Fellowships

International Affairs Fellowship in Japan

The Program

Founded in 1997, the International Affairs Fellowship (IAF) in Japan, sponsored by Hitachi, Ltd., seeks to strengthen mutual understanding and cooperation between the rising generations of leaders in the United States and Japan. The program provides a select group of mid-career professionals the opportunity to carry out research while affiliated with appropriate institutions in Japan, and to establish long-term professional and personal ties through their activities. Fellows are drawn from academia, business, government, media, NGOs, and think tanks. In cooperation with CFR, the program’s sponsor, Hitachi, Ltd., assists fellows in finding suitable host organizations in Japan. A nonexclusive list of cooperating institutions in Japan can be found below. CFR cannot guarantee placement at any specific agency or organization.

Eligibility

  • Applicants must be U.S. citizens
  • Applicants must be mid-career professionals
  • Applicants must have a strong record of professional achievement
  • Applicants must have an interest in U.S.-Japan relations
  • Applicants must hold at least a bachelor's degree
  • While the program is intended primarily for those without substantial prior experience in Japan, exceptions have been made when an applicant has demonstrated that the fellowship would add a significant new dimension to his or her career
  • Knowledge of the Japanese language is not a requirement

Fellowship Award

The duration of the fellowship is between three and twelve months. The program awards a stipend in yen, which covers travel and living expenses in Japan. Fellows are considered independent contractors rather than employees of CFR, and are not eligible for employment benefits, including health insurance.

“A tremendous opportunity to delve deeper into global issues, yet the profound friendships and network were most invaluable.” — Julia Nesheiwat, Acting Presidential Special Envoy for Hostage Affairs, U.S. Department of State (2009-2010 IAF in Japan)

How to Apply

Interested candidates who meet the program's eligibility requirements can apply online between July 1 and October 31 on an annual basis. To initiate this year’s online application, please fill out the application form below. Candidates who are selected as IAF in Japan finalists are notified in January, with finalist interviews following that month. Those selected for the fellowship are notified in February.

Fellowship Application

Create Your Application Account
Personal Information

I certify that I have reviewed and meet the eligibilty requirements as listed above.

Selection Process

Selection as an IAF in Japan is based on a combination of the following criteria:

  • Scholarly qualifications
  • Professional experience
  • Firm grounding in foreign policy
  • Merits and feasibility of a project proposal that relates to U.S.-Japan relations
  • Character and personal qualities conducive to promoting cross-cultural communication and cooperation
  • Contribution that the fellowship will make to the applicant's career development

The selection process is highly competitive. Based on the overall application and the results of the interviews, the selection committee chooses three to five finalists to be fellows. CFR will work with the selected fellows to place them in suitable host organizations. Placements are made at the discretion of host organizations. CFR cannot guarantee placement at any specific agency or organization.

71
Total number of IAF in Japan fellows since 1997
Source:
Council on Foreign Relations

 

2017–2018 Fellows

Affiliations at time of award

Irina Angelescu, Political Program Specialist, U.S. Mission to the European Union, U.S. Department of State

Michael Hsieh, Program Manager, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, U.S. Department of Defense

Robert Marten, Cluster Coordinator for Health Systems Strengthening, World Health Organization

Erin Murphy, Founder and Principal, Inle Advisory Group

Alumni

A list of former fellows can be found online by visiting Historical Roster of CFR’s International Affairs Fellows in Japan.

Cooperating Japanese Institutions

  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (MOFA)
  • Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI)
  • Ministry of Finance Policy Research Institute
  • National Institute for Defense Studies (NIDS)
  • Japan Institute of International Affairs (JIIA)
  • Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI)
  • Institute for International Policy Studies (IIPS)
  • Institute of Energy Economics, Japan (IEEJ)
  • Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC)
  • National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS)
  • Keidanren (Japan Business Federation)
  • Keizai Koho Center (KKC)
  • Japan Center for International Exchange (JCIE)
  • Japan Institute for Labour Policy and Training (JILPT)
  • Institute for International Monetary Affairs (IIMA)
  • Keio University
  • Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Tokyo (GRaSPP)
  • Institute of Oriental Culture, University of Tokyo
  • Institute of Social Science, University of Tokyo
  • Tokyo University of Agriculture
  • National Institute for Research Advancement (NIRA)
  • Research Institute for Peace and Security (RIPS)
  • Canon Institute for Global Studies (CIGS)
  • Meiji Institute for Global Affairs (MIGA)

The IAF in Japan Experience

Participants at the annual 2015 CFR-Hitachi Fellows meeting
Participants at the annual 2015 CFR-Hitachi Fellows meeting
Robert Dujarric (2003-2004 IAF in Japan) with Irina Angelescu (2017-2018 IAF in Japan)
Robert Dujarric (2003-2004 IAF in Japan) with Irina Angelescu (2017-2018 IAF in Japan)
Alexandra Altman (2015-2016 IAF in Japan) and Andrei Greenawalt (2014-2015 IAF in Japan) at the 2016 IAF Conference
Alexandra Altman (2015-2016 IAF in Japan) and Andrei Greenawalt (2014-2015 IAF in Japan) at the 2016 IAF Conference
Nancy Yao Maasbach (2003-2004 IAF in Japan), Jennifer Friedman (2014–2015 IAF in Japan), and Tania M. Chacho (2016–2017 IAF in Japan ) speaking at the 2017 IAF Conference
Nancy Yao Maasbach (2003-2004 IAF in Japan), Jennifer Friedman (2014–2015 IAF in Japan), and Tania M. Chacho (2016–2017 IAF in Japan ) speaking at the 2017 IAF Conference

Contact Us

fellowships@cfr.org

212.434.9740

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