We are very excited to welcome Alisa Tanaka to the team as USJC’s new Communications Manager!
Alisa was born on the East Coast to a fourth-generation Japanese American and a first-generation Japanese immigrant, something that often led to her finding herself in positions to practice people-to-people diplomacy, strengthening the U.S.- Japan relationship. Despite growing up in a bicultural and bilingual environment, she didn’t fully embrace her roots and her language skills until she was about 15, at which point, she used self-study methods to become conversationally fluent in Japanese.
Her experiences led her to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from Lewis & Clark College in 2012. She worked in the Communications field for 4 years before transitioning into international education, where she worked as an English teacher in Changhua, Taiwan and Tokyo, Japan. Living and working abroad in Tokyo as an English instructor gave her the opportunity to work with a diverse clientele, including staff from Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Education, which deepened her interest in the U.S.-Japan relationship and inspired her to transition into public diplomacy and international affairs.
“As a Japanese American, citizen diplomacy and the U.S.-Japan relationship were both central to my upbringing,” she says. “Working with high-profile Japanese government and corporate officials cemented my desire to contribute to a bilateral relationship that has a great deal of personal significance to me. I am very excited to contribute my background and skills to enhance the bilateral relationship between these two countries as I pursue a career in public diplomacy.”
Learn more about Alisa here.