Takanori “Tak” Sonoda is a senior fellow at the Mansfield Foundation. He previously was a vice president of government relations for Honda North America based in the company’s Washington, D.C., office. Mr. Sonoda joined Honda Motor Co., Ltd. in 1977. In 1985, he transferred to the company’s North American Sales Division before accepting his first assignment in Washington, D.C., in the government relations office of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. In 1990, Mr. Sonoda returned to the Honda Motor Co. North American Sales Division in Japan, where he helped coordinate planning and support activities for Honda’s growing sales and production operations in the U.S. and Canada.
In 1994, Mr. Sonoda returned to the U.S. to lead the public relations office of Honda North America, Inc. in Detroit, Michigan, where he coordinated both media and industry relations activities for Honda in Detroit. In 1998, Mr. Sonoda returned to Washington, D.C., to help manage the company’s government relations office while also coordinating industry relations and communication with Washington-based think tanks and other policymaking organizations.
Mr. Sonoda graduated from Tsukuba University in Tokyo, Japan in 1977 with a Master of International Studies. In 1990, he received a Master of Common Law from Georgetown University Law Center.