JETAA Northern California (US-13)
- JETAA USA Country Representative, 2014 – Present
- USJETAA Founding Board Member & CR Representative, 2015 – Present
- JETAA International 2.0 Founding Member, 2016 – Present
- JET Program Coordinator, Consulate General of Japan in SF, 2013 – 2015
- Assistant Vice President, 2013 – 2014
- JET Program, Miyazaki, ALT, 2009 – 2012
JET is my passion; for over three years I have dedicated myself to working hard for both the JET Program and the JET Alumni Association. This past year as Country Representative I helped lead the creation of two new organizations – the 501(c)3 USJETAA and the JETAA International – and I am excited to carry on driving their development. I have the necessary experience, skills, and leadership needed to continue helping struggling local chapters while also elevating JETAA USA to the next level.
Background, Achievements, & Skills
My story in JETAA is one of becoming progressively more involved in our organization and taking on increasingly larger responsibilities in the service of our alumni. After returning from the JET Program in 2012 I immediately became active in the JETAANC, where I began to help grow the South Bay Area scene as Assistant Vice President. Soon thereafter JET became my profession as I was hired as the JET Program Coordinator at the Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco, where I worked for 2.5 years, up until last fall. Holding that position gave me a holistic and inside perspective on the state of the JET Program and JET alumni.
In 2014 I ran and was elected as JETAA USA Country Representative. During my first year as CR I presented about the changing demographics of JET at the JETAA National Conference in Seattle, met with other JETAA leaders in D.C. to discuss the development of the USJETAA, and worked closely with numerous chapter officers on our nationwide initiatives, such as supporting 3/11 fundraising. It was a busy informative year, and it prepared me for what would become one of the most productive years of JETAA USA.
This past year in my capacity as CR I helped to lead the creation of both a new national and international organization: the USJETAA and the JETAA International. Throughout the year I have represented the JETAA USA on numerous conference calls, email chains, and a D.C. summit to the USJETAA creation committee. The USJETAA officially launched and gained 501(c)3 NPO status last year, and as CR I am a founding Board Member whose duty is to represent the JETAA USA’s interests. Having worked on the creation of the USJETAA for two years now I am the most familiar with it and and will work hard this year to help chapters best utilize the USJETAA.
My work on the new JETAA International organization began when I met with CLAIR at their headquarters in Tokyo during the Satogaeri Project on behalf of JETAA USA. With the JET Program’s 30th Anniversary approaching, CLAIR requested a timely recreation of the defunct JETAA-I. Since then I have been liaising tirelessly with lead JETAA USA members, CLAIR representatives, and foreign CRs from over 12 countries, to revive and reform the JETAA-I. We will soon finalize the bylaws and officially launch. As the only JETAA USA CR to have met privately with CLAIR Tokyo I have strong connections with them now, even more so than I did as JET Program Coordinator. Personal connections are paramount in Japanese organizations, and I will use these rare relationships to embolden the JETAA-I and represent JETAA USA’s best interests.
Goals & Expectations
As a Country Representative going into my third term, I now have the experience and know-how to continue leading the efforts that my fellow CRs and Board of Advisors accomplished this past year. Although we achieved a great deal, there is still much work to be done. My primary goal has remained unchanged: to continue to help chapters reach new members and host great events and services for their active members. To accomplish this I will continue to guide the USJETAA’s direction and work with all 19 chapters so that every chapter can learn how to receive the funding and assistance necessary to improve their infrastructure and put on events previously thought impossible. With this immense new potential at both the local and national level we will be able to reach alumni who aren’t yet active and offer better quality events and services to those who are.
On an international level I will continue to liaise with all of the CRs from other countries and lead the JETAA-I in its first year as a newly reborn organization. Having helped lead the first international meeting to rebuild the JETAA-I, I understand this initiative from its very beginning and will see it through to its completion and proper execution, just as I did the USJETAA. I will represent JETAA USA’s interests to CLAIR Tokyo as communication and planning ramps up for the 30th Anniversary celebration, and will help lead the JETAA USA’s own 30th Anniversary celebration plans.
Finally, having recently become a software developer, I will happily continue to be the resident “Techie CR” and work to improve our websites, the upcoming national database, and any future tech-related responsibilities. I have recently formed a coalition of current JETs and JET alumni software developers to begin work on a suite of JET-related apps.
I am thrilled for the opportunity to continue to serve the JETAA USA on a national and global level. My experience and dedication will prove indispensable as we enter one of the most formative years in recent JETAA history.