Konnichiwa! I am Eliya Harnood, Associate Program Officer, working on the Japan-U.S. Military Program (JUMP). I joined Sasakawa USA this June after earning my Master of Public Policy from the University of Maryland. Born in Tokyo to Mongolian parents and raised in the suburbs of Washington, DC, I always felt a strong passion for cultural diplomacy and public service.
In 2019, I was fortunate enough to study at Waseda University to supplement my Japanese studies. Experiencing the 2019 G20 Summit in Osaka, outside of the Washington, DC bubble, I learned that my perception of the U.S.-Japan alliance, and the international system, had been skewed by a singular U.S. perspective. This experience inspired me to pursue professional opportunities in the U.S.-Japan field.
At Sasakawa USA, I am excited to showcase my enthusiasm for and therefore contribute to the U.S.-Japan relationship. Working on JUMP, I am able to assist in deepening the understanding of U.S.-Japan relations in local communities across the United States, bringing together current and former members of the U.S. military who have served in Japan to connect and engage.
It has been inspiring to join a team at Sasakawa USA of other dedicated and kind colleagues with the same passion for strengthening U.S.-Japan relations, especially as it is my first job out of university. I feel lucky to be a part of a team that is not only talented and hard-working, but a team that has a tangible synergy pulsing through the office. One of my favorite moments this past year was collectively adorning the office with holiday decor and enjoying a festive Japanese meal together to celebrate this holiday season. We are looking forward to 2022 and the meaningful programs we are planning for all of you.
Rainen mo yoroshiku onegaishimasu!