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JCIE/USA Welcomes Kazuyo Kato as New Executive Director

Dear Friends,

On behalf of the board of JCIE/USA, I am delighted to welcome Kazuyo Kato as our new executive director. With nearly two decades of experience working on facilitating policy dialogues and exchanges between the United States and Japan, she is uniquely qualified to succeed Jim Gannon and to lead JCIE/USA in its mission of strengthening ties among American and Japanese current and future leaders to expand bilateral cooperation on regional and global issues. She becomes the organization’s third head in its 45-year history, and she carries on the legacy of our founder, Tadashi Yamamoto, who made so many lasting contributions to US-Japan relations.

Kazuyo was chosen after an extensive search, impressing board members and staff with her passion, breadth of experience, and innovative thinking. We want to thank all those who offered their input and advice during the search process. She comes to JCIE/USA from the Japan Society, where she served as senior director of global partnerships and initiatives. Previously, she worked at Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA as director of programs and administration, and prior to that at Sasakawa Peace Foundation in Tokyo. Earlier in her career, she worked with Armitage International and the International Security Program of the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

The board would like to express its deep gratitude to Jim Gannon, who has skillfully led JCIE/USA for the past 20 years and who leaves the organization in strong shape financially and programmatically, with an extraordinary team of staff members and a legacy of strengthening US-Japan cooperation in global health, humanitarian assistance/disaster response, and democratic governance. We are deeply appreciative of his dedication and hard work over the past two decades, and we are delighted that he has agreed to stay affiliated with JCIE/USA as a senior fellow, supporting Kazuyo and the rest of the team during this transition and beyond.

Despite the global lockdown, JCIE/USA has been able to carry out exciting programs in collaboration with our partners at JCIE/Japan, and we are grateful for our donors’ generous support for these endeavors. Now, as we see more hopeful signs that the world is starting to turn the corner on the pandemic, there is a pressing need to restart in-person dialogue as soon as safely possible to harness US-Japan cooperation in reimagining the post-COVID global order and ensuring a brighter and more equitable future. We are excited to have Kazuyo leading us as we move into this next phase.

Beginning on April 12, Kazuyo will be based in Washington DC, making regular trips to JCIE/USA’s New York office and to Japan. She looks forward to meeting you soon and thanks you in advance for your support and encouragement.

Warm regards,

Peggy Blumenthal
Chair, JCIE/USA Board of Directors