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

The Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation and the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership (CGP) are pleased to announce the selection of twelve scholars for the U.S.-Japan Network for the Future program. This is the fourth group selected for the program, which the Foundation and CGP launched in 2009 to identify and support American professionals with the potential for becoming Japan specialists and policy experts. With the selection of Cohort IV, the Network now includes fifty-four exceptional academics and practitioners in U.S. relations with Asia.

Cohort IV includes Japan specialists at universities throughout the United States as well as in the U.S. government and the strategic communications field. While several are emerging experts on the U.S.-Japan alliance, their research interests range from Japan’s foreign and economic policies to Japanese political parties, religions, and history of technology.

“The breadth and depth of U.S.-based Japan scholarship are reflected in the diverse interests and experiences of the twelve scholars selected for Cohort IV,” said Mansfield Foundation Vice President Benjamin Self. “These scholars are engaged in extremely interesting work in areas where it is increasingly important for the United States and Japan to cooperate, including security, state-building, and international migration. The Network for the Future program will allow the scholars to strengthen their skills and their ability to contribute to the U.S.-Japan policymaking process and U.S.-Japan understanding.”

“We look forward to welcoming yet another outstanding cohort of Japan specialists to the U.S.- Japan Network for the Future program,” said Junichi Chano, Executive Director of the Center for Global Partnership. “We are confident the program will provide these twelve scholars with the opportunities to develop their networks in the United States and Japan, enhance their knowledge of Japan and U.S.-Japan relations, and broaden their engagement with the Japan policy, media, and business communities.”

During this two-year program, the Cohort IV scholars will participate in: a two-day workshop in Washington, D.C. (June 2016); a two-day retreat in Montana (September 2016); a week-long series of meetings in Washington, D.C. (January 2017); a week-long Japan study trip (June 2017); and a 2018 public symposium and current issues panel discussion.  They also will be expected to conduct independent research, write op-ed pieces and other commentary on important U.S.-Japan policy issues, and produce a brief policy paper for publication.

More information about the U.S.-Japan Network for the Future and all four groups of Networkscholars is available on the Foundation’s website at:

A list of Cohort IV participants follows:

Amy Catalinac, Assistant Professor, New York University

Yulia Frumer, Assistant Professor, Johns Hopkins University

Robert Hoppens, Associate Professor, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

Noriyuki Katagiri, Assistant Professor, Saint Louis University

Adam Liff, Assistant Professor, Indiana University

Ko Maeda, Associate Professor, University of North Texas

Reo Matsuzaki, Assistant Professor, Trinity College

Matthew Poggi, Deputy Director, U.S. Department of the Treasury

Michael Sharpe, Associate Professor, York College of the City University of New York

Jolyon Thomas, Assistant Professor, University of Pennsylvania

Kristin Vekasi, Assistant Professor, University of Maine

Joshua Walker, Director, Global Programs, APCO Worldwide

The Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation is a 501(c)3 organization that promotes understanding and cooperation in U.S.-Asia relations. The Foundation 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, D.C.; Tokyo, Japan; and Missoula, Montana.

The Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership (CGP), founded in 1991, is dedicated to both strengthening the global U.S.-Japan partnership and cultivating the next generation of public intellectuals necessary to sustain this partnership.  To achieve these ends, CGP operates grant programs as well as self-initiated projects and fellowships.  CGP has offices in Tokyo, Japan and New York, New York.  Please visit the website at