Candidate to represent The Fletcher School on the Alumni Council.
STATEMENT: I am honored to be nominated as a Fletcher representative on the Tufts Alumni Council. As a recent alumnus and former Fletcher Student Council representative, I encountered and deeply understood the challenges that the Fletcher School is currently facing. As a Fletcher representative on the Alumni Council, I would be happy to resolve the two vital challenges that both Fletcher and Tufts are facing.
One critical challenge for Fletcher is how to transform and rebrand itself in a new environment of higher education. The Fletcher School originally started as a school of law and diplomacy. While this spirit is still the core value of Fletcher identity and its education, Fletcher is trying to transform itself. Considering that the issues worldwide are currently more complex and global than those in the past, Fletcher is trying to offer classes in new areas and training in new skills and to develop online programs. Fletcher aspires to rebrand to represent both its tradition and recent positive changes. Yet, Fletcher is still struggling with its transformation and rebranding. More importantly, under COVID-19 circumstances, educational institutions need to ensure safety while offering worthwhile experiences. By utilizing my leadership experience for COVID-19 response and strategic review of Fletcher in the Fletcher Student Council, I would like to facilitate this transformation as a representative on the Alumni Council.
Like Fletcher, I am also struggling with transforming myself as a policy entrepreneur, and my experiences are helpful to this role. Since 2016, I have been working as a Japanese foreign service officer. Though my work does hinge on traditional perspectives such as security and international law, new dynamics are altering diplomacy. I am currently working for the Public Affairs Section at the Embassy of Japan in the US. As you can imagine, digital technologies and social networking services are powerful tools of public diplomacy. Another change is introducing quantitative analysis, and diplomacy would be getting more data-driven. Digital technologies offer opportunities for data input that could be utilized. Because of these interests, when I was studying in Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy (MALD), I spent a lot of time on econometrics and quantitative analysis while deepening my understanding of international security and public international law. Higher education is critical to offering new insights and skills for tackling emerging issues, and I could contribute to this discussion at Fletcher and Tufts as an alumnus.
Another essential challenge for Fletcher is diversity and inclusiveness. I encountered this problem when working as a representative to the Fletcher Student Council. Despite continuous efforts and progress at Fletcher, it still needs to work harder to tackle racial, ethnic and religious discrimination. Gender inequality and lack of respect for sexual identity are also affecting students negatively. Another major inequality that has a severe impact on campus is income inequality. Although I cannot mention all inequalities and discrimination, the Fletcher alumni community should keep thinking about the inequalities to create a safe and comfortable space for current students, alumni, faculty, and administrators considering that every single person is a member of the Fletcher/Tufts family.
Being unique myself and embracing the diversity of others has been one important pillar of my life. Living in Thailand between the ages of six and seven, I experienced different cultures firsthand. At college, I joined a human rights project in South Africa and helped disadvantaged groups, such as the LGBTQ community and impoverished children. It broadened my understanding of inequality and diversity. I also led a Japan – China discussion forum and learned about diversity in that region. Studying at two international schools in the US gave me an eye-opening experience in terms of learning about diversity and equality. In my professional career as a diplomat, I had a chance to work several projects in Italy, South Korea, Iran, and currently the US. I love the diverse Fletcher and Tufts community, and it would be great to work for my community as an alumni representative.
Similar to the Fletcher School, Tufts University is also struggling with the aforementioned issues. I realized that university-wide discussion and momentum are necessary to address these tough challenges while serving as a Fletcher representative on a university-wide working group led by the vice provost of Tufts University. By harnessing my previous experiences, I would be able to make a substantial contribution on the Alumni Council as a Fletcher representative.
- MALD, The Fletcher School, 2020
- The Presidential Award for Civic Life, 2020
- Honos Civicus Award, 2020
- MARSEA, Columbia University, 2015
- LLB, University of Tokyo, 2014
- President’s Distinction, 2011
CURRENT OCCUPATION: Second Secretary for Public Affairs, Embassy of Japan in the USA, 2020-Present
- The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, 2016-Present
- Sub-Section Chief, Consular Policy Division, 2017-18
- Junior Diplomat, G7 and G20 Summit Office, 2016-17
- Professional Student Representative, Vice Provost's University-Wide Student Policy Working Group, 2019-20
- Elected Representative, Fletcher Student Council, 2019-20
- Elected Public Sector Representative, Committee on Career Services of Fletcher Student Council, 2018-19
OTHER PROFESSIONAL / VOLUNTEER AFFILIATIONS AND ACTIVITIES:
- President, Jing Forum (Discussion Program between University of Tokyo and Peking University), 2011
- Human Rights Intern, Projects Abroad Human Rights Office in South Africa, 2010