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International Alumni

UW Converge Tokyo 2018

Sat. Nov. 17, 2018      

The Foreign Correspondents' Club
5th Floor, Marunouchi Nijubashi Building, 2-3, Marunouchi 3-chome, Chiyoda-ku
Tokyo, Japan

University of Washington Converge Tokyo is a unique opportunity to learn from experts, connect with UW’s international alumni network, discover the University’s global impact and celebrate Husky spirit abroad. Learn more about UW Converge Tokyo in the sections below and for more information, contact Sophie Lee at


Registration for UW Converge Tokyo 2018 is now closed. If you would like to learn more about future events in this series, please visit our UW Converge Taipei 2019 event page


Converge Tokyo attendees simile at the camera
View photos from UW Converge Tokyo 2018 by visiting the Japan Huskies Facebook page.



UW Converge Tokyo 2018 is centered around two main events: The Converge Summit and our post-summit reception. To get the most out of your UW Converge experience, we encourage you to attend both events. Registration packages start at $90 for the reception only and $150 for the summit and reception.

10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Converge Summit
Connect to the UW’s leadership, knowledge, resources and networks at the Converge Summit. Gain in-depth insight into cutting-edge work at UW and hear from experts about ways to address some of the world’s most exciting and challenging issues. The summit will include keynote addresses and short talks. Lunch is included.
6:30 p.m. – 9 p.m. Post-summit Reception
Deepen your sense of community, make connections and build your network, all while enjoying a special dinner reception hosted by the Japan Huskies. After the summit concludes, relax and reconnect with old friends and professors. You’ll be surrounded by fellow UW alumni who share your enthusiasm for the University. Enjoy sharing memories of campus and strengthening your bond with the global Husky community.

Schedule subject to change

Registration for UW Converge Tokyo 2018 is now closed. If you would like to learn more about future events in this series, please visit our UW Converge Taipei 2019 event page

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Speaker Line-up

Keynote Speakers

Sally JewellSally Jewell, ’78, brings her extensive experience in business and public service to UW Converge. She served as the U.S. Secretary of the Interior under President Obama and led REI as the company’s president and CEO. She has focused her career on supporting a robust economy and the long-term sustainability of the natural world and its diverse people. She is currently a Distinguished Fellow in the UW College of the Environment. Full Bio

Masumi NatsusakaMasumi Natsusaka, ’86, is a senior executive leading innovation projects at Kao Corporation, a global consumer goods/chemical products company based in Tokyo. He espouses a corporate philosophy centered on the importance of values-based leadership and facing difficult issues with integrity. Outside of business, he has keen interest in the Japan-China relationship, and co-published a book titled Japan and China: Contact Points in History. Full Bio

Takashi OkutaniTakashi Okutani, ’95, is the Executive Officer and Chief Omni-Channel Officer of Oisix.ra.daichi and a Japan Huskies board member. His background includes serving as MUJI WEB Business Section’s general manager where he launched CRM applications and platforms in addition to several overseas e-commerce platforms. He is currently studying for his Ph.D. at Hitotsubashi University, building on his background in economics, political science, and business. Full Bio


International Executive Panel

Bill BenackBill Benack is the director of finance operations for Amazon Japan and the Asia Pacific region, and is responsible for the operation of core financial functions across Amazon’s consumer, cloud, digital and other businesses. Before joining Amazon, he was the Vice President of Finance for Vulcan, spent 16 years with Microsoft in a variety of leadership roles including as CFO of Microsoft Japan and also held positions with Concur Technologies, Sprint and DuPont. Full Bio

Brett C. GerryBrett C. Gerry is the president of Boeing Japan where he is responsible for developing strategy, expanding the company’s presence, identifying business opportunities and leading government affairs and corporate citizenship programs. He has held several senior positions in the U.S. Department of Justice and the White House including serving as an associate counsel to the President of the United States. He also served as an adjunct professor at the UW School of Law. Full Bio

Takuya HiranoTakuya Hirano is the president of Microsoft Japan. Between 2011 and 2014, He was based in Munich, Germany as the general manager for the Multi-country Subsidiary within Microsoft’s Central & Eastern Europe organization. He was responsible for all aspects of business in the 25 countries of the region. Before joining Microsoft, Hirano spent eight years at Hyperion Solutions (now Oracle Corporation), including 5 years as the president of Hyperion Japan. Full Bio


Japan Huskies Speakers

Kazuhiko OigawaKazuhiko Oigawa, ’96, is the governor of Ibaraki Prefecture. He began his career working for Japan’s Ministry of International Trade and Industry where he promoted business ventures by helping establish new legal frameworks for investment. He has worked for both Microsoft and Cisco systems leading corporate affairs and public sector sales. He also has helped launch new online education and news businesses as the executive director of Dwango Co. Full Bio

 Shuhei Tajima Shuhei Tajima, ’01, is chief operating officer of Institution for a Global Society. He began his career working for a trading company in Seattle and, after graduating with an MBA from UW’s Foster School, joined Goldman Sachs. During a 16-year career at the company, he worked as vice president in the Operations Division in Tokyo and New York. Recently, in addition to his role as COO, he became a member of Institution for a Global Society’s board. Full Bio

Tomoko KawakamiTomoko Kawakami, ’13, is associate dean of the Waseda University Graduate School of Business and Finance and the associate director of the Waseda Blue Ocean Strategy Institute. She has been a visiting scholar and affiliate professor at the UW Foster School and also joined graduate courses at the UW School of Public Health. Her work has won numerous awards and she was recently ranked among the top 100 research scholars in Asia. Full Bio

Chika YoshidaChika Yoshida, ’07, is a is a bilingual video creator from Japan, who is passionate about language and culture. Her YouTube channel now has more than 1.2 million subscribers and 250 million total views. In 2016, she was a YouTube Change Ambassador as part of the video streaming site’s U.N. partnership. Her English learning channel combines language education with skits, travel, cooking, singing and dancing to create a one of a kind experience. Full Bio


UW Speakers

Paul AtkinsPaul S. Atkins is a professor of Japanese and department chair of the UW’s Department of Asian Languages and Literature. He teaches classical Japanese language and literature and writes about medieval Japanese literature, drama and culture. He was awarded the William F. Sibley Memorial Translation Prize in Japanese Literature and Literary Studies by the University of Chicago in 2011 for his translation from the Japanese of the 18th-century puppet play Nagamachi onna harakiri. Full Bio

Mario L. BarnesMario L. Barnes is the Toni Rembe Dean of the UW School of Law and a nationally recognized scholar for his research on the legal and social implications of race and gender, primarily in the areas of employment, education, criminal and military law. Before coming to UW, he was a faculty member at the UC Irvine School of Law and University of Miami School of Law, where he was twice selected as Outstanding Law Professor. He also served in the U.S. Navy for 23 years. Full Bio

 Michael Johnson Michael D. Johnson is an associate professor of management and organization and the Boeing Company Endowed Professor of Business Administration in the Foster School of Business at the UW. He teaches organizational leadership and leading organizational change in Foster’s Executive MBA and Technology Management MBA programs. His research focuses primarily on team effectiveness, social identities and emotions at work. Full Bio

Yoshitaka OtaYoshitaka Ota is a research assistant professor for the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs at the UW. He is a social anthropologist, specializing in global ocean governance and social equity. His work has included ethnographic research on coastal communities across the globe. Since 2011, Yoshi has been Director (Policy) at the Nereus Program, an interdisciplinary ocean research initiative between the non-profit Nippon Foundation and seventeen universities worldwide. Full Bio

Scott SchumacherScott Schumacher is associate dean and professor of law at the UW School of Law. He is also the co-director of the law school’s Global Business Law Institute and the director of the Graduate Program in Taxation. He teaches in the areas of taxation, business and white collar crime. Prior to joining the UW faculty, he was an attorney with Chicoine & Hallett, P.S., in Seattle, where his practice focused on tax controversy and litigation. Full Bio



Eugene SaburiEugene Saburi, ’93, is a current Japan Huskies board member and the former president of Adobe Japan. During his time as president, he led the company through a pivotal time as they moved to an annuity revenue model and launched a new business unit. Prior to heading up Adobe’s Japan operations, he spent 19 years at Microsoft in various executive roles, including General Manager of Server & Tools Marketing at the company’s Redmond headquarters and Chief Marketing Officer for Microsoft Japan. Full Bio

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Please note, the deadline for discounted hotel reservations has passed and we are no longer taking requests. If you have questions, please contact Sophie Lee at You can still book rooms in our two conference hotels at normal rates through their websites. For more information, see below.


Shinagawa Prince Hotel Shinagawa Prince Hotel
Located just a three minute walk away from the Takanawa Exit of Shinagawa Station, the Shinagawa Prince Hotel offers both single and twin bedrooms.
Keio Presso Inn Ohtemachi Keio Presso Inn Ohtemachi
Situated about seven minutes walking-distance from the Nihonbashi Exit of Tokyo Station, the Keio Presso Inn Ohtemachi offers single and double bedrooms.

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Tours and Guides

Sunrise Tours

Your adventure in Japan doesn’t have to end when UW Converge Tokyo wraps up. For travelers looking to explore the wonders of Japan with a commercial tour operator, the Japan Huskies recommend browsing the many opportunities offered by Sunrise Tours JTB. From the streets of Tokyo to the slopes of Mt. Fuji, adding a tour onto your trip is a great way to get the most out of your UW Converge Tokyo experience.

Volunteer Guides

Don’t have time for a full tour? Spend Sunday afternoon exploring Tokyo with a local Husky guide! As a special service to UW Converge Tokyo attendees, the Japan Huskies have offered to pair local alumni volunteers with guests for a few hours of informal sightseeing around the city. Whether you’re looking for local restaurant recommendations or a insider’s perspective on Tokyo, this is a great opportunity to see a side of the city off the beaten path.

What to expect

  • One or more volunteers for you or your group
  • Up to eight hours of volunteer time
  • Advance consultation on activities, schedule and destinations

What to know

  • Guests and volunteers will be paired on the basis of availability and interest
  • Volunteer guides are only available on Sunday, Nov. 18
  • If there is a high level of interest in a specific activity, groups may be combined
  • Volunteer pairings will be made no later than Saturday, Nov. 17
  • There is no charge for volunteer guides.
  • We may not be able to accommodate all activities, destinations and schedules

To request a pairing with a volunteer guide, please fill out this form. For more information, please email Kaori Shindo

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About the UW Converge Event Series

UW Converge (formerly the International Alumni Weekend) is the premier gathering of the University of Washington’s global alumni and partners. It is a truly international event, hosted each year by a new city and a new alumni chapter. This annual tradition was born from the desires of international alumni to deepen their sense of community, to network and to do business with each other. UW Converge is an outpost of Husky spirit, a place to gain cutting-edge knowledge from experts and a direct line to the University’s work and initiatives. It is an unmatched opportunity to connect with UW’s faculty, leadership and global alumni network. It offers those who attend a chance to join in UW’s work and equips them with new knowledge and networks. It is also a destination for those who want to enjoy reconnecting with old friends and traveling while taking advantage of the host chapter’s Husky hospitality.

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10 Reasons to Attend UW Converge

  1. Deepen your connection to the Husky community
  2. Hear from our outstanding speaker line-up
  3. Get an inside look at UW from campus leaders
  4. Explore UW’s impact across the globe
  5. Get the latest in business, law, medicine and technology research
  6. Reconnect with friends new and old
  7. Affordable registration options
  8. Be a part of an annual tradition
  9. Discover Japan with optional tours and guides
  10. Surround yourself with people who share your passion for UW!

Registration for UW Converge Tokyo 2018 is now closed. If you would like to learn more about future events in this series, please visit our UW Converge Taipei 2019 event page

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