Kazuyo Kato is Director for Programs and Administration at Sasakawa USA. Kato has over fifteen years of professional experience in the U.S. and Japanese security and foreign policy communities. In her capacity as Director for Programs, she creates and develops programs promoting greater dialogue on U.S.-Japan relations among policy experts and opinion leaders in the United States. She currently focuses on outreach programs engaging regional leaders across the United States, a delegation program for emerging U.S. policy experts including a study trip to Japan, and organizing discussions and studies on key issues and developments affecting U.S.-Japan relations. As Director for Administration, Kato oversees Sasakawa USA’s programs and personnel budgets, and supports the management of human resources, policies and procedures, and other administrative functions to facilitate the organization’s daily operations.
Prior to joining Sasakawa USA in 2014 as Senior Program Officer, Kato worked for the U.S.-Japan Exchange Program at the Sasakawa Peace Foundation in Tokyo from 2010 to 2014. Previously, she was an Associate at Armitage International, LLC, an international consulting firm led by former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard L. Armitage. From 2003 to 2007, she assisted Asia security projects as Research Associate of the International Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, D.C. She began her professional career in 2001 as an Analyst at Arthur Andersen (later KMPG) in Tokyo.
Kato was born in Australia, and raised in Japan, Egypt, and the United States. She graduated from Stanford University with a BA in International Relations and an MA in International Policy Studies. She also has a Certificate in Non-Profit Management from Duke University’s Continuing Studies Program. Kato is also a member of Cohort 5 of the The Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation U.S.-Japan Network for the Future program.
Strong relations between nations depend on more than just friendly ties at the leadership level. Grassroots exchange is an essential means of forming strong foundations for a lasting relationship. In this essay the authors recommend ways to enhance exchange programs to ensure their impact, value, and success.