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UW Converge Tokyo 2018: Speaker Bios

Keynote Speakers

Sally Jewell, ’78

Sally JewellSally is a business executive and served as U.S. Secretary of the Interior under President Obama. She has focused her career on supporting a robust economy coupled with long-term sustainability of our natural world and its diverse people.

During her tenure as Interior Secretary, Jewell was recognized for taking the long-view, using a science-based, landscape-level, collaborative approach to natural resources management. She and her capable team were deeply engaged in rebuilding a trusting, nation-to-nation relationship with indigenous communities in the U.S. They championed the importance of science and sharing data to better understand our Earth’s systems; supported development of commercial-scale renewable energy on public lands and waters; encouraged investments for more sustainable use of water in the West; and worked with Congress, President Obama and his team on long-term conservation of our nation’s most vulnerable and irreplaceable natural, cultural and historic treasures.

Throughout her career, Jewell has been committed to connecting people to nature, particularly youth. At Interior, she and her team championed efforts to create a continuum of engagement that encouraged tens of millions of young people to play, learn, serve and work on public lands.

Prior to serving on President Obama’s cabinet, Jewell was President and CEO of REI, a $2.6 billion retailer dedicated to facilitating outdoor adventures. Prior to REI, she served 19 years in commercial banking across a wide-range of industries, and began her career as an engineer in the energy industry. She has been active in many non-profit organizations throughout her life, including serving as a Regent of the University of Washington where she is currently a Distinguished Fellow in the College of the Environment.


Masumi Natsusaka, ’86

Masumi NatsusakaMr. Natsusaka is a senior executive at Kao Corporation, a global consumer goods/chemical products company based in Tokyo. Born in Saitama, Japan, he joined Kao as a new graduate in 1979.

Mr. Natsusaka spent six years in Germany in the 1980s to 1990s, where he learned management in a cross-cultural environment. He spent most of his career marketing the Kao Group’s beauty care brands, including Biore, Jergens, Curel, Molton Brown, Goldwell, Sofina, Kanebo and more.

He was President of Kanebo Cosmetics from 2012 to 2018, a Kao Group company. During his tenure at Kanebo, he learned the importance of values-based leadership and facing difficult issues with integrity, one of the core elements in Kao’s corporate philosophy, the Kao Way. As President of Kanebo, one of his achievements was high double-digit growth in the company’s overseas business.

Mr. Natsusaka returned to Kao in 2018 and is currently leading various innovation projects. Beside business, he has keen interest in the Japan-China relationship, and published a book titled Japan and China: Contact Points in History with a co-author.

He graduated with a Bachelors degree from Osaka University in 1979 and received an MBA from the UW in 1986.


Takashi Okutani, ’95

Takashi OkutaniTakashi is the Executive Officer and Chief Omni-Channel Officer of Oisix.ra.daichi and a Board member of the University of Washington Alumni Association Japan.

Previously he worked at MUJI WEB Business Section as General Manager, and produced a digital CRM application called MUJI Passport in addition to creating a global CRM platform. Also launched several overseas MUJI e-commerce platforms.

He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Political Science from the University of Washington in 1995.

He received a Master’s degree from Waseda University Graduate School of Business and Finance (Waseda Business School), and is currently studying at Hitotsubashi University for his Ph.D.


Session Speakers

Kazuhiko Oigawa, ’96

Kazuhiko OigawaMr. Oigawa was born in Ibaraki Prefecture in 1964. He joined the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (the present Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI)) in 1988. Mr. Oigawa engaged in various policy areas at METI, including promoting venture businesses by establishing the Limited Partnership Law, and supported Japanese businesses in the Asia region as the first Asian branch representative of the Trade Insurance Organization.

Mr. Oigawa joined Microsoft Asia, Ltd. in 2003 as Head of Corporate Affairs. He took up a new position as Sales lead of the Public Sector the following year, and drove the Public Sector business successfully both at Microsoft Kabushikigaisha and Cisco Systems Godo-kaisha until 2015 as General Manager.

In 2016, Mr. Oigawa joined Dwango Co., Ltd. as Executive Director to launch a new internet high school business, and executed drastic reform in the internet news business in Niko Niko Doga (an internet portal site).

Mr. Oigawa took up the position of Governor of Ibaraki Prefecture in September 2017.

He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Law from The University of Tokyo in 1988 and received his LL.M. from the University of Washington School of Law in 1996. His interests include reading, listening to music, and playing (vs. watching) sports in general.


Shuhei Tajima, ’01

 Shuhei TajimaShuhei was born in Tokyo and raised in Bellevue. He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Puget Sound (Washington State) in 1995. After graduating, Shuhei worked for a trading company based in Seattle for 3 years.

Shuhei obtained an MBA from the University of Washington Foster School of Business in 2001. He subsequently joined Goldman Sachs in 2001 and worked as Vice President in the Operations Division in Tokyo and New York for a total of 16 years.

In July 2017, Shuhei joined Institution for a Global Society Corporation (IGS) as Chief Operating Officer and became a member of the Board in 2018.


Tomoko Kawakami, ’13

Tomoko KawakamiProfessor Kawakami has been a Professor of Marketing at Waseda University Graduate School of Business and Finance (Waseda Business School) since April 2015. Before joining Waseda, she was a Professor at Kansai University. She is the Founder and Director of Waseda Blue Ocean Strategy Institute (WABOSI). Prior to entering the academic world, Professor Kawakami worked at Minolta Co., Ltd. (currently Konica Minolta, Inc.). She received her MBA from Osaka University and Ph.D. from Kobe University.

Professor Kawakami was a Visiting Scholar in 2003-2004, 2007-2008, and 2013 and an Affiliate (Associate) Professor from 2009 to 2013 at the University of Washington Foster School of Business. As a Fulbright Scholar in 2013, she also joined graduate courses of the Master of Health Administration (MHA) and EMHA at the School of Public Health.

Professor Kawakami has been a Visiting Scholar at the Blue Ocean Strategy Institute at INSEAD (France) since 2012, and an Academic Fellow of the Institute on Asian Consumer Insight at Nanyang Technological University (Singapore) since 2013. She has served on the Board of the Japan Marketing Academy and a scientific committee of the Innovation and Product Development Management Conference, EIASM (Europe), both since 2012. She has also served on an editorial board of the Journal of Product Innovation Management (USA) since 2013.

Professor Kawakami received Best Research Awards from the Japan Society of Marketing and Distribution (JSMD) and Japan Society of Business Administration (JSBA) in 2016. She was ranked among the Top 100 Research-active Scholars in Asia in 2017. Her paper on the diffusion of e-readers in Japan is available on YouTube.



Eugene Saburi, ’93

Eugene SaburiEugene is a Board member of the University of Washington Alumni Association Japan (UWAAJ).

He was the President of Adobe Systems Co, Ltd. (Japan) from July 2014 to April 2018, during a pivotal time for the company in moving to an annuity revenue model and launching a new business unit.

Prior to that, after joining Microsoft in 1995, he spent 19 years at the company across various executive roles including General Manager of Server & Tools Marketing at Redmond Headquarters as well as serving as Chief Marketing Officer for Microsoft Japan. During his career in IT, he spent approximately equal amounts of time in Seattle and Tokyo.

Eugene holds a Bachelor’s degree in Japanese from the UW (1989-1993). Now residing in Newcastle, WA, he is married with 3 teenagers and is an avid kayaker/cyclist.

Biographies and photos provided by speakers. UWAA does not edit these statements for accuracy, style or grammar.