Ai Asakura is a Program Manager who is responsible for leading and executing TOMODACHI Initiative programs. She moved to the United States after graduating high school in Japan. She holds a degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management from the University of Wisconsin-Stout. Additionally, she has more than 10 years of experience working in sales at IHG and Hilton hotels in Minnesota and Kentucky as well as five years of experience working as a translator for a Japanese automotive company in the United States. Ai utilizes her experience from working in the hospitality industry, and for a U.S.-Japan bicultural company to promote programs for the next generation, and she hopes that the the programs will strengthen the relationship between the U.S. and Japan. She served as a mentor for the TOMODACHI MetLife Women’s Leadership Program in 2017, 2019 and 2021. Originally from Fukuoka, Ai is also a member of the U.S. Japan Society of Fukuoka, the Fukuoka Returnees Club, and a Fukuoka Convention and Visitors Bureau Welcome Supporter. She is also a Curriculum Advisor for the University of Wisconsin-Stout.