Mission and Purpose
The purpose of the US-Japan Leadership Program (USJLP) is to develop a network of communication, friendship and understanding among the next generation of leaders in each country. The relationship between two of the world’s most powerful democracies and economies has become so complex and broad-ranging that it is beyond the ability of governments or specialists to manage. Yet it continues to suffer from misunderstandings, neglect or stereotyped images of each other that arise from our very different histories and cultures.
The Program aims to foster a continuing dialogue among future leaders in a broad variety of professions. It starts this process by bringing some 20 young leaders together from each country for two intensive week-long conferences over two years, with discussions revolving around historical and current issues in bilateral relations, as well as issues reaching beyond our two countries. Through serious conversation as well as recreation and shared cultural activities it seeks to nurture lifelong friendships. The Program is designed to keep the leaders in touch with each other throughout their careers through a dedicated website and member directory, frequent reunions and newsletters, and online social networks. To date, 392 young leaders have participated in the Program. The goal is to bridge the gap between East and West that has plagued the world since our earliest contacts.
Participants: Delegates and Fellows
USJLP accepts new participants on a yearly basis to serve as Delegates in two one-week conferences over the course of two summers: one week in Japan (in odd-numbered years) and one week in Seattle (in even-numbered years). Representatives from a broad range of careers, regions and backgrounds are brought together to form the delegation for each conference. Each conference joins together Delegates serving their first year, as well as Delegates returning for their second. Selections are carefully made so that each class contains a diverse and dynamic group of individuals who have a proven track record, or strong potential, for leadership in their field.
After completing two years as a Delegate, participants continue their lifelong membership in USJLP as Scott M. Johnson Fellows (alumni). Fellows are named “Scott M. Johnson Fellows” in memory of former USJF Chairman Tom Johnson’s son Scott, who was lost on September 11, 2001. Fellows are expected to remain active in USJLP by attending and organizing events, staying in touch over a mailing list and dedicated website, sharing news and updates with the community, and keeping their profile information current. Fellows are also encouraged to help in discovering new young leaders and to contribute to securing the financial future of the Program.
Management of the Program
USJLP is the flagship program of the United States-Japan Foundation (USJF). USJF grew out of the vision and generosity of Ryoichi Sasakawa (1899-1995), who conceived of an entirely independent foundation dedicated to strengthening cooperation and understanding between the two countries. Originally endowed by what is now The Nippon Foundation, USJF was founded on October 21, 1980, and is governed by a board of prominent Japanese and American private citizens. It is the only private American grant-making foundation dedicated to the mutual interests of the American and Japanese people.
The Program is managed under the leadership of Dr. George Packard, President of the US-Japan Foundation, with the assistance of Mr. Tomoyuki Watanabe, Japan Representative, and two dedicated Program Directors in both New York and Tokyo. An Advisory Council of Japanese and American Fellows (participants who successfully attended previous conferences in both the U.S. and Japan) of the Program acts as the main alumni voice and lends support and council to the Program's development and activities.
Honorary Advisory Board
Chairman of the Program's Honorary Advisory Board
Mr. Minoru Makihara
Senior Corporate Advisor
Members of the Honorary Advisory Board
Mr. John Creighton
Strategic Director, Madrona Venture Group
Former Chairman & CEO, UAL Corp. and United Airlines
Former CEO of Weyerhaeuser
Mr. Richard Danziger Esq.
Lawyer, philanthropist, expert on tea ceremony
Dr. Yoichi Funabashi
Chairman, Rebuild Japan Initiative Foundation
Hon. Walter Mondale
U.S. Ambassador to Japan (1993-1996)
Partner, Dorsey & Whitney, LLP
Mr. Scott Oki
Chairman & CEO
Oki Development, Inc.
Hon. William Ruckelshaus
Strategic Director, Madrona Venture Group
Former Secretary of the Environmental Protection Agency
Delegates to the 2017-2018 Conferences
American and Japanese Delegates who will attend Japan 2017 as their first conference must be between the ages of 28 and 42 on July 23, 2017, and must have demonstrated leadership, achievement, or the potential for leadership in their respective fields. Consideration will be given to men and women from a broad spectrum of careers. These Delegates are expected to continue on and attend their second conference in 2018, scheduled to be held in Seattle from July 28 – August 4, 2018. Delegates who must defer their second year in 2018 will be given due consideration for participation in a future (i.e. 2020 or later) Seattle conference, space permitting.
Newly selected Delegates to the 2017 conference will join second year Delegates who have successfully participated in a Japan Conference. Additional details about participation in USJLP conferences are outlined in the conference guidelines for Delegates.
Guidelines for Delegates
The Foundation covers economy class direct travel expenses to and from Delegates' home location to the conference site, as well as lodging expenses and official travel during the conference. Incidental and/or personal charges (e.g., telephone calls, laundry, etc.) during the Program are to be paid by the Delegates. Detailed guidelines for Japan 2017 will be presented to Delegates in the months leading up to the conference.
Delegates are expected to attend all official USJLP events throughout the course of the week. Unexplained absences from any sessions and/or activities could result in the loss of membership in the USJLP.
As the purpose of the conference is to have Delegates spend as much time getting to know one another as possible, Delegates are asked to come unaccompanied by their spouse, partner, and/or children. Family members are encouraged to join the group (at their own expense) during the last two days of the conference when Scott M. Johnson Fellows will also be invited to join the group.
All meetings will be conducted in English. Delegates may be asked to make a presentation and/or moderate a session during the week.
Membership in the USJLP is a lifetime commitment. Delegates and Fellows are encouraged to remain active by attending and organizing USJLP events, to stay connected via an email mailing list, and to inform their secretariats of important news, updates and changes in contact information. Fellows are also encouraged to help in discovering new young leaders and to contribute to securing the financial future of the Program.
The deadline for the 2017-2018 conferences is Monday, January 9, 2017. Only fully complete applications by the deadline will be considered.
For more information click "Further official information" below.
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