Benjamin Self is Vice President of the Mansfield Foundation. Mr. Self serves as Director of the Mike Mansfield Fellowship Program, a congressionally-mandated professional exchange for mid-level U.S. government employees. He also manages the U.S.-Japan Network for the Future, a program launched in 2009 to foster a new generation of Japan specialists. In addition to supervising these and other major Foundation programs, Mr. Self provides strategic advice to the Foundation’s President and CEO on the Foundation’s administration, direction, and mission and assists the President in leading the Foundation’s development and fundraising efforts.
Mr. Self previously was the inaugural Takahashi Fellow in Japanese Studies at the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center at Stanford University. From 1998-2008 he was at the Henry L. Stimson Center as a Senior Associate working on Japanese security policy. While at the Stimson Center, he directed projects on Japan-China relations, fostering security cooperation between the U.S.-Japan Alliance and the PRC, Japan’s nuclear option, and confidence-building measures. Mr. Self has also carried out research and writing in areas such as nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, ballistic missile defense, Taiwan’s security, Northeast Asian security dynamics, the domestic politics of Japanese defense policy, and Japan’s global security role. From 2003 until 2008, Mr. Self was living in Africa and studying the role of Japan in Africa, including in humanitarian relief, economic development, conflict prevention, and resource extraction. He also has served as adjunct lecturer at Georgetown University, George Washington University, and American University.
Mr. Self earned a BA at Stanford and an MA in Japan Studies and International Economics from Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). He has worked in the Asia Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and was a Visiting Research Fellow at Keio University on a Fulbright grant from 1996 until 1998.