Washington, DC, September 17, 2012 — The Asia Foundation will host The Honorable Mrs. Sadako Ogata, former president of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and current senior advisor to JICA, as guest speaker at its 25th Ellsworth Bunker Asian Ambassadors Series, held on September 18 from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. in the ballroom of The Fairfax Hotel at Embassy Row, Washington, D.C.
Prior to her current appointments, Mrs. Ogata co-chaired the Commission on Human Security (June 2001 to April 2003) and was Scholar in Residence at the Ford Foundation. While at the Commission, she was also appointed the Special Representative of the Prime Minister of Japan on Afghanistan Assistance and Co-chaired the International Conference on Reconstruction Assistance to Afghanistan in January 2002 in Tokyo, Japan.
Before her career at United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) from 1991 to 2000, Mrs. Ogata served as the Independent Expert of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights on the Human Rights Situation in Myanmar in 1990. From 1982 to 1985, she was also the Representative of Japan on the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. Also during 1978 and 1979, Mrs. Ogata was the Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary at the Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations and served as the Minister there from 1976 to 1978.
Mrs. Ogata has also been a prominent academic figure. She was the Dean of the Faculty of Foreign Studies at Sophia University in Tokyo (1989-1991). Prior to this, she was the Director of the Institute of International Relations at the same university (1987-1988), and Professor from 1980. She served as Associate Professor, Diplomatic History and International Relations at the International Christian University in Tokyo (1974-1976), while she lectured in International Relations at the International Christian University and at the University of the Sacred Heart also in Tokyo from 1965 to 1974. She received a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California at Berkeley in 1963. She holds an M.A. in International Relations from Georgetown University in Washington D.C. and a B.A. from the University of the Sacred Heart in Tokyo.
The Asia Foundation presents Mrs. Ogata as guest speaker at its 25th Ellsworth Bunker Asian Ambassadors Series, a dinner series hosted by the Foundation since 1996 and named in honor of accomplished statesman Ellsworth Bunker (1894-1984), who served as Ambassador to India, Nepal, and Vietnam, among other posts during his long diplomatic career. The Ellsworth Bunker Asian Ambassadors Dinner Series creates a venue for the Asian diplomatic and policy communities to explore issues of significance in U.S.–Asia policy in a candid setting and an opportunity to exchange views on challenges facing the Asia-Pacific region.