New Mansfield Fellows Begin Fellowship Year in Japan
July 13, 2017
Last week the twenty-second group of Mansfield Fellows arrived in Japan for the year-long Mike Mansfield Fellowship Program. The ten new Fellows began the program with a series of orientation meetings in Tokyo and an opportunity to meet with nine alumni who participated in the Fellowship Program from the first class in 1995 through the most recent class. The July 10 meeting included alumni Fellows Amy Jackson (PhRMA Japan Representative, Mansfield Fellow 1995-1997), Matthew Poggi (Financial Attaché, U.S. Embassy Tokyo, Mansfield Fellow 2009-2011), Nathan Purdy (Senior Representative, Pacific Rim, Federal Aviation Administration, U.S. Embassy Tokyo, Mansfield Fellow 2012-2013), Wikrom Kitchaiya (Director of International Exercises and Plans/Instructor Navigator, 36th Airlift Squadron, Yokota Air Base, Mansfield Fellow 2013-2014), Zensaku Munn (Director of Air Force Programs, MDAO U.S. Embassy Tokyo, Mansfield Fellow 2015-2016), and Jeffrey Kim (Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Mansfield Fellow 2015-2016). The group was joined by three members of the twenty-first class, which just completed the Fellowship Program last month: Michael Fletcher (NASA), Jocelyn Roberts (U.S. Department of State), and Meyliana Tongko (U.S. Air Force). The alumni Fellows shared advice based on their diverse Fellowship experiences, answered the new Fellows’ questions, and joined the Fellows for lunch (pictured above).
On July 10, the new Fellows began a seven-week homestay and Japanese language immersion program in Ishikawa Prefecture. The program began with an opening ceremony at the Ishikawa Foundation for International Exchange (IFIE), where the Fellows will pursue intensive Japanese language study. Please click here to read an IFIE blogpost in Japanese about the opening event. In addition to strengthening the Fellows’ Japanese language skills, this portion of the Fellowship Program introduces the Fellows to Japanese culture and local government leaders and policy experts before they begin ten months of placements in Tokyo.