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 recruitment of a new group of participants for the “U.S.-Japan Network for the Future” program. This program was launched in 2009 to foster a new generation of Japan specialists. The five existing cohorts of Network participants regularly have met over the program’s decade-long history to build their knowledge of Japan, their policy expertise, and their contacts in Japan-related policy and academic circles. The Foundation and CGP are pleased to make this opportunity available to a group of emerging Japan specialists interested in building a resilient society, developing an inclusive society, and creating a society enriched by science and technology.

Purpose of the Program

The purpose of the U.S.-Japan Network for the Future program is to identify U.S.- and Japan-based professionals who demonstrate an interest in and potential for becoming Japan specialists and policy intellectuals and to support them in this effort. The network will include Japan specialists from all regions of the United States and Japan with diverse expertise and perspectives. Participants should be able to constructively participate in the bilateral policy-making process and to contribute to better understanding of U.S.-Japan relations.

The Network program trains experts who work on fields that lay the groundwork for a stable and prosperous region, which is a necessary component in solving the problems of the future. The program has successfully developed five previous cohorts of this program into public intellectuals and policy experts addressing fields ranging from disaster resiliency and gender equality to scientific research and how technology policy drive stronger bilateral cooperation.

Themes and Priorities for Cohort 6

The sixth cohort of this program seeks to nurture a new generation of scholars and professionals working on the following policy issues: those in which the two countries confront common domestic challenges and those in which the two countries have opportunities to work together to resolve global challenges.

Priority will be given to those individuals whose research falls within the following thematic areas:

  • Building a resilient society: to meet global threats such as natural disasters, pandemics, and environmental pollution;
  • Developing an inclusive society: to develop a more prosperous and vibrant society and/or to overcome societal divisions;
  • Creating a society enriched by science and technology: to better understand and meet cultural and societal needs through advance in science and technology.

Prior expertise in these thematic areas is not required for all applicants, but participants will be encouraged to explore how these areas intersect with their research interests. Throughout the two-year program, the sixth cohort will explore how resiliency, inclusivity, and science and technology lay at the center of domestic and global challenges faced by both countries.

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

The Center for Global Partnership (CGP), established in 1991, is dedicated to strengthening the global U.S.-Japan partnership by enhancing dialogue and interchange between Japanese and U.S. citizens on wide-range of issues thereby improving bilateral relations and contributing to improvements in the world’s welfare. To carry out our mission, CGP supports grant programs, fellowships, and self-initiated programs focusing on the following three thematic areas: building a resilient society, developing inclusive society, and creating a society enriched by science and technology. CGP has offices in Tokyo, Japan and New York, New York. Please visit their website at http://www.cgp.org.

Eligibility and Terms

Applicants must be currently and actively involved in the U.S.-Japan dialogue. The program is targeted at scholars with a professional interest in Japan and at professionals with a strong engagement with Japan and work experience in policy-relevant fields. In addition to having an interest in public policy, successful applicants will be able to demonstrate their interest in and potential for becoming future leaders in the U.S.-Japan relationship.

  • U.S.-based applicants must be American citizens or permanent residents who have a working knowledge of the Japanese language
  • Japan-based applicants must be Japanese nationals who are able to contribute to discussions in English.

Because we are seeking to identify a future generation of leaders, our preference is for candidates in the early- to mid-career stage. In the academic context, normally this translates into scholars at the advanced assistant- or early associate-professor levels. Policy professionals should have a Master’s degree and at least five years of Japan experience.

Participants must be fully dedicated to the two-year program and able to participate in all scheduled meetings. Network participants will be expected to participate in: a two-day workshop in Washington, D.C. (September 2022); a two-day retreat in Montana (October 2022); a week-long meeting in Washington, D.C. (January 2023); a week-long Japan study trip (June 2023); and a two-day Washington public symposium and current issues panel discussion (June 2024).

Throughout the two-year program, participants will be expected to: develop their network of contacts; engage with other Network members; engage others in the academic and policy fields with what they have learned about Japan; prepare for and actively participate in the program’s meetings, workshops, and study trip; participate in group activities and support the program’s larger goals and objectives; conduct independent research on key issues of particular interest to them; produce op-ed pieces and commentary/blog posts on important policy issues related to one or more of the areas mentioned above; be featured in a Mansfield Foundation-produced podcast; and produce and seek to publish or otherwise disseminate a brief opinion piece. Network participants will present their op-eds and discuss current issues in the region during the last meeting, the June 2024 public symposium in Washington, D.C.

Financial support for those selected is limited to coverage of travel, accommodations, and meal expenses associated with participation in program meetings and the study trip.

Applications and Selection

Click here to download the application.

Applications are due January 31, 2022 and can be submitted electronically to twhite@mansfieldfdn.org. Applications will be reviewed by a selection committee and participants will be announced the end of March 2022. The Foundation will select up to twelve U.S.-based participants and up to three Japan-based participants for this Network cohort.

For further information, please contact Timothy White, Associate Director, The Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation at twhite@mansfieldfdn.org.