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

Bridging the Divide Program Participants

The Bridging the Divide Program was launched in 2018 to strengthen the connections between those devoted to Japan studies or other East Asian concentrations and their counterparts in Korea. The program invites U.S.-based Japan and Northeast specialists to travel to Korea and build professional and personal relations with their Korean counterparts. It is the goal of the Mansfield Foundation to broaden the community of Korean scholarship to include specialists on Japan and the broader East Asian region through the program.

2023 Cohort

Annika A. Culver

Professor, East Asian History, Florida State University

Professor Annika A. Culver is Professor of East Asian History at Florida State University, where she specializes in Japan and Northeast Asia-related topics, as one of the world’s experts on imperial Japan and Manchuria/Manchukuo (Japanese-occupied northeast China).  She received her doctorate from the University of Chicago and holds an A.M. degree in Regional Studies East Asia from Harvard University and a history degree from Vassar College. Since 2012, Dr. Culver has served as a scholar in the US-Japan Network for the Future, a group initiated by the late Ezra Vogel which connects academics to the foreign policy community.  She is also an Editorial Board Member of the Texas National Security Review.  Professor Culver’s research and publications have focused on propaganda and advertising, cultural production in Manchuria/Manchukuo and the Japanese empire, the history of science in Japan, and more recently, the growth of Japanese consumer capitalism. Her publications include Glorify the Empire:  Japanese Avant-Garde Propaganda in Manchukuo (2013), which won the Southeast Conference for the Association for Asian Studies 2015 Book Prize, the co-edited volume Manchukuo Perspectives: Transnational Approaches to Literary Production (2019), and Japan’s Empire of Birds:  Aristocrats, Anglo-Americans, and Transwar Ornithology (2022); her most recent book, Democratizing Luxury:  Name Brands, Advertising, and Consumption in Modern Japan, will be published by University of Hawaii Press in 2023.  The Japan Foundation, Association for Asian Studies, D. Kim Foundation for Science and Technology, and USIIE (Fulbright) and other grants have funded Dr. Culver’s research. In addition, Professor Culver regularly gives media and television interviews on East Asian topics, most recently for Voice of America, New York Times, Al Jazeera, and Nikkei News, and regularly presents at national and international venues. Dr. Culver is proficient in Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, French, and German.


Shihoko Goto

Director for Geoeconomics and Indo-Pacific Enterprise and Deputy Director, Asia Program, Woodrow Wilson Center

Shihoko Goto is the Director for Geoeconomics and Indo-Pacific Enterprise and Deputy Director for the Asia Program at the Wilson Center. She specializes in trade relations and economic issues across the Indo-Pacific, and is also focused on the political developments in Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. She is a member of the US-Taiwan Task Force for the 21st Century, and also a board member of Japan America Society of Washington DC. In addition, Shihoko is a columnist for The Diplomat magazine and contributing editor to The Globalist. Prior to joining the Wilson Center, she was a financial journalist covering the international political economy with a focus on Asian markets. As a correspondent for Dow Jones News Service and United Press International based in Tokyo and Washington, she has reported extensively on policies impacting the global financial system as well as international trade. She was also formerly a donor country relations officer at the World Bank. She received the Freeman Foundation’s Jefferson journalism fellowship at the East-West Center and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s journalism fellowship for the Salzburg Global Seminar. She is fluent in Japanese and French. She received an M.A. in international political theory from the Graduate School of Political Science, Waseda University, Japan, and a B.A. in Modern History, from Trinity College, University of Oxford, UK.


Hilary J. Holbrow

Assistant Professor, Indiana University

Hilary J. Holbrow is Assistant Professor of Japanese Politics and Society at the Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies at Indiana University. A sociologist by training, her scholarship examines social and economic inequality, work and organizations, immigration, and the intersections of gender, race, and ethnicity. She is an International Research Fellow at the Canon Institute for Global Studies in Tokyo and an Associate in Research at Harvard’s Reischauer Institute.  She has also worked at the Japanese Embassy in Washington, DC and has lived in Kyoto, Osaka, Okinawa, Yokohama, and Tokyo. Her work on the Japanese labor market has appeared in International Migration ReviewJournal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, and Work and Occupations.

Her book manuscript on gender and ethnic inequality in Japanese white-collar workplaces explores how status hierarchies evolve in response to changing and economic and social conditions, and specifically whether Japanese women and immigrants will be able to achieve greater parity with Japanese men as Japan’s population declines. She is currently conducting survey, survey-experimental, and interview research to understand the sources of persistent gender inequality in Japan’s white-collar workplaces, the experiences of professional Asian migrants to Japan, and the effects of Japan’s trainee system on migrant outcomes. She holds a BA in East Asian Studies from Boston University and a PhD in Sociology from Cornell University.


Phillip Lipscy

Professor, Department of Political Science; Chair in Japanese Politics & Global Affairs; Director, Centre for the Study of Global Japan, Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy, University of Toronto

Phillip Y. Lipscy is professor of political science at the University of Toronto, where he is also Chair in Japanese Politics and Global Affairs and the Director of the Centre for the Study of Global Japan at the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy. In addition, he is cross-appointed as professor at the Faculty of Law at the University of Tokyo. His research addresses substantive topics such as international cooperation, international organizations, the politics of energy and climate change, international relations of East Asia, and the politics of financial crises. He has also published extensively on Japanese politics and foreign policy. Lipscy’s book from Cambridge University Press, Renegotiating the World Order: Institutional Change in International Relations, examines how countries seek greater international influence by reforming or creating international organizations. Before arriving at the University of Toronto, Lipscy was assistant professor of political science at Stanford University. Lipscy obtained his Ph.D. in political science at Harvard University. He received his M.A. in international policy studies and B.A. in economics and political science at Stanford University. He is also affiliated with the Program on U.S.-Japan Relations at Harvard University, Initiative for Sustainable Energy Policy at Johns Hopkins SAIS, and the U.S.-Japan Council.


Colin Timmerman

Mansfield Fellow, Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation

Colin Timmerman is a former U.S. congressional staffer specializing in foreign affairs and defense issues in Northeast Asia with established expertise on Japan, South Korea, and North Korea. Over the past year, Mr. Timmerman represented the U.S. Congress in Tokyo, Japan as a member of the 26th Class of the Mansfield Fellowship Program. His fellowship experience included placements in Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Defense, and the National Diet. Prior to the fellowship, Mr. Timmerman spent over four years working in Congress, most recently as the advisor on foreign affairs and defense issues for Congresswoman Young Kim (CA-39) with a focus on Indo-Pacific security issues and enhancing trilateral US-Japan-ROK cooperation. During this time, he authored multiple legislative initiatives, including the North Korean Human Rights Reauthorization Act of 2022 and the Uyghur Policy Act.  Mr. Timmerman is an Iowa native, where he received a BA in Political Science from Drake University, and is fluent in Japanese.


Timothy Webster

Professor, Western New England University 

Timothy Webster is a Professor of Law at Western New England University. He writes about the intersections of international law and the domestic legal systems of China, Japan, and Korea. His scholarship on international economic law, international human rights, and international dispute resolution appears inter alia in the Columbia, Michigan, NYU, and Virginia Journals of International Law. He has testified before Congress, written for domestic and international media, and lectured in French, Japanese, and Mandarin at colloquia, conferences, and workshops throughout Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America. He was previously Professor of Transnational Law, with tenure, at Case Western Reserve University, where he directed Case’s Asian Legal Studies Program and the Joint Program in International Commercial Law and Dispute Resolution with Southwest University of Political Science and Law (Chongqing, China). He has also been a visiting professor at the University of Paris-Dauphine, National Taiwan University (Taipei), and IÉSEG School of Management (Paris), and a visiting scholar at Zhejiang University (Hangzhou, China). He started his academic career as a lecturer at Yale Law School and senior fellow at its China Law Center. He practiced international litigation in Tokyo and New York, and clerked for a judge in Boston. He is in the fourth cohort of the Public Intellectuals Program, the Chinese analogue to the U.S.-Japan Network for the Future, run by the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations. He holds a BA and MA in East Asian Languages and Literatures from Yale University and a JD and LLM from Cornell Law School.


2022 Cohort

Dyron Dabney

Director of Japan Study and Associate Professor of Politics, Earlham College

Dyron Dabney is the Director of Japan Study and Associate Professor of Politics at Earlham College. His research and teaching interests include campaigns and elections, political parties, political participation, and elite politics. While specializing in Japanese politics, Dr. Dabney’s research and teaching interests invite comparative analysis of East Asian politics and culture and American politics. Dr. Dabney’s present research is motivated and informed by interdisciplinary studies that bring into focus gendered differences in political participation and behavior. His current research projects include an examination of spousal participation effects on election campaign outcomes in Japan and the United States and gender and election campaign corruption in Japan and the United States. Dr. Dabney holds a PhD in comparative politics from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He currently serves as a board of directors member of ASIANetwork, and is an advisory committee member and the 2011-2012 resident director for Japan Study at Waseda University.

CJS Noon Lecture Series | Japan's Political Stability in ...Sherry Martin

Foreign Affairs Research Analyst, U.S. Department of State

Sherry Martin is a foreign affairs research analyst at the United States Department of State. She was formerly an associate professor at Cornell University jointly appointed in the Government Department and the Program in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Her areas of expertise include mass participation in politics, public opinion, electoral institutions, political socialization, and gender and politics in Japan and the United States. Her research on the relationship between gender, a decline in partisanship, and widespread feelings of political alienation in contemporary Japanese politics has appeared in the Social Science Japan Journal and the Journal of Women, Politics & Policy. Dr. Martin’s book, Popular Democracy in Japan: How Gender and Community are Changing Modern Electoral Politics, was published with Cornell University Press in March 2011. This work examines how institutional changes combined with new patterns of citizen engagement to create the conditions for higher levels of electoral participation than might be expected throughout a period of Japanese politics led by an entrenched elite widely criticized for being unresponsive to voters. Martin earned her AB in politics from Princeton University and her PhD in Political Science from the University of Michigan.

Emer O’Dwyer

Associate Professor of History and East Asian Studies, Oberlin College and Conservatory

Emer O’Dwyer is director of the East Asian Studies Program and associate professor of history and East Asian studies. She specializes in twentieth century Japanese history with research interests in imperialism, democracy, and the postwar Allied Occupation. Dr. O’Dwyer is the author of Significant Soil: Settler Colonialism and Japan’s Urban Empire in Manchuria (Harvard University Press, East Asian Monographs Series, 2015) and has work published in Modern Asian Studies, the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Asian History, Roman Rosenbaum, ed. Manga and the Representation of Japanese History, as well as in blog posts for the Library of Congress and Global Urban History. Dr. O’Dwyer holds an AB in East Asian Studies from Harvard College and a PhD in history and East Asian languages also from Harvard. She has been a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard’s Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies (2010-2011), a Kluge Fellow at the Library of Congress (2011-2012), and an academic associate at Harvard’s Program on U.S.-Japan Relations (2015-2016).

Gene Park

Professor and Chair of Political Science and International Relations, Loyola Marymount University

Gene Park is Professor and Chair of Political Science and International Relations at Loyola Marymount University (LMU). His research interests include comparative and international political economy; Japanese foreign policy and politics; and the politics of monetary policy, public spending and taxation. Dr. He also has a broad interest in East Asian security. His most recent co-authored book is Taming Japan’s Deflation, The Debate over Unconventional Monetary Policy (Cornell University Press, 2018), and a co-edited volume with Eisaku Ide entitled, Deficits and Debt in the Industrialized Democracies (Routledge, 2015). Prior to arriving at LMU, he taught at Baruch College, City University of New York. Dr. Park has been a Japan Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and a Shorenstein Fellow at Stanford University’s Asia Pacific Research Center (APARC). He also spent two years as a visiting scholar at the Japanese Ministry of Finance’s Policy Research Institute. Dr. Park received his PhD in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley. He is the recipient of a Fulbright Institute of International Education fellowship. He holds a BA in Philosophy from Swarthmore College, an MA in City and Regional Planning from Berkeley.

Michael Sharpe

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

Michael Orlando Sharpe is an Associate Professor of Political Science in the Department of Behavioral Sciences at York College of the City University of New York. He holds a PhD and Master of Philosophy in Political Science from the Graduate School and University Center of the City University of New York. Additionally, Dr. Sharpe holds a Master of International Affairs degree from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, a Graduate Diploma in International Law and Organization for Development from the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague, The Netherlands, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Rutgers College / Rutgers University. Prior to coming to York College/CUNY, Dr. Sharpe was a senior research associate at the Howard Samuels Center at the CUNY Graduate Center. Before these more recent experiences, Dr. Sharpe was employed as a political analyst for the Consulate General of Japan in New York and earlier in Tokyo as a project coordinator for the United Nations affiliated non-governmental organization the International Movement Against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism (IMADR) of which he is now serves as a member of its board of directors. Dr. Sharpe’s areas of expertise are comparative politics and international relations and his research interests concern looking comparatively at the politics of migration, immigrant political incorporation, and political transnationalism in the Netherlands, Japan, and around the world.

Daniel M. Smith

Associate professor, Modern Japanese Politics and Foreign Policy Department of Political Science and School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University

Daniel M. Smith is the Gerald L. Curtis Visiting Associate Professor of Modern Japanese Politics and Foreign Policy in the Department of Political Science and School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. His interests cover a range of topics in Japanese politics, comparative politics, political economy, and political behavior. A core substantive focus of his research and teaching is political representation in democracies, especially how institutions such as electoral systems affect voting behavior and the demographic backgrounds and behavior of political elites. He is the author of Dynasties and Democracy (Stanford University Press, 2018), and articles appearing in journals such as the American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics, and Political Analysis. He is also a co-editor of the Japan Decides election series.

Prior to coming to Columbia University, he was assistant and then associate professor in the Department of Government at Harvard University. He received his MA (2009) and PhD (2012) in political science from the University of California, San Diego, and his BA (2005) in political science and Italian from the University of California, Los Angeles. From 2012 to 2013, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center (APARC) at Stanford University.

2019 Cohort

Photograph of Naoko AokiNaoko Aoki

Nonresident Senior Fellow, Atlantic Council & Research Associate, Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland

Naoko Aoki is a nonresident senior fellow with the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security’s Asia Security Initiative and is also a research associate at the Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland. Her research focuses on topics including the North Korean nuc,. Her research interests include security issues in the Asia-Pacific region with a focus on North Korea, nuclear security policy, security cooperation and the impact of domestic politics on international security policy. She was formerly a Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow at the RAND Corporation, covered Japanese domestic politics and economic policy at Kyodo News, and served as a Beijing correspondent. She holds a PhD from the University of Maryland, College Park, and an MA from The Johns Hopkins University, Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).

Dr. Aoki has contributed comments to broadcast media including the BBC and NPR, as well as print media including the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, the Independent, South China Morning Post and the Diplomat.

Benjamin Goldberg

Japan Analyst, U.S. Department of State

Benjamin Goldberg is a Japan analyst at the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research. He focuses on issues such as Japan’s internal political situation, Japanese foreign policy, and regional economic and diplomatic activities. Previously, he served as a Foreign Media Analyst in the Media Reaction branch of the Office of Research in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research. In this position, he served as the primary editor and drafter of the Early Report, a daily analysis of global media reaction to major international events. Before joining the State Department, he worked as Analytical Director for an independent consulting company, Intellibridge Corp., as well as a junior reporter for the Washington bureau of Japan’s second-largest newspaper, the Asahi Shimbun. He graduated from Haverford College in 1995 with a BA in East Asian Studies, and is competent in Japanese and Spanish.


Wesleyan portrait of Mary Alice HaddadMary Alice Haddad 

Professor of Government, Wesleyan University

Mary Alice Haddad is the John E. Andrus Professor of Government at Wesleyan University, where she teaches Government and East Asian studies. She has received awards from numerous institutions including the Harvard Academy, Mellon Foundation, Fulbright, National Endowment for the Humanities, East Asia Institute, and the Japan Foundation. Her publications include Politics and Volunteering in Japan: A Global Perspective (Cambridge 2007), Building Democracy in Japan (Cambridge 2012), and articles in journals such as Comparative Political StudiesDemocratization, Journal of Asian Studies, and Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly. Her current research project is about environmental politics in East Asia, especially China, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan. Professor Haddad received her PhD and MA in political science from the University of Washington and her BA from Amherst College.

Linda Hasunuma 

Assistant Director , Center for the Advancement of Teaching at Temple University

Linda Hasunuma is an Assistant Director of the Center for the Advancement of Teaching at Temple University. Her work focuses on inclusive pedagogy and support for faculty and graduate students. Previously, she served as an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Bridgeport’s School of Public and International Affairs. She earned her Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her dissertation analyzed the politics of Japan’s decentralization and economic reforms during the Koizumi years, and she has published on the politics of the LDP-Komeito coalition, “womenomics”, women’s participation and activism in civil society, the impact of the #MeToo movement in Japan and South Korea, and the politics of the comfort women memorials in the United States. She is developing a book project on Asian Americans, memory politics, and Japan-South Korea relations, as well as comparative studies of women’s activism and gender policies in Japan and South Korea. She is a member of the second cohort (2012-2014) of the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation’s Network for the Future US-Japan Alliance and has provided commentary to The Asahi Shimbun, NPR, and the BBC World News.

Robert Hoppens 

Associate Professor, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

Robert Hoppens received a PhD in Modern Japanese History from the University of Washington and is Associate Professor at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley where he teaches Japanese, Chinese, East Asian and world history. His research interests focus on the history of Sino-Japanese relations, Cold War history and issues of national identity in East Asia. He is the author of The China Problem in Postwar Japan: Japanese National Identity and Sino-Japanese Relations, published by Bloomsbury Press as part of the series SOAS Studies in Modern and Contemporary Japan.

Kathryn Ibata-Arens

Vincent de Paul Professor and Director of the Global Asian Studies Program, DePaul University

Kathryn Ibata-Arens is Vincent de Paul Professor and Director of the Global Asian Studies Program, DePaul University. Her scholarly work focuses on innovation and entrepreneurship in Asia, science and technology policy, women’s economic empowerment, and inclusive innovation. Dr. Ibata-Arens’ recent research explores technology leadership, innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem development in biomedical industries in Asia. Her book, Beyond Technonationalism: Biomedical Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Asia (Stanford University Press 2019) analyzes national policy and firm level strategy in China, India, Japan, and Singapore. From 2012 to 2013 she served on the METI-State Department Japan-US Innovation and Entrepreneurship Council, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Japan-America Society of Chicago and as a member of the U.S.-Japan Council. Previously In 2012, Dr. Ibata-Arens was a visiting researcher at the Research Center for Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI, Tokyo), Ritsumeikan University Research Center for Innovation Management (Kyoto) (2011-2012), and as a Fulbright Fellow at Kyoto University (2010). In 2008, Dr. Ibata-Arens was a Japan Policy Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, DC and received a Sloan Foundation Industry Studies Grant for her work on national entrepreneurship and innovation policy. She received a BA in international relations from Loyola University Chicago and a PhD in political economy from Northwestern University.

Adam P. Liff

Assistant Professor of East Asian International Relations, Indiana University

Adam P. Liff is Associate Professor of East Asian International Relations at Indiana University’s Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies, where he is also the founding director of its 21st Century Japan Politics & Society Initiative. His research focuses on international security and the Asia-Pacific—with particular emphasis on Japanese and Chinese security policy; U.S. Asia-Pacific strategy; the U.S.-Japan alliance; and the rise of China. Beyond IU, Dr. Liff is a Non-resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution and Associate-in-Research at Harvard University’s Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies and Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies. He holds a PhD and MA in Politics from Princeton University, and a BA from Stanford University.

Sarah Shair-Rosenfield

Senior Lecturer, Department of Government, University of Essex

Sarah Shair-Rosenfield received her master’s (2009) and doctorate (2012) in political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She earned her bachelor’s in economics and government from Cornell University (2003). Her current research focuses on the politics of electoral reform, the causes and consequences of federalism and decentralization, and the effects of political institutions on female political representation. Her research and teaching interests broadly include comparative political institutions, democratization, political parties and electoral systems, federalism and decentralization, and gender and politics. At the time of per participation in this program, she served as Assistant Professor of Comparative Politics at Arizona State University, where she taught courses on comparative politics, democratization and the politics of Asia.

Dr. Shair-Rosenfield conducted eighteen months of in-depth fieldwork in Indonesia and has served as a parties and elections consultant with the National Democratic Institute in Jakarta. She is a co-author of the “Regional Authority Index“(RAI), an index of subnational authority in 80 countries from 1950-2010. Her work has been published in the Journal of East Asian StudiesJournal of Politics in Latin America, Electoral Studies, and Political Research Quarterly.

2018 Cohort

Liv Coleman  

Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Tampa

Liv Coleman is associate professor of political science at the University of Tampa, where she teaches East Asian comparative politics and international relations.  Her research interests include Japanese gender politics and family policy responses to the declining birthrate, as well as Internet governance and processes of change in international organization. Dr. Coleman received her PhD in political science from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and her BA from Smith College. She conducted doctoral dissertation research as a visiting scholar at the University of Tokyo’s Institute of Social Science. She was also an advanced research fellow in the Program on U.S.-Japan Relations at Harvard University.


Iza Ding

Assistant professor of political science, University of Pittsburgh

Iza Ding is an assistant professor of political science at the University of Pittsburgh.  Her research examines post-Socialist political and economic development, with a substantive focus on bureaucracy, public opinion, and environmentalism, and a regional focus on Asia (China in particular) and Central and Eastern Europe.  She uses a multi-methods approach in her research, working with both quantitative and qualitative data.

Dr. Ding received her PhD in Government from Harvard University, and her BA from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, earning a dual degree in Political Science and Russian and Eastern European Studies.

Tobias Harris

Senior fellow for Asia, Center for American Progress

Tobias Harris is senior fellow for Asia at the Center for American Progress, with a portfolio that includes Japan, the Korean Peninsula, and broader Asia. His analysis of Japanese politics appears regularly in publications like the Financial TimesWall Street Journal Asia, and Foreign Policy and he has provided on-air analysis for CNBC, Bloomberg, NHK, and Al Jazeera International. Prior to his current position, he was an analyst of Japanese politics and economics at Teneo Intelligence, a political risk firm, as well as  an Economy, Trade, and Business Fellow at the Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA. In 2011-2012, he was a Fulbright scholar at the Institute for Social Science at the University of Tokyo, where he conducted research on the Japanese bureaucracy. Before working as an analyst, in 2006- 2007 Mr. Harris worked on the staff of Keiichiro Asao, at that time a member of the upper house of the Japanese Diet and shadow foreign minister for the Democratic Party of Japan, for whom Mr. Harris conducted research on foreign policy and Japan’s relations with the United States. Mr. Harris holds an MPhil in international relations from the University of Cambridge. He received his bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University.

Nori Katagiri

Associate professor of political science, St. Louis University

Nori Katagiri is an associate professor of political science at St. Louis University, where he teaches international relations, security studies, and East Asia. He is writing a book on Japan’s military power after he published his first, titled Adapting  to Win: How Insurgents Fight and Defeat Foreign States in War (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015). Before joining St. Louis University, he taught international security at Air War College, a joint military graduate school for senior officers and officials of the U.S. government and foreign nations. Between 2016 and 2018, he serves as a visiting research fellow at the Air Staff College, Meguro Base, of Japan’s Air Self-Defense Force. He received his BA in international studies from the University of South Carolina, a Master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia University, and a PhD in political science from the University of Pennsylvania.

Ko Maeda

Associate Professor, University of North Texas

Ko Maeda (PhD, Michigan State University, 2005) is an associate professor of political  science at the University of North Texas, specializing in elections, party competition, and political institutions. His work has appeared in journals such as the Journal of Politics, British Journal of Political Science, Comparative Political Studies, Electoral Studies, and the Journal of Theoretical Politics.

Mary M. McCarthy

Professor of Political Science, Drake University

Mary McCarthy is a Professor of Political Science at Drake University. Dr. McCarthy joined the department in the fall of 2007. She teaches numerous regional courses on the politics and international relations of Japan, China, and East Asia, as well as topical courses in world and comparative politics. Her research and teaching interests include the influence of domestic politics on foreign policy-making, the interaction between the state and the market, the relationship between bureaucrats and politicians, the role of the media in the political system, and the impact of environmental degradation and resource depletion on international and national security.

Besides her teaching and research, Dr. McCarthy enjoys mentoring students to help them to have the most enriching experience both at Drake and beyond. In this capacity, she advises students on post-graduate opportunities in Asia, including teaching English in Japan through the prestigious Japan Exchange and Teaching Program (JET).

Dr. McCarthy received her MA and PhD degrees in political science, as well as her BA degree in East Asian studies, from Columbia University.

Andrew L. Oros 

Professor of Political Science and International Studies; Director of the International Studies program and the Peace and Conflict Studies Minor, Washington College

Andrew L. Oros is a specialist on the international and comparative politics of East Asia and the advanced industrial democracies, with an emphasis on contending approaches to managing security and on the linkage between domestic and international politics.. He is the author of He is the author of Japan’s Security Renaissance: New Policies and Politics for the 21st Century (Columbia University Press, 2017), Normalizing Japan: Politics, Identity, and the Evolution of Security Practice (Stanford University Press, 2008), co-author of Global Security Watch Japan (Praeger Press, 2010, with Yuki Tatsumi), and over a dozen scholarly and mass media articles on topics related to East Asian security and Japanese domestic politics. He was on sabbatical leave from July 2020 through December 2021, serving as a fellow at the Wilson Center in Washington, DC to work on a new book tentatively titled “America’s Aging Allies in Asia: Demographic Change and National Security in the Indo-Pacific.”  The project is also supported by grants from the Global Taiwan Institute and the Korea Foundation.

Dr. Oros earned degrees from Columbia University (Ph.D, MPhil), the London School of Economics (MSc), and the University of Southern California (BA). He has been a visiting researcher at the University of Tokyo, Keio University, and Peking University; and studied as an undergraduate at Osaka University of Foreign Studies and Nanzan University.


Nathaniel M. Smith

Associate Professor, College of International Relations, Ritsumeikan University

Nathaniel M. Smith is an associate professor in the College of International Relations at Ritsumeikan University.  A cultural anthropologist specializing in Japan, Dr. Smith’s research focuses on nationalism, social movements, and organized crime. His current manuscript is an ethnography of the moral and social worlds of Japan’s prominent rightist activist groups that traces their trajectory from the early post-WWII years, beyond the Cold War, and into the contemporary terrain of post-3.11 civil society. He maintains broad interest in the history of Japan anthropology, urban studies and inter-Asian migration, and sound and visual studies of Japan. He was previously assistant professor of East Asian Studies and affiliated faculty in the School Anthropology at the University of Arizona. Prior to that, Dr. Smith spent two years serving as Japan Foundation Faculty Fellow in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Dr. Smith holds a PhD in anthropology and MA in East Asian studies from Yale University, an MA in international relations from Waseda University, and a BA in foreign language from the Department of Comparative Literature and Foreign Language from the University of California, Riverside.

Kristin Vekasi 
Associate Professor, University of Maine

Kristin Vekasi is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science and School of Policy and International Affairs at the University of Maine. Her research interests focus on international political economy, and the dynamics of political conflict, foreign direct investment, and nationalism. She specializes in Northeast Asia, and has spent years conducting research in both Japan and China. Her current research looks at how Japanese multinational corporations mitigate political risk in China. Professor Vekasi received her PhD in political science from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 2014. Prior to joining the faculty at University of Maine, she taught at New College of Florida, was a visiting Research Fellow at the University of Tokyo, and a Fulbright Fellow at Tohoku University.