Connecting People & Ideas to Advance Mutual Interests in U.S.-Asia Relations

June 4, 2021

(Washington, DC) The Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation is pleased to announce the twenty-sixth class of Mansfield Fellows, ten federal employees who will be working and living in Japan in 2022-2023.

Congress established the Mike Mansfield Fellowship Program in 1994 to build a corps of U.S. government officials with substantial Japan expertise. Earlier this year, President Joseph Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga committed to the continuation of this program during a summit in Washington, DC.

On April 16, President Biden noted that “personal bonds of friendship and connection, they’re the ones that are going to keep this alliance strong and vibrant for decades to come….[Ambassador Mike Mansfield] helped me along in ways I can’t even explain in the United States Senate. I’m proud that this legacy continues to be honored as part of the close, enduring partnership between our nations.”

This group will deploy on July 1, 2022, and join 169 previous Fellows, representing nearly 30 federal agencies, commissions, and the U.S. Congress.

The Mike Mansfield Fellowship Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, with funding provided by the U.S. Government, and is administered by the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation.

Members of the twenty-sixth group of Mansfield Fellows include:

– Melissa Abbate, Intelligence Analyst, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Justice

– Captain James Kyle Takeo Arita, Deputy Chief of Wing Strategic Initiatives, 480th ISR Wing, United States Air Force

– Ting Mei Chau, Budget Director, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Department of Homeland Security

– Katherine Cook, Operations Analyst, Gateway Program Deep Space Logistics, National Aeronautics and Space Administration

– Dr. Lili Duan, Chemist, Center for Devices and Radiological Health, Food and Drug Administration

– Shannon L. Granville, Senior Editor and Editorial Team Lead, Historical Products Division, U.S. Army Center of Military History

– Lauren Matakas, Public Affairs Specialist, Office of Radiation and Indoor Air, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

– Grace Park, Special Agent, Office of Special Investigations, Department of the Air Force

– Jeremy Potter, Pacific Region Environmental Studies Chief, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Department of the Interior

– Colin Timmerman, Foreign Affairs Legislative Assistant, Congresswoman Young Kim, United States Congress

During the year-long Fellowship Program, Mansfield Fellows participate in a seven-week intensive Japanese language program in Ishikawa Prefecture and ten months of placements, primarily in Japanese government agencies in Tokyo. By working side-by-side with their counterparts in Japan’s ministries and agencies, National Diet, and non-governmental organizations, the Fellows will deepen their understanding of Japan’s government and policymaking process. This experience—and the contacts the Fellows make in the Japanese government and in the business, professional, and academic communities—will contribute to their work on Japan and Asia-related programs and policies when they return to federal government service.

“We are thrilled to unveil this twenty-sixth class of fellows, and look forward to their arrival in Japan next year,” said Frank Jannuzi, President and CEO of the Mansfield Foundation. “While the global pandemic forced a pause in the deployment of fellows to Japan, we are honored to have the leaders of both countries announce a resumption of this program. Ambassador Mansfield’s legacy of promoting mutual understanding between our two countries is well-served by this class, which features experts on trade, security, defense, public health, and more. The twenty-sixth class will use their fellowship experience to deepen cooperation between Washington and Tokyo, and bring their new understanding of the U.S.-Japan partnership back to their home agencies.”

“Ambassador Mansfield firmly believed that the U.S.-Japan relationship is ‘the most important bilateral relationship in the world – bar none,’” added Benjamin Self, Vice President of the Mansfield Foundation and Director of the Mike Mansfield Fellowship Program. “The new class of Fellows joins a community with decades of experts across dozens of fields, and we look forward to their contributions to areas of mutual interest and management of the overall relationship”

The Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization that promotes understanding and cooperation in U.S.-Asia relations. It was established in 1983 to honor Mike Mansfield (1903-2001), a revered public servant, statesman, and diplomat who played a pivotal role in many of the key domestic and international issues of the 20th century as U.S. congressman from Montana, Senate majority leader and finally as U.S. ambassador to Japan. Maureen and Mike Mansfield’s values, ideals and vision for U.S.-Asia relations continue through the Foundation’s exchanges, dialogues, research and educational programs, which create networks among U.S. and Asian leaders, explore the underlying issues influencing public policies, and increase awareness about the nations and peoples of Asia. The Foundation has offices in Washington, DC; Tokyo; and Missoula, Montana.