Yukio Okamoto joins CIS

November 14, 2012

CAMBRIDGE, MA—The Center for International Studies at MIT announces today that Yukio Okamoto, a former Special Advisor to the Prime Minister of Japan, has been named a 2012-13 Robert E. Wilhelm Fellow.

From 1968 to 1991 Mr. Okamoto was a career diplomat in Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. His overseas postings included stints in Paris at the OECD and in the embassies in Cairo and Washington. He retired from the Ministry in 1991 and established Okamoto Associates Inc., a political and economic consultancy.

Post-retirement, Mr. Okamoto has served in a number of advisory positions. From 1996 to 1998, he was Special Advisor to Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto. From October 2001 to March 2003, he was Special Advisor to the Cabinet. From March 2003 to March 2004, he was Special Advisor on Iraq to Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. Concurrent with the above last two posts he was Chairman of the Prime Minister's Task Force on Foreign Relations. Until September of 2008 he was a member of Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda's Study Group on Diplomacy.

Mr. Okamoto is an adjunct professor of international relations at Ritsumeikan University. He sits on the Board of Directors of several multinational companies. He is the president of Shingen'eki Net, a non-profit group for active seniors with 16,000 members.

Mr. Okamoto has written books on Japanese diplomacy and government and is a regular contributor to major newspapers and magazines. Mr. Okamoto is a well-known public speaker and a frequent guest on public affairs and news broadcasts.

"Yukio Okamoto brings to MIT an unparalleled set of experiences on the world stage. The Center is delighted to have him with us to continue his research and writing, and to work with students and faculty through the next academic year," said Richard Samuels, director of the Center for International Studies and Ford International Professor of Political Science.

A generous gift from Robert E. Wilhelm supports the Center's Wilhelm fellowship. The fellowship is awarded to individuals who have held senior positions in public life and is open, for example, to heads of non-profit agencies, senior officials at the State Department or other government agencies, including ambassadors, or senior officials from the UN or other multilateral agencies. Previous Wilhelm Fellows include: Naomi Chazan, the former Deputy Speaker of the Israeli Knesset, Ambassador Barbara Bodine, Ambassador Frances Deng, and Admiral William Fallon.

The Center for International Studies (CIS) supports interna­tional research and education at MIT. It is the home of MIT’s Security Studies Program; the MIT International Science & Technology Initiative, its pioneering global education program; the Program on Emerging Technologies; and seminars and research on migration, South Asia politics, the Middle East, cybersecurity, nuclear weapons, and East Asia. The Center has traditionally been aligned with the social sciences while also working with MIT’s premier science and engineering scholars. CIS produces research that creatively addresses global issues while helping to educate the next generation of global citizens.