Sean P. Connell most recently served as director for Japan and Korea at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and concurrently as executive director of the U.S.-Korea Business Council. He was responsible for developing and executing policy initiatives and programs on U.S. business community priorities related to Japan and South Korea, including the U.S.-Korea trade agreement. Previously, he served as a legislative assistant to Washington State Representatives Aaron Reardon and Brian Sullivan, and was responsible for policy research and development, constituent services, and public outreach. Mr. Connell has also worked as a coordinator for international relations with the international affairs division of the government of Mie Prefecture, Japan, where he was responsible for promoting local-level internationalization activities. He holds a BA from Wesleyan University and an MA from the George Washington University. He has also studied at Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan.
During his fellowship tenure at the Research Institute of Economy, Trade, and Industry in Tokyo, Japan, Mr. Connell is examining areas where U.S. and Japanese policy makers and stakeholders could increase cooperation through policy measures related to spurring innovation and fostering economic growth, including potential recommendations for actions to advance these efforts. His research explores the ways that Japan's government, both at the national and local levels, works to develop and implement these policies, and the role of the private sector, researchers, and other actors in this process. It also explores U.S. policy initiatives targeted at spurring innovation in order to identify models and elements that could be appropriate for bilateral cooperation activities with Japan.