SMU Dean selected for Japanese American Leadership Delegation

Dedman Dean William Tsutsui has been named to a delegation seeking stronger ties between the U.S. and Japan.

William Tsutsui

DALLAS (SMU) – William Tsutsui, Dean of Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences at Southern Methodist University, is one of 13 Japanese American leaders from across the nation selected to join the 2011 Japanese American Leadership Delegation (JALD).

The delegation, led by U.S. - Japan Council President Irene Hirano Inouye, will travel to Japan March 4-12 to meet and exchange information with the highest level of Japanese leaders in the government, business, and cultural sectors. In previous years, the delegation has met with the Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Director-General of Japan's Foreign Ministry, economic entities such as Keizai Doyukai and Keidanren, and Her Imperial Highness Princess Takamado.

The trip allows Japanese leaders to gain a greater understanding of multicultural America through the experiences of a diverse group of Japanese Americans.

Upon returning to the United States, delegation members work with former delegates, local Consulates, the U.S.-Japan Council and local and national community organizations to organize and participate in programs and activities related to building U.S.-Japan relations.

"Participation in the JALD could help me focus the energy and commitment that I bring to increasing American understanding of Japan and offer me a structured way of fusing my personal heritage with my professional objectives," said Tsutsui. "I see the JALD as an exceptional opportunity for me to better engage with the Japanese American community, build upon my past work in advancing American-Japanese interactions, and become a more effective advocate and leader in U.S.-Japan relations locally, regionally, and nationally."

Because of his background and expertise in education, Tsutsui will represent the delegation by speaking at a symposium in Osaka held in conjunction with the delegation trip to Japan. The symposium will focus on education, specifically study abroad and language.

In addition to serving as dean, Tsutsui is a professor of history. His academic work has focused on 20th century U.S.-Japan relations and he has authored several books exploring the postwar Japanese financial system, the American influence on Japanese factory management, and the globalization of Japanese pop culture (particularly the Godzilla film series).

He has also administered programs at K-12 schools to train teachers in Japanese studies and increase awareness of Japanese history and culture, been active in the media providing expert commentary on U.S.-Japan relations, and worked with the former Japanese Consulate in Kansas City to organize community activities.

The 2011 Delegation is comprised of Japanese American leaders who are at the foremost level of leadership in their professions, have had experience in U.S. - Japan relations, and are committed to furthering these relations upon their return. The members of the 2011 Japanese American Leadership Delegation include:

  • Phyllis Campbell, Chair of JPMorgan Chase & Co, Pacific Northwest (Seattle, WA)
  • Erwin Furukawa, Vice-president, Customer Programs and Services, Southern California Edison (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Kathryn Ibata-Arens, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, DePaul University (Chicago, IL)
  • Bill Imada, Chairman and CEO, IW Group, Inc. (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Val Iwashita, Headmaster, Iolani School in (Honolulu, HI)
  • Susan Morita, Partner, Arnold & Porter, LLP (Washington,DC)
  • Gary Moriwaki, Partner, Tax & Estates Department, Fox Rothschild LLP (New York, NY)
  • Susan Muranishi, County Administrator, Alameda County (San Francisco, CA)
  • Gary Oda, President, Allied Builders System (Honolulu, HI)
  • Kenneth Oye, Co-Director, Program on Emerging Technologies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Boston, MA)
  • Genevieve Shiroma, Board Member, Agricultural Labor Relations Board, State of California (San Francisco, CA)
  • William Tsutsui, Dean and Professor or History, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Southern Methodist University (Dallas, TX)
  • Mari Watanabe, Executive Director Nikkei Endowment (Portland, OR)

The Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), represented in the United States by the Japanese Embassy in Washington, D.C., and seventeen consulate general offices, and the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership are co-sponsors of the program. The U.S.-Japan Council has organized the program since 2010.

About the U.S.-Japan Council

The U.S.-Japan Council is a non-profit, educational organization established in 2009 that seeks to establish a network of Japanese American leaders who are committed to maintaining a strong U.S.-Japan relationship. Working in collaboration with American and Japanese institutions and organizations, the Council develops programs that give Japanese American leaders opportunities to add a unique perspective to this important relationship. More information is available at

About Dedman College of the Humanities and Sciences

Dedman College of the Humanities and Sciences is the heart of SMU. It is home to the humanities, social sciences, and natural and mathematical sciences – disciplines fundamental to the traditions of higher education. These strong roots foster continued growth and enrichment for Dedman College students, faculty, and staff.

Based in historic Dallas Hall, Dedman College is where all SMU students begin their collegiate journeys, no matter what majors or minors they choose. The College was named in 1981 for the late Robert H. Dedman Sr. and his wife, Nancy McMillan Dedman, SMU alumni whose gift endowed the college and enables SMU to remain committed to its legacy as a liberal arts university and as the gateway to a life of fulfillment.

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