The TOMODACHI Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) is an interactive, educational program designed to encourage the next generation of leaders to act as first movers, innovators and entrepreneurs in their professional fields. Each year a pool of young Japanese American professionals is chosen from across the United States to participate in a leadership orientation program and attend the U.S.-Japan Council’s Annual Conference and Annual Members Meeting. Selected applicants will receive transportation, hotel accommodations and complimentary Conference registration.to attend the U.S.-Japan Council Annual Conference and Annual Members Meeting.
The emerging leaders also participate in specialized programming at the U.S.-Japan Council Annual Conference including leadership training. The Conference is a forum for education and networking among the highest levels of leadership in business, public policy, academia, journalism and community organizations. By providing access to senior leaders, education on cutting-edge topics and mentorship opportunities, the program aims to motivate young professionals to pursue further activities that promote strong and positive U.S.-Japan relations.
- For more information, visit the U.S.-Japan Council website
2016 TOMODACHI Emerging Leaders Program
The members of the 2016 TOMODACHI Emerging Leaders Program have been selected and announced!
Twelve Japanese American young professionals were selected to attend the U.S.-Japan Council (USJC) Annual Conference and USJC Members Meeting in Silicon Valley, California. The Conference is a forum for education and networking among the highest levels of leadership in business, public policy, academia, journalism and community organizations. By providing access to senior leaders and education on relevant topics, the program aims to motivate participants to promote strong and positive U.S.-Japan relations in their personal and professional lives.
The TOMODACHI Emerging Leaders Program is currently in its seventh year. Past participants have created a vibrant alumni network deeply engaged with the work of the Council. Continued engagement following the Conference is expected.
At the Conference, the emerging leaders will become U.S.-Japan Council Associates with the first year’s membership dues waived (membership is normally by invitation and nomination).
- For more information on the leaders including the bios, please click here
A Word from 2015 Alumni
“The U.S.-Japan Council TOMODACHI Emerging Leaders Program was unbelievable and far exceeded my expectations. I left Tokyo with a strong sense of responsibility and possibility. As an individual it seems daunting, but together with all of ELP and USJC, I know it can happen. The idea that we can ‘change the world,’ I think is a real possibility and this definitely is just the beginning.”
– Lianna Kushi, Lowell, MA (TOMODACHI ELP 2015)
“This is a family full of warm-hearted, compassionate, and ambitious brothers and sisters who all have incredible stories of what U.S.-Japan relations mean to them.”
– Miki Sankary, Chicago, Illinois (TOMODACHI ELP 2015)
“ELP provided an opportunity to connect with inspirational leaders from diverse backgrounds and various regions. I came away with so many life lessons and greater ambitions. The program created an environment for the next generation of leaders to thrive and we hope to exceed expectations.”
– Rei Tsuchiya, Washington, DC (TOMODACHI ELP 2015)
For more information, please contact:
The U.S.-Japan Council’s TOMODACHI Emerging Leaders Program is supported by the generous sponsorship of companies, foundations and individuals. Please click here to a see a partial listing of sponsors. If you would like to make a donation to the program, please contact Dana Fager at email@example.com.
2015 TOMODACHI Emerging Leaders Program
In its sixth year, the TOMODACHI Emerging Leaders Program took 12 Japanese American young professionals to Tokyo, Japan for the 2015 U.S.-Japan Council Annual Conference. The emerging leaders participated in a leadership orientation program, networked with high level leaders, attended all conference events and participated in the Annual Members Meeting.
- For more information on the program, click here
2014 TOMODACHI Emerging Leaders Program
In its fifth year, 12 Japanese American young professionals were selected for the 2014 Emerging Leaders Program. They had an opportunity to attend the 2014 U.S.-Japan Council Annual Conference in Honolulu, Hawaii in October 8-12, 2014. The Emerging Leaders participated in a leadership orientation program, networked with high level leaders, attended all conference events and participated in the Annual Members Meeting.
- For more information on the selected emerging leaders, visit the USJC website
2013 TOMODACHI Emerging Leaders Program
U.S.-Japan Council and the TOMODACHI Initiative have announced the members of the 2013 TOMODACHI Emerging Leaders Program. In its fourth year, the 2013 Emerging Leaders Program brings 12 Japanese American young professionals to Washington, DC for the 2013 U.S.-Japan Council Annual Conference. The Emerging Leaders will participate in a leadership orientation program, network with high level leaders, attend all conference events and participate in the Annual Members Meeting.
- For more information on the 2013 Emerging Leaders, visit the USJC website
Goals of the Emerging Leadership Program
The U.S.-Japan Council which founded the Emerging Leaders Program, is an organization focused on strengthening the U.S.-Japan relationship by building strong people-to-people connections. This Emerging Leaders Program advances this mission by connecting delegates with Council Members with mutual interests. The Emerging Leaders Program plays an important role in building the “TOMODACHI Generation,” a generation of young American and Japanese leaders who are committed to and engaged in strengthening U.S.-Japan relations, appreciate each other’s countries and cultures, and possess the global skills and mindsets needed to contribute to and thrive in a more cooperative, prosperous, and secure world.
Voices from the Emerging Leaders
Participating in the Emerging Leaders Program demonstrated not only the vitality of the Japanese American community, but the essential linkages continually growing between the United States and Japan. Inspired by the deep knowledge and experience of the USJC community leaders, as well as through the passion and dedication of my ELP cohort, I am keen to maintain these new connections, to seek out fulfilling community involvement, and to carry out the work we have just begun. – Courtney Sato, New Haven, Connecticut
I realized that my Monday morning walk into work following the Conference was not dreadful, but extremely hopeful. I found myself thinking, “What can I do to become a stronger leader in my community, while bringing out the best in those around me?” The Emerging Leader Program (ELP) connected me to inspirational people with a common purpose of doing more to improve the US-Japan relationship—and they didn’t just preach it, they breathed it. As a result, I felt a personal urgency to make the most of my background, skills, and network to elevate myself and those within my immediate community. Amidst the chaotic and at times, nonsensical world we live in, I left my ELP family and the USJC Conference with a renewed sense of motivation and hope for my generation of Japanese Americans. We really can change the world. But we must support each other to do even more. – Yuki Lin, San Francisco, California
I am deeply humbled and grateful to have been granted the opportunity to participate in the Emerging Leaders Program. Immediately, I have realized many benefits of the program including a sense of identity, access to global leaders, involvement in projects growing into lifelong opportunity, a sincere connection with program delegates and a perpetuating desire to do more for our countries. The best part of all is that it has only just begun. – Kei Ashizawa, Houston, Texas
Throughout the U.S.-Japan Council Annual Conference, I felt a common bond with many other Nikkei, not only in the ELP program, but also throughout the network of Council Members, and better understood that I don’t just represent my family as a Nikkei, but that we, as Japanese Americans, represent each other throughout the United States and the world. – Ryan Tanaka, Honolulu, Hawaii