U.S.-Japan Council Newsletter (June 6th, 2019)

Many thanks to Council Leader Suzanne Basalla for this article, and Northern California Regional Co-Chair Dana Heatherton and Board Member Tasha Yorozu for the photos!

On May 29, USJC Council Leaders Suzanne Basalla, Rika Nakazawa, and Mariko Yoshihara Yang hosted a packed house event at Toyota Research Institute called “Over 40 and Our ‘Midlife Renaissance’ Masterpieces.” This event was the first in a series of pilot programs across the nation focusing on navigating careers and new life chapters after age 40. Dana Heatherton, Regional Co-Chair, partnered with the organizers to make the event a success.

Panelists address the audience

The crowd of 50 was captivated by intimate and inspirational stories from featured panelists Patti Lee-Hoffman (Co-founder of Flutter EyeWear and Founder of Triage Consulting Group) and Council Leaders Sandy Shirai (Vice Chairman of Deloitte LLP) and Aki Ohashi (Director of Business Development for PARC). The panel was expertly moderated by Ms. Nakazawa, who asked speakers to reflect on how their life perspectives changed throughout the decades. Most memorably, the “Letters to your 25-year-old selves” invited revealing insights into shifting priorities with the progress of individuals’ careers (click here to read the letter written by Sandy Shirai). Intimate stories about breaking stereotypes, embracing integrity at the risk of job security, and acknowledging the collective hardships families endure to help sustain career transitions all contributed to an honest and thought-provoking evening.

(L-R) Suzanne Basalla, Chief of Staff, Toyota Research Institute; Ms. Shirai; Mr. Ohashi; Rika Nakazawa, CEO and Founder, BoardSeatMeet, Inc.; Ms. Lee-Hoffman; Dana Heatherton, Director of Operations and Business Strategy, A3Ventures; and Mariko Yoshihara Yang, Co-founder & Chief Education Officer, SKY Labo

The crowd lingered after the event to continue the conversation with the panelists and old and new friends. One audience member commented, “Since my cancer treatment I have been struggling with what I had been calling a midlife crisis, but after listening to the speakers tonight I see this could instead be an opportunity for a midlife renaissance. The speakers were so inspiring and I really enjoyed hearing their stories.” To help carry on discussions on this important topic, USJC NorCal will build on this pilot with future programs, and eagerly awaits results from pilot events in New York, Hawaii and Los Angeles in the coming months.

Click here for more photos from the event.


2019 Annual Conference Registration Launching Soon!


Registration for USJC’s 2019 Annual Conference will open this month. Be on the lookout for the announcement message coming soon. You won’t want to miss everything we have in store!

This year’s theme will discuss emerging issues in the U.S.-Japan relationship, and highlight diverse leaders and leadership styles that transform bold ideas into reality. We will discuss topics including technology and entrepreneurship; AI/robot services and labor; security and trade; public service; women’s and next generation leadership; sports and culinary diplomacy; Nikkei identity; Asian Americans in entertainment and more.

You’ll get to hear from Kazuo Hirai, Director, Chairman, Sony Corporation; John V. Roos, Partner, Geodesic Capital; Takeshi Uchiyamada, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Toyota Motor Corporation; and Amy Webb, Quantitative Futurist & Founder, Future Today Institute, among others.

Marking USJC’s 10th anniversary, the conference will also celebrate USJC’s accomplishments over the past decade in developing and connecting diverse leaders to create a stronger U.S.-Japan relationship. We will also premiere a new conference program, Leadership Seminars, which will provide attendees with hands-on skills training and professional development opportunities.

Be a part of this exciting event and plan to join us this year in Los Angeles!



Public Relations Manager (Washington, DC)

We seek an experienced communications professional who is committed to furthering the mission of the organization through various communications platforms, including enhancing the visibility of the organization and its work through traditional and social media. The ideal candidate will have significant experience with public relations and social media, and will be dedicated to cultivating relationships with members of the media, Council members and partners, and other stakeholders. The candidate will serve as a key member of the team to implement the organization’s strategic communications plan.

Click here for more information about the position.

Regional Manager, Southern California (Los Angeles, CA)

The Regional Manager, Southern California will support regional efforts in the areas of activities and events; outreach and engagement of local Council Leaders, sponsors, and supporters; membership cultivation; as well as cross-department work related to programs, communications and development. This position will focus on supporting the 10th Annual Conference, which will be held in Los Angeles in early November 2019. The broader goal of the position is to expand the organization’s external and internal connections and network in Southern California.

Click here for more information about the position.

TOMODACHI Alumni Coordinator (Tokyo, Japan)

The U.S.-Japan Council (Japan) is looking for a qualified individual to support the TOMODACHI Alumni Leadership Program. The TOMODACHI Alumni Leadership Program serves to connect and empower the TOMODACHI Generation, individuals who have participated in TOMODACHI programs. We seek an individual who can assist the Alumni Manager and participate in various stages of engagement to support the next generation of leaders dedicated to the U.S.-Japan relationship. The individual hired for this position will need strong organizational and analytical skills and excellent attention to detail in order to integrate into our vibrant and passionate team.

Click here for more information about the position.

Intern (Washington, DC)

The intern will provide support for Programs and Communications on a part-time or full-time basis. Duties will consist of program and event coordination and support, website/social media support, organization of and attendance at special events, outreach and communication, writing and translation (if able). This is an excellent internship for those hoping to gain experience in the programmatic, digital and strategic marketing and/or nonprofit fields. USJC’s internship program offers outstanding opportunities for college students, graduate students and graduates who are interested in U.S.-Japan relations.

Click here for more information about the position.

Intern (Tokyo, Japan)

The TOMODACHI Initiative is seeking qualified interns on a part-time or full-time basis. This internship program offers outstanding opportunities for college students, graduate students and graduates who are interested in U.S.-Japan relations. Duties generally consist of program and event coordination and support, website/social media support, organization and attendance at special events, student outreach and communication, writing and translation (as able). Duties may be tailored to the intern’s interests. Interns will work with individuals from the U.S.-Japan Council, the U.S. Embassy and other key TOMODACHI team members.

Click here for more information about the position.