January 29, 2024
(Washington, DC) The Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation is pleased to announce the twenty-eighth class of Mansfield Fellows, ten federal employees who are participating in a two-year program including a year of working and living in Japan.
The Mike Mansfield Fellowship Program was established by Congress in 1994 to build a corps of U.S. government officials with substantial Japan expertise. This group will join a total of 198 Fellows, representing nearly 30 federal agencies, commissions, and the U.S. Congress.
The Mike Mansfield Fellowship Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, with funding provided by the U.S. Government, and is administered by the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation.
Members of the twenty-eighth group of Mansfield Fellows include:
- Major Darius Brown – Program Manager, F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter Program Office, U.S. Air Force
- Jennifer January Therrien – Foreign Affairs Officer, Bureau of Global Health Security and Diplomacy, Office of Infectious Disease and Outbreak Response, U.S. Department of State
- Michiko Feehan – Biomedical Engineer Reviewer, Office of Product Evaluation and Quality (OPEQ), Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH), U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
- Adrienne Johnson Krunich – Aviation Safety Inspector – Operations, Flight Standards, Air Carrier Safety Assurance, Federal Aviation Administration
- Lillian Mano – Program Environmental Specialist, Office of Healthcare Programs, Housing, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
- Matthew Matsuyama – Statistician, Federal Insurance Directorate, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Department of Homeland Security
- Amy Sharp – Reactor Systems Engineer (Economic Modeling), Accident Analysis Branch, Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
- Dr. DeReece D. Smither – Research Psychologist, Office of Research and Program Development, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration / U.S. Department of Transportation
- Captain Derryk Stiner – Deputy Chief of Operations Group Intelligence, 567 Cyberspace Operations Group, U.S. Air Force
- Kelly Vorndran – Foreign Affairs Specialist, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, U.S. Department of Defense
The Mansfield Fellows are participating in twelve months of language education paired with professional and cultural training in the United States from July 2023 to June 2024, followed by a seven-week intensive Japanese language program in Ishikawa Prefecture and ten months of placements, primarily in Japanese government agencies in Tokyo. This class will deploy to Japan on July 1, 2024, and return on June 30, 2025.
By working side-by-side with their counterparts in Japan’s ministries and agencies, National Diet, and non-governmental organizations, the Fellows will deepen their understanding of Japan’s government and policymaking process. This experience—and the contacts the Fellows make in the Japanese government and in the business, professional, and academic communities—will contribute to their work on Japan and Asia-related programs and policies when they return to federal government service.
“Welcoming the new class of fellows is always the most exciting part of our year,” said Frank Jannuzi, President and CEO of the Mansfield Foundation. “This twenty-eighth class of fellows is the first group to return to a restored two-year program and they are prepared for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Ambassador Mansfield regarded the U.S.-Japan relationship as ‘the most important bilateral relationship in the world—bar none,’ and we look forward to helping these federal workers contribute to this critical relationship.”
“The new class of Fellows joins experts across dozens of fields and continues the program’s goal of creating a corps of federal Japan experts who look like America,” added Nathan Finch, Associate Director of Programs at the Mansfield Foundation. “This class’s diversity can be seen across backgrounds and interests. We are excited to have our first fellow from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, as well as a range of agencies that bolster the bilateral relationship in security, resiliency, trade, and diplomacy.”
The Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization that promotes understanding and cooperation in U.S.-Asia relations. It was established in 1983 to honor Mike Mansfield (1903-2001), a revered public servant, statesman, and diplomat who played a pivotal role in many of the key domestic and international issues of the 20th century as U.S. congressman from Montana, Senate majority leader and finally as U.S. ambassador to Japan. Maureen and Mike Mansfield’s values, ideals, and vision for U.S.-Asia relations continue through the Foundation’s exchanges, dialogues, research, and educational programs, which create networks among U.S. and Asian leaders, explore the underlying issues influencing public policies, and increase awareness about the nations and peoples of Asia. The Foundation has offices in Washington, DC; Tokyo; and Missoula, Montana.