reed is a technologist that predicts the future for a living. He spends most of his life building big things, hacking things, and talking about doing both of those things. As CTO of the Obama 2012 campaign, Harper was the first to bring the tech mentality to a political level. He believes the talent of a great bunch of humans can transform an organization and uses that belief to strengthen, deploy, and inspire every team he works with. Harper also believes his incredible luck has led him to achieve wonderful things.

佐久間 美帆 Miho Sakuma
First Year Delegate (2022, 2023)
Engagement Manager
McKinsey & Company
(Washington, DC) 

Miho Sakuma’s work has centered around supporting the organizations and individuals grow by venturing into the unknowns. She is an Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Company and serves healthcare companies in the US, Europe, and Japan on their international growth strategy. She is also the founder of Japanese Women Roundtable, an inter-sector community of ~300 Japanese female professionals. Miho holds MBA from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Williams College.

清水 薫 Kay Shimizu
Second Year Delegate (2011, 2022)
Research Professor, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs
University of Pittsburgh
(Pittsburgh, PA)

Kay Shimizu is a Research Professor in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh. Her research addresses institutional design and their effects on economic governance with a focus on East Asia. She is the author, with Patricia L. Maclachlan, of Betting on the Farm: Institutional Change in Japanese Agriculture (2022, Cornell UP) and The Digital Transformation of Japan’s Political Economy (forthcoming from Cambridge UP, with Ulrike Schaede).

Sarah Sieloff
First Year Delegate (2022, 2023)
Senior Planner
Maul Foster Alongi
(Bellingham, WA)

Sarah Sieloff is an urban planning practitioner, researcher, writer and public policy expert advancing economic and ecological resilience in the Pacific Northwest and internationally. As a senior planner at Maul Foster Alongi, she facilitates the cleanup and redevelopment of contaminated land. Sarah is a 2020 Council on Foreign Relations-Hitachi Fellow, and actively continues her fellowship research into Japanese municipalities’ responses to depopulation. She is committed to international exchange as a way to build more equitable, sustainable cities. Sarah holds a Master in Public Affairs from Princeton University, and speaks Spanish, French, and slowly improving Japanese.

スメサ―スト 紺谷 文子 Ayako Kontani Smethurst
First Year Delegate (2022, 2023)
Co-founder & Executive Director
Kizuna Across Cultures
(Brussels, Belgium)

Ayako Smethurst is Executive Director and Co-founder of the Washington DC-based nonprofit, Kizuna Across Cultures (KAC), which promotes meaningful international experience to youth of all backgrounds through innovative educational design. Since its founding in 2011, KAC has grown into the largest U.S.-Japan high school virtual exchange provider serving over 2,000 students across both countries annually. Ayako’s studies include an undergraduate degree in international relations and a master’s degree in educational science. Her past career includes work in Human Resources, including at Proctor & Gamble Japan and administrating international exchange at the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program in the Embassy of Japan.

杉山 俊輔 Shunsuke Sugiyama
First Year Delegate (2022, 2023)
Ninbari Corporation
(Fukuchiyama, Kyoto)

Shunsuke D. Sugiyama has served as the CEO of the Fukuchiyama, Kyoto-based automation business Ninbari Corporation since 2012. Shunsuke was born in Tokyo in 1983 and, raised in a diplomat family, spent his childhood in Washington, DC. He received his master's degree in Economics from Keio University in 2008, where he specialized in econometrics and statistics and learned that to drive the Japanese economy, Japan must overcome labor shortages and vitalize local economies. He believes that a strong economy is the best national security.

為末 大 Dai Tamesue
Second Year Delegate (2019, 2022)
Deportare Partners
(Miura, Kanagawa)

Born in 1978 in Hiroshima, Dai Tamesue is the first Japanese medalist in a world competition for a sprint event. Dai participated in three Olympics and, as of July 2021, holds the Japanese record for the men's 400m hurdles. He is currently a sports commentator and runs his own company, Deportare Partners. 

Karin Tanabe
Second Year Delegate (2019, 2022)
St. Martin’s Press
(Washington, DC)

Karin Tanabe is the author of seven fiction books including A Woman of Intelligence, The Gilded Years, and The Sunset Crowd (2023), published by St. Martin’s Press and Simon & Schuster. Tanabe’s book The Gilded Years—about the first African-American graduate of Vassar College—is set to be adapted as a major motion picture entitled A White Lie. Zendaya will star and produce alongside Reese Witherspoon. Witherspoon was behind the book option and Sony/TriStar secured rights in a seven studio bidding war. A Woman of Intelligence has also been optioned for television. A former Politico reporter, Tanabe frequently contributes to national publications as a book reviewer. She holds a B.A. with honors from Vassar College.

Trevor Thompson
First Year Delegate (2022, 2023)
(Seattle, WA)

Trevor is the President of TerraClear, a venture-backed technology company using cutting-edge AI and robotics to automate repetitive, labor-intensive tasks in agriculture. Trevor joined TerraClear's experienced team in January of 2019 and has helped grow the company from early prototyping to commercialization. Prior to joining TerraClear, Trevor served 14 years in the US Navy as a SEAL Officer. Prior to his service, Trevor graduated with a BS from the Naval Academy and earned an MPhil from Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship. He is married with 3 children and spends most of his time in the Pacific Northwest.

Andy Tryba
Second Year Delegate (2019, 2022)
Co-Founder & CEO, Ionic Partners;
CEO: Gigster; SparkRock; Constellant;
Founder, Japanese Heritage Academy
(Austin, TX)

Andy is a technology optimist, serial entrepreneur and 18 time CEO. Andy’s most recent venture is a software buyout firm called Ionic Partners. Through this fund - Andy has purchased and is currently the CEO of Gigster, SparkRock & Constellant. He is also Founder & CEO of RideAustin (world's only non-profit rideshare), Founder of the Japanese Heritage Academy and a Board member of the Texas High Speed Rail.

藤山 桃子 Emily Wang Fujiyama
Second Year Delegate (2019, 2022)
Video Journalist
Associated Press
(Beijing, China)

Emily Wang Fujiyama is video journalist for the Associated Press, based in Beijing since 2017. She covers news in China and across Asia, most recently the Beijing and Tokyo Olympics and the initial outbreak of coronavirus in Wuhan. She is part of an award-winning AP team covering crackdowns on religion and human rights abuses in China. Prior to Beijing, she was reporting in Tokyo. She began her career as a reporter with Japan’s national daily Yomiuri Shimbun in Los Angeles, then joined public broadcaster NHK. She is a graduate of Keio University, with a degree in computational biology.

Tricia Wang
First Year Delegate (2022, 2023)
Co-founder and Director, Crypto Research and Design Lab (CRADL);
Co-founder and Principle, Sudden Compass
(Oakland, CA / New York, NY)

Tricia Wang is a tech ethnographer obsessed with designing equity into systems. Part data geek, part designer, and part community organizer, her belief that technology must serve humanity is the thread across her work from the public to the private sector. She is the co-founder and Director of CRADL, Crypto Research and Design Lab. Areas of focus in her work: Web3, inclusive design, data literacy, internet access, personhood, and anonymity. Tricia's life philosophy is that you have to go to the edge to discover the center. 

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