Past ALMOs

March 2024

Mutsuko Fujii, Vice President and Professor, Osaka University of Education, Domestic Course GSPS (’90)

Tupu_01After graduating from Kyoto University Faculty of Education, Mutsuko Fujii joined the Osaka Prefectural Government in 1986. In 1988, she enrolled in GRIPS’ predecessor, the Graduate School of Policy Science at Saitama University. Upon returning to Osaka two years later, she worked in personnel, finance, and educational administration. In 2017, Fujii assumed the role of Director of the Health and Medical Department, spearheading various initiatives in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. After retiring from the Osaka Prefectural Government, Fujii was appointed as Vice President and Professor at Osaka University of Education in April 2023.

…Read an interview with Mutsuko Fujii

February 2024

Caroline Waqabaca, Chief Manager Financial System Development & Acting Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of Fiji, Transition Economy Program (’07)

Tupu_01Caroline Waqabaca is the Chief Manager Financial System Development at the Reserve Bank of Fiji since January 2023, and currently Acting Deputy Governor for the Bank. She has been with the Bank for over 30 years serving in various capacities including Manager Corporate Communications (2003-2006), Chief Economist (2010-2017), and Head of Financial Markets (2018-2022). From 2013-2015, she was seconded to the IMF as Advisor to the Executive Director in the South East Asia Voting Group (SEAVG) office. She is currently responsible for payment systems development, consumer protection and driving financial inclusion. Caroline holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree and Post Graduate Diploma in Economics from the University of the South Pacific and a Master in Public Policy from GRIPS (2007).

…Read an interview with Caroline Waqabaca

January 2024

Ibrahim Zuhuree, Deputy Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of the Republic of Maldives to the United Nations in New York (PMNY), Ph.D. in Advanced Policy Studies (’17)

Tupu_01Dr. Ibrahim Zuhuree is the current Deputy Permanent Representative of the Republic of Maldives to the United Nations since August 2020. His distinguished career includes roles such as Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Secretary-General at the Maldives Civil Service Commission, and Director at various departments within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) in Nepal. Holding a Ph.D. in Advanced Policy Studies from GRIPS, and a Master's degree in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University, Dr. Zuhuree has been recognized with prestigious awards, including the Global Governance Scholarship and Australian Development Scholarships.

…Read an interview with Ibrahim Zuhuree

Nobember 2023

Kunio Makishima, Senior Director, Digital Services Promotion Division, Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Regional Policy Program (’06)

Tupu_01Kunio Makishima started his varied professional journey in 1994 as a prep school teacher. In 1998, he transitioned to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG), where he embraced roles across education, finance, general affairs, port and harbor, and policy planning departments. Since April 2023, he is serving as Senior Director in the Digital Services Promotion Division where he plays a leading role in Tokyo's digital transformation efforts.Kunio Makishima holds a Bachelor of Arts in Law from the Tokyo Metropolitan University and graduated from the Regional Policy Program at GRIPS in 2006.

…Read an interview with Kunio Makishima

October 2023

Md. Harun-Or-Rashid, Upazila Nirbahi Officer, Austagram Upazila, Kishoreganj District, Bangladesh, One-year Master's Program of Public Policy (’15)

Tupu_01Md. Harun-Or-Rashid is an accomplished public service professional. His experience includes serving as the First Secretary at the Embassy of Bangladesh in Bahrain. He has also held key positions in various government ministries in Bangladesh, contributing significantly to policy formulation and implementation. His educational journey is equally impressive, featuring a Master's in Maritime Affairs specializing in ocean sustainability, governance, and management from the World Maritime University in Sweden ('18) and a Master of Social Science from the University of Dhaka ('12), in addition to his Master of Public Policy from GRIPS ('15).

…Read an interview with Md. Harun-Or-Rashid

September 2023

Talaitupu Li’a, Chief Executive Officer, Ministry of Customs and Revenue Samoa, Public Finance Program (’08)

Tupu_01Being educated in Talaitupu Li’a was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Customs and Revenue (MCR) in April 2023. With a commendable 20-year tenure at MCR, she began as a Compliance Audit Officer in 2003 and progressed steadily through the ranks. In 2016, Talaitupu was appointed as the Ministry’s Deputy CEO. Her three-year term as CEO signifies a continued journey of excellence.
She holds a Master in Public Finance from GRIPS as well as a Bachelor of Commerce from the National University of Samoa.

…Read an interview with Talaitupu Li’a

August 2023

Harish Kumar Kallega, Joint Director, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Government of India, Macroeconomic Policy Program (’20)

Esther01Being educated in Agricultural Economics, Harish Kallega began his career in 2014 as an Assistant Director in the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India. In 2018, Harish was promoted to the position of Deputy Director within the same ministry. Following his completion of the Macroeconomic Policy Program at GRIPS in 2020, he joined the Department of Economic Affairs in the Ministry of Finance. In 2023, he was promoted to the role of Joint Director, where he currently remains engaged in impactful assignments and diverse tasks in the public service.

…Read an interview with Harish Kumar Kallega

July 2023

Esther Nyabiage Nyaosi, Chief Economist, State Department for Housing and Urban Development, Ministry of Lands, Public Works and Urban Development, Nairobi, Public Policy Program (’06)

Esther01Esther Nyaosi joined the Kenya civil service in April 1998. Initially employed as a Supplies Officer in the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology, she diligently served for seven years, gradually progressing to the rank of an economist after completing her master's degree in Public Policy at GRIPS in September 2006.
Her professional journey encompasses diverse roles across various institutions, with her expertise being honed through valuable experiences in economics, procurement, and planning. Currently, Esther holds the position of Chief Economist at the State Department for Housing and Urban Development in the Ministry of Lands, Public Works and Urban Development, Nairobi.

…Read an interview with Esther Nyabiage Nyaosi

June 2023

Aygun Gurbanova, Head of International Relations and Projects,Agency for Sustainable and Operative Social ,Provision (DOST), Republic of Azerbaijan, Public Policy Program (’18)

Aygun01Aygun Gurbanova is a dedicated professional with experience in government administration, policy analysis, and project management. She began her career at the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Azerbaijan in 2011, where she served as an administrative assistant, and later advisor for the World Trade Organization division of the Department of Trade Policy and WTO issues. After a brief stint at the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of Population, she was appointed as the Head of International Relations and Projects at the newly established Agency for Sustainable and Operative Social Provision (DOST Agency) in April 2019.
Aygun holds a BBA from Azerbaijan State University of Economics (’10), an MBA from Khazar University (’15), and a Master of Public Policy from GRIPS (’18).

…Read an interview with Aygun Gurbanova

May 2023

Takao Nakashima, Naval Captain, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force,Defense and Naval Attaché,Embassy of Japan in Korea, Strategic Studies Program (M.A.’19)

Faiz01Captain Takao Nakashima is a distinguished officer of the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), currently serving as the Defense and Naval Attaché to the Republic of Korea.
Captain Nakashima began his career with the JMSDF in 2002 as an Officer Candidate. He served about half his career as a submarine officer and quickly rose through the ranks, becoming Commanding Officer of Submarine UZUSHIO (SS 592) in June 2017. He has been serving as an attaché at the Japanese Embassy in Seoul since June 2020.
Nakashima obtained his education from various renowned institutions, including the National Defense Academy, ROK Joint Forces Military University, and he received his M.A. from GRIPS in 2019.

…Read an interview with Takao Nakashima

April 2023

Shamsuzzoha, Deputy Director,Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission , Public Policy Program ( M.A.’14; Ph.D. ‘17)

Dr. Shamsuzzoha joined the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) in 2008, after graduating from the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology. Thanks to his excellent technical skills and his tireless dedication, he quickly rose through the ranks in BTRC. In his current role as Deputy Director he has made significant contributions to the development of telecommunications in Bangladesh.Eager to further develop his policy-making and research skills, Shamsuzzoha enrolled in the GRIPS 2-year Master of Public Policy Program in 2012, and subsequently continued in the doctoral program from which he received his Ph.D. in 2017.

…Read an interview with Shamsuzzoha

March 2023

Jay Tarriela,Commodore of the Philippine Coast Guard,Maritime Safety and Security Policy Program (M.A.’16), GRIPS Global Governance Program (G-cube) (Ph.D.’21)

Faiz01Commodore Jay Tarriela joined the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in 2005 as a CG Ensign. After completing his junior billet aboard a ship and serving in different Coast Guard stations, he realized the importance of education in understanding maritime governance. In 2015, he joined the inaugural class of the GRIPS Maritime Safety and Security Policy Program and upon completion of his master’s Jay continued in the GRIPS Global Governance Program (G-cube) from which he received his Ph.D. in 2021.In December 2022, Jay was promoted to the rank of Commodore, making him the youngest star-ranked officer in the history of the uniformed service in the Philippines.His most challenging responsibility is advising on matters related to national security in the South China Sea, but he finds it rewarding to make sound recommendations on the strategic deployment of PCG vessels in critical situations.

…Read an interview with Jay Tarriela

December 2022

Muhammad Arif Hidayat (YLP’05),Head of the Cooperation Bureau,Ministry of Manpower, Indonesia

Faiz01After taking the Indonesian civil service exam, Muhammad Arif Hidayat started his career in the Ministry of Home Affairs in 1998. He held several positions in the Ministry, mostly in the area of national and international cooperation. After more than two decades in the Ministry of Home Affairs, Arif moved to the Ministry of Manpower where, in July 2021, he got promoted to his current position as Head of the Cooperation Bureau.Arif graduated from the National Institute of Technology (ITENAS Bandung) in 1993 and continued with his Master of Engineering in Urban Infrastructure Management at the International Institute for Infrastructural, Hydraulic and Environmental Engineering (IHE) Delft, The Netherlands in 2001. He graduated from the Young Leaders Program at GRIPS in 2005.

…Read an interview with Muhammad Arif Hidayat

August 2022

Mohammad Faiz Syed (DMP ’15), Superintending Engineer, Central Water Commission, Government of India

Faiz01Er. Mohammad Faiz Syed, a Mechanical Engineering graduate, joined the Central Water Commission, an apex technical organisation of the Government of India, in 2007 after securing an all India 13th rank in the Indian Engineering Services (IES). He has a keen interest in the water sector and has been serving at various important positions in the river and flood management of the country. He earned his Master in Disaster Management from GRIPS in 2015 and was awarded the Best Researcher Award for the same. He currently holds the position of Superintending Engineer in the North East region of India and mainly looks after the works of survey and investigation, monitoring and appraisal of various irrigation projects. Being an important representative of the central government, he plays a key role in the development of the water sector in the region. Faiz was selected as the winner of the Third GRIPS SDGs Award for his contribution to the “3-Day Advisory Flood Forecast System of Central Water Commission (CWC), Govt. of India” in March 2022.

…Read an interview with Mohammad Faiz Syed here

August 2021

Samuel Bonzu (PP ’11), Special Appointee, African Department, International Monetary Fund, Washington DC


Dr. Samuel Bonzu is currently serving as a Special Appointee in the African Department of the IMF Headquarters in Washington DC. He has over ten years of experience in government (Ministry of Finance, Sierra Leone, Bank of Sierra Leone and Sierra Leone National Revenue Authority); academia (University College London, Royal Holloway, University of London and University of Sierra Leone.); policy research, and private sector work on economic policy management and development programs. He received a Master of Public Policy from GRIPS in 2011 and a Ph.D. in Economics from Royal Holloway, University of London in 2018. 


…Read an interview with Samuel Bonzu here

July 2021

Syed Nasir Ershad (PP ’02), Economic Minister, Embassy of Bangladesh in Tokyo

Ershad01Ershad joined the Bangladesh Civil Service in 1995 as an Assistant Commissioner and Magistrate. He has since served in various ministries, departments and organizations in different capacities both at home and abroad. Since December 2020, Ershad is back in Japan where he serves as Economic Minister at the Embassy of Bangladesh in Tokyo. Ershad holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in economics and received his Master of Public Policy from GRIPS in 2002.


…Read an interview with Syed Nasir Ershad here

June 2021

Aiko Kikkawa (MA ’13; Ph.D. ’17), Economist, Economic Research and Regional Cooperation Department, Asian Development Bank (ADB)

Aiko01Dr. Aiko Kikkawa is an Economist at ADB’s Economic Research and Cooperation Department. Her research portfolio covers international migration and remittances, aging and demographic change, gender and economic analyses of ADB projects. Prior to joining ADB, she worked at the International Organization for Migration where she led technical assistance programs on overseas employment policy, remittances, and disaster relief operation targeting mobile population. She obtained her MA and Ph.D. in development economics from GRIPS and a master’s degree in forced migration from the University of Oxford.

…Read an interview with Aiko Kikkawa here

May 2021

Bam Bahadur Mishra (PP ’06), Deputy Governor, Nepal Rastra Bank


Mr. Bam Bahadur Mishra was appointed as Deputy Governor of Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB), the Central Bank of Nepal, in March, 2021. Prior to his appointment as Deputy Governor, Mishra was the Executive Director of NRB’s Foreign Exchange Management Department. During his career as a central banker, spanning about two decades, Mishra served in different areas, including the regulation of banks and financial institutions and their supervision, foreign exchange management, and the central bank’s provincial office operations. Before entering the central bank, he gained experience in private sector commercial banks where he worked for eight years. Mishra received his Master of Public Policy from GRIPS in 2006.

…Read an interview with Bam Bahadur Mishra here

April 2021

Rakhymzhan Issakulov (YLP ’16), Head of the Administration of the Governor of Nur-Sultan, Republic of Kazakhstan

Rakhymzhan01Upon finishing his Bachelor of Science in Economics and Management from Royal Holloway, University of London in 2010, Rakhymzhan started his career in the Administration of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan. After serving in several roles for about five years, he successfully applied to GRIPS and enrolled in the Young Leaders Program in October 2015. With the knowledge and skills gained at GRIPS, he was promoted to the political position of state inspector of the President’s Administration upon his return to Kazakhstan. In September 2018, he was appointed Head of the Administration of the Governor of the West Kazakhstan Region and since October 2020, he has been serving as Head of the Administration of the Governor of Nur-Sultan, the capital city of Kazakhstan.

…Read an interview with Rakhymzhan Issakulov here

March 2021

Rahul Nangare (PF ’10), First Secretary (Trade), Indian High Commission, London

Rahul01After completing his M.A. from Pune University in 1998, Rahul passed India’s Civil Services examination and was selected to join the 1999 batch of the India Revenue Service (IRS/ Customs). During his career spanning more than 20 years, he has worked in various capacities in India, including Under Secretary in the Ministry of Finance in Delhi, Additional Director of Central Excise Intelligence and Additional Commissioner of Customs in Mumbai. He received the Presidential Award for Specially Distinguished Record of Service in 2019. He is currently on deputation to the Foreign Ministry to work in the Indian Embassy in the United Kingdom as a specialist in Trade and Customs matters. Rahul received his Master in Public Finance from GRIPS in 2010 and was chosen as Valedictorian at Graduation Ceremony.

…Read an interview with Rahul Nangare here

Febuary 2021

Dinusha Hettiarachchi (PF ’15), Superintendent of Customs, Sri Lanka Customs

Dinusha01Dreaming of becoming an IT professional, Dinusha enrolled in the Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology, and concurrently in the University of Kelaniya, majoring in Information Technology and Industrial Management respectively. Upon graduation in 2005, he started his career as a Software Engineer in a leading IT company. After three years in the private sector, however, Dinusha moved to the public sector and joined Sri Lanka Customs as an Assistant Superintendent of Customs in 2008. While working he completed his MBA at the University of Moratuwa and in 2014 he was offered a WCO scholarship to pursue his studies in the Public Finance Program at GRIPS. Being well-trained and prepared, Dinusha was assigned some challenging tasks upon returning from Japan. He has gradually worked his way up in Sri Lanka Customs and was recently promoted to Superintendent of Customs.

…Read an interview with Dinusha Hettiarachchi here

January 2021

Benedict Makanga (G-Cube ’18), Personal Assistant to the Deputy Governor, Bank of Uganda

Benedict01After completing his Bachelor of Science in Quantitative Economics, at Makerere University, Benedict started his career in 2003 as a statistician managing and analyzing various sets of data in the Uganda Bureau of Statistics. In 2005, he accepted a job offer at Centenary Rural Development Bank as a Credit Officer, responsible for extending microloans to rural businesses and rural households. In 2007, Benedict joined the Bank of Uganda where he has held various roles in different departments before being appointed to his current position as Personal Assistant to the Deputy Governor. Benedict graduated with a Ph.D. in Advanced Policy Studies from the GRIPS Global Governance Program (G-Cube) in 2018.

…Read an interview with Benedict Makanga here

December 2020

Mansurbek Olloyorov (TE’06), Deputy of the President’s Advisor, Department on Legal Support and Complex Analysis, Office of the President, Republic of Uzbekistan

Mansur01Mansurbek Olloyorov started his career in 2004, in the Budget Department of Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Finance where he served for well over a decade. After a brief stint as Chief Inspector at the Chamber of Accounts, Mansur moved to the President Administration in 2018 where he has been working on economic reforms, currently as Deputy of the President’s Advisor in the Department on Legal Support and Comprehensive Analysis of the President Office. In August 2020, he was awarded the “Shukrat” Medal, a  prestigious state award. Mansurbek graduated from Tashkent State University of Economics in 2003, and a Master of Public Policy from the GRIPS Transition Economy Program in 2006.

…Read an interview with Mansurbek Olloyorov

November 2020

Asta Dupuy (PP’04), Internal Auditor, Office of the Inspector General, United Nations World Food Programme

Asta01Asta is an experienced Finance professional. She started her career as economist in the Fiscal Policy Department of the Ministry of Finance in Lithuania in 1998, where she put to use the training on micro-simulation modelling techniques she received at the Harvard Institute for International Development. After finishing her Master of Public Policy degree at GRIPS in 2004, Asta worked as an independent fiscal policy and modelling consultant at the World Bank and European Union projects in several countries in Europe. After a brief stint in the private sector, Asta joined the United Nations World Food Programme headquarters in Rome in 2009 where she has held numerous positions and was recently appointed Internal Auditor at the Office of Inspector General. The UN World Food Programme was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize 2020.

…Read an interview with Asta Dupuy

October 2020

Mohammad Sajjad Moghal (PP’05), Chief Executive Officer, Classic International Trading (CIT)

Sajjad01With over 25 years of diverse experience, Mohammad Sajjad Moghal is a seasoned entrepreneur, philanthropist, renowned business strategist, Private Sector Development (PSD) and Public Private Partnership (PPP) expert. Mr. Moghal started his career in banking, before switching to the public sector. From 2002 to 2008, he led the Policy & Planning Division at the Pakistan Government’s Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority. He then moved on to become a Senior Adviser at USAID and it was in this capacity that he took the lead in the winning First GRIPS SDGs Award “Dairy Project”, a joint effort of USAID and Dairy and Rural Development Foundation (DRDF) to foster a sustainable increase in dairy and livestock productivity through skills-based training programs and the adoption of best farming practices and breed improvement. Mr. Moghal holds master degrees in business administration and public policy, and several professional certificates from renowned international universities.

…Read an interview with Mohammad Sajjad Moghal

September 2020

Valentyna Golubenko (PF ’15), Leadership and Management Development Expert, Capacity Building Directorates, World Customs Organization

Valentyna01Valentyna graduated with a master’s degree from the Ukrainian Customs Academy in 2011 and worked in various roles and organizations in the field of customs. In 2014, she was accepted into the Public Finance Program at GRIPS and received her Master in Public Finance in 2015. Upon returning from Japan, she worked in the State Fiscal Service dealing with reforms management, strategic development and international cooperation. During this time, she was seconded as a Professional Associate at the World Customs Organization in Brussels, from Sept. 2016 till August 2017, where she first got involved with WCO’s Leadership and Management Development (LMD) Program. In 2019, she was invited by the WCO to work as a Leadership and Management Development Expert so she is back in Brussels since April last year where she facilitates, develops and coordinates LMD workshops.

…Read an interview with Valentyna Golubenko

August 2020

Jeffrey Ordaniel (PhD ’17), Assistant Professor of International Studies, Tokyo International University & Non-resident Director of Maritime Programs, Pacific Forum International, Honolulu, Hawaii

Jeffrey01Dr. Jeffrey Ordaniel is Assistant Professor of International Security Studies at Tokyo International University (TIU) in Japan. Concurrently, he is non-resident Adjunct Fellow and Director of Maritime Programs at the Pacific Forum in Hawaii. Jeffrey holds a Ph.D. in International Relations and specializes in the study of offshore territorial and maritime entitlement disputes in Asia. His teaching and research revolve around maritime security and ocean governance, ASEAN regionalism, and broadly, US alliances and engagements in the Indo-Pacific. From 2016 to 2019, he was the holder of the endowed Admiral Joe Vasey Fellowship at the Pacific Forum. In 2019, Dr. Ordaniel, convened the Indo-Pacific Maritime Security Expert Working Group, an informal network of select experts and scholars from Japan, Southeast Asia, Australia and North America, with the aim of generating sound, pragmatic and actionable policy prescriptions for the region. He is author of the forthcoming book, “Coping with ‘China Threat’⁠—The Philippines, Vietnam and Malaysia in the South China Sea,” scheduled for release in the last quarter of 2020.

 …Read an interview with Jeffrey Ordaniel

 July 2020

Milena Andreeva (YLP ’18), Director of Youth Policies Directorate, Ministry of Youth and Sports, Republic of Bulgaria

Milena00Milena Andreeva was appointed a Director of Youth Policies Directorate at the Ministry of Youth and Sports of the Republic of Bulgaria in September 2019. Prior to that, she served as bilateral cooperation expert in the security and defense domain since she joined the Ministry of Defense in 2012. She has been an external expert to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a Bulgarian Youth Delegate to the United Nations, a Bulgarian representative to the EU-China High Level Dialogue, and has participated in EU Youth Conferences, G20 Global Leadership Program among others. Ms. Andreeva holds an M.A. in International Peace and Security from Korea University, Seoul, Republic of Korea (2011), an M.A. in Economic Logistics from the National Military University, Veliko Turnovo, Bulgaria (2009) and received her M.A. in Public Policy from the GRIPS Young Leaders Program in 2018.

…Read an interview with Milena Andreeva

June 2020

Anar Suleymanov (PF ’10), Head of Secretriat, State Customs Committee, Republic of Azerbaijan


Having worked for customs in various fields for almost 15 years, Mr. Suleymanov’s specific area of expertise in customs is designing and planning customs modernization initiatives at a strategic level. Being accredited as Customs Modernization Adviser as well as Mercator Programme Advisor by the World Customs Organization, he delivers critical strategic planning missions to various customs administrations worldwide. Anar obtained his Master of Public Finance degree from GRIPS in 2010. He also received several awards, including the Award of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan on distinguished public service delivery, Certificate of Merit from the World

Customs Organization, and KOICA Fellowship.

…Read an interview with Anar Suleymanov

May 2020

Thida Tun (TE ’04), Director General, Budget Department, Ministry of Planning, Finance and Industry, Myanmar

image001[1]With her career in the Ministry of Planning, Finance and Industry spanning over thirty years, Mrs Thida Tun was appointed as Director General of the Budget Department in March 2019. She is responsible for formulating and implementing fiscal policy, public finance management and monitoring the government budget. In addition, as Secretary of the Modernization of Public Financial Management Project Executive Reform Team, she is playing a leading role in public financial management reform in Myanmar. Mrs Thida Tun obtained a Bachelor of Commerce (Hons) from the Yangon Institute of Economics in 1985, and a Master of Public Policy from GRIPS in 2004.

…Read an interview with Thida Tun

April 2020

Monzur Hossain  (MA ’03 Ph.D. ’07) Senior Research Fellow, General Economics Division, Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS)

Monzur01Dr. Monzur Hossain started his professional career in the Bangladesh Bank but after obtaining his M.A. in Public Policy (2003), and then his Ph.D. in International Economics (2007) from GRIPS, he shifted his focus to research and academia. In his current capacity as Senior Research Fellow at the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies, Monzur has participated and served as team leader in numerous professional research projects. He also served as consultant for the UNDP, ADB, UNCTAD, EU, International Growth Center, and London School of Economics, among others. His research interests are macroeconomics, international trade and finance, local government finance, industrial development, renewable energy and banking and the financial sector. He has published widely in reputed academic journals and recently edited a book titled “Bangladesh’s Macroeconomic Policy”, published by the prestigious publisher, Palgrave Macmillan.

…Read an interview with Monzur Hossain

March 2020

Chakra Pani Acharya (MA ’09; Ph.D. ’12), Program Director (Under Secretary), Economic Management Division, National Planning Commission, Gov’t of Nepal

Chakra01Chakra has extensive working experience in development planning of Nepal including economic analysis, macroeconomic modeling, and periodic and long-term planning. In 2003, he started his professional career in the Civil Service of Nepal as a Section Officer. Currently, he is a Program Director at the National Planning Commission, in which he has taken several challenging responsibilities including working as a core team member in formulating the Fifteenth Periodic Plan (2019-2024) and Vision 2100 of Nepal. Chakra is eager to be engaged in evidence-based policy making and working with multidisciplinary teams. He has published scholarly articles especially in the areas of economic growth, migration, remittances, poverty, and human capital. He is widely trained and possesses multidisciplinary attributes, such as a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and three master’s degrees in Sociology, Public Administration, and Public Policy respectively. He has also earned a Ph.D. in Development Economics from GRIPS, Japan.

…Read an interview with Chakra Pani Acharya

February 2020

Perfect Ahamadzie (PF ’16), Revenue Officer, Customs Technical Services Bureau, Ghana Revenue Authority

Perfect01After finishing her secondary education Perfect was enlisted into the Ghana Customs in 2008 where she received training at the Ghana Customs Academy. She also obtained her Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from the Catholic University College of Ghana in 2013. After serving a few years as customs officer in Sunyani in western Ghana, Perfect was transferred to the Customs Technical Services Bureau to serve as valuation officer. In 2015, she was accepted into the Public Finance Program at GRIPS from which she graduated a year later with the best policy paper in the Customs Course. In 2019 Perfect was promoted to Revenue Officer as the only female officer of her peer group.

…Read an interview with Perfect Ahamadzie here

January 2020

Cholpon Mambetova (TE ’97), Senior Integrity Specialist, Office of Anticorruption and Integrity, Asian Development Bank, Manila, Philippines

Cholpon01Cholpon started her career in 1994 in the Government Agency on Foreign Investments, a new agency established to facilitate post-Soviet economic reforms in the Kyrgyz Republic. She was among the first students to enroll in the Transition Economy Program, a master’s degree program at GSPS (the forerunner of GRIPS) sponsored by IMF aimed at building capacity to assist the former Soviet republics in their move from state planning to a more market-based system. In 2001, Cholpon joined the Kyrgyz Resident Mission of Asian Development Bank (ADB) as Regional Cooperation Specialist and was engaged in developing and implementing many infrastructure projects. In 2013, she moved to ADBs headquarters in Manila where she has been working as Integrity Specialist in the Office of Anticorruption and Integrity since.

…Read an interview with Cholpon Mambetova here

December 2019

R.M. Michael Tene (YLP ’03), Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for Community and Corporate Affairs

Michael01Michael Tene joined the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) in 1994 and has 25 years of experience serving in various roles in the Ministry. He took office as the new Deputy Secretary-General (DSG) of ASEAN for Community and Corporate Affairs on 2 September 2019. In this role, Michael supports the Secretary-General of ASEAN in providing strategic direction and guidance on Community and Corporate Affairs, Legal Services and Agreement, and Programme Cooperation and Project Management. Michael obtained his BA from the Faculty of Economics, University of Indonesia in 1992 and graduated from the Young Leaders Program at GRIPS with a Master in Public Administration in 2003.

…Read more about R.M. Michael Tene here

November 2019

Michael A.K. Senayah (IDS ’08), Minister Counsellor (Trade and Investment), Ghana Embassy in Japan

Michael01Michael obtained his bachelor’s and M.Phil degree in the field of food science and biochemistry from the University of Ghana in 2001. He started his career in the Ministry of Trade and Industry in 2004. During his time in the International Development Studies Program at GRIPS he focused on the WTO-SPS Agreement which is dealing with the application of food safety and animal and plant health regulations. After his return to Ghana, he continued working is this area for several years. In 2014, Michael was appointed as Program Director and Imprest Administrator of TRAQUE Ghana, a project that aimed to facilitate and stimulate trade-led growth through improving the trade related capacity and performance and the transformation of the National Quality Infrastructure. In April 2019, Michael returned to Japan where he is currently serving as Minister-Counsellor at the Embassy of Ghana in Tokyo.

…Read an interview with Michael A.K. Senayah here

October 2019

Akhadbek Khaydarov (TE ’02), Deputy Minister of Finance, Republic of Uzbekistan

Akhadbek01Akhadbek is a leading figure in financial policy-making in Uzbekistan. He joined the Uzbek Central Bank in 1996 as a junior economist. In less than 4 years time he had worked his way up and was appointed Head of the Monetary Policy Department in 1999. He subsequently moved to the Ministry of Finance where he served in several roles in the Department of State Budget and the Department for Financing the Social Sphere and Science, before being selected for studies the IMF-sponsored Transition Economy Program at GRIPS in 2000. In 2007, Akhadbek returned to the Central Bank where he was appointed Deputy Chairman of the Board in 2013. Except for a brief appointment as Head of the Assets Management Agency between April and September 2019, Akhadbek has been serving as Deputy and First Deputy Finance Minister since 2017.

…Read more about Akhadbek Khaidarov

September 2019

Dahlia Tawakol (PP ’11), Deputy Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs & Deputy Director of Institute for Diplomatic Studies, Arab Republic of Egypt

Dahlia01Dahlia is a career diplomat. She joined the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs after her graduation from the Faculty of Economics and Political Science of Cairo University in 1992. She worked in several roles in the Ministry and enrolled in the Public Policy Program in GRIPS in 2009 when she was accompanying her husband to Tokyo where he was posted as Ambassador of Egypt. Dahlia served as Consul in the Consulate General in London from 2012 to ’16 and was appointed in her current position as Deputy Director at the Institute for Diplomatic Studies in 2018.


…Read an interview with Dahlia Tawakol

August 2019

Shirantha Heenkenda (PP ’09), Professor & Dean, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka

Shirantha01Prof. Shirantha Heenkenda was inaugurated as Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura on 1st July, 2019. The Former Head of the Department of Economics and Co-Chairperson of the Innovation, Invention and Venture Creation Council, Shirantha obtained his BA degree from the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, his Master in Public Policy from GRIPS and a Ph.D. from the Graduate School of International Development at Nagoya University. In addition, he has worked as consultant and committee member in many projects initiated by the Sri Lankan government and served on the Board of Directors of the National Livestock Development Board (NLDB) of Sri Lanka.

…Read an interview with Shirantha Heenkenda

July 2019

May Toe Win (TE ’03), Director General, Foreign Exchange Management Department, Central Bank of Myanmar

MayToe01Daw May Toe Win was appointed Director General of the Foreign Exchange Management Department of the Central Bank of Myanmar in January 2018, after previously leading the Financial Institutions Regulation and Anti-Money Laundering Departments. May Toe joined the Central Bank in the Accounts Department in 1993, after graduating from Yangon Institute of Economics and has gradually worked her way up in the organisation. She was seconded as Advisor to the Executive Director to the International Monetary Fund in Washington from 2016 to 2017. May Toe is highly respected by many and has even been mentioned by “Frontier Myanmar” as a potential future candidate for Governor of the Central Bank.

…Read an interview with May Toe Win

June 2019

Md. Bayazid Sarker (TE ’10), Deputy General Manager, Bangladesh Bank

Sarker01Md. Bayazid Sarker is a Deputy General Manager in the Foreign Exchange Policy Department of the Bangladesh Bank, the central bank of Bangladesh. He joined the Bank in 1999 and has worked in several areas, including public debt management, risk management, banking regulation and policy research. He has published many papers and developed a theoretical structure of the ‘migrants’ sponsored banking system for developing economies like Bangladesh. This idea has become the basis for a new type of banking system, named NRB (Non-Resident Bangladeshis) bank for which Mr. Sarker was awarded a gold medal (the highest performance award) in the Bangladesh Bank in 2015. In addition to his work for the Bank, he also teaches at Southeast University and Northern University Bangladesh, as an adjunct faculty.

…Read an interview with Md. Bayazid Sarker

May 2019

Yuan Zhang (Asian Economic Policy Program ’11), Writer, Photographer, Singer

Yuan01Yuan Zhang graduated from Tsinghua University and worked for the Chinese National Bureau of Statistics for more than 10 years before becoming a diplomat in 2014. In her free time, she was an avid photographer and writer of essays and fiction. Her photos were shown at several international exhibitions and art festivals and her writings published in “LifeWeek”, one of China’s most popular weekly magazines. Encouraged by her success, after finishing her posting in Athens she decided to follow her long-standing dream of becoming a professional writer, photographer, and sometimes singer. Since then, she has published three books in which, among others, she reflects on her experience while studying at GRIPS when the Great East Japan Earthquake struck Japan in March 2011.

…Read an interview with Yuan Zhang

April 2019

Hillary Kumwenda (PP ’11), Chief Executive Officer, The Biosecurity Authority of Fiji

Hillary01Hillary is a highly skilled development professional with knowledge and practical experience in multilateral, regional and bilateral trade negotiations and implementation, trade facilitation, investment promotion and protection agreements and other areas of international trade. He started his career as an Economist in the Zambian Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry in September 2005 where he gradually worked his way up, while further enhancing his skills and knowledge through further education and specialized training programs. In 2014, Hillary joined the Commonwealth Secretariat Hub and Spokes Programme as Trade Policy Adviser and was attached to the Fijian Government in the Pacific where he worked with the Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Trade in advancing Fijiʼs international trade and development. In April 2017, he was appointed CEO of the Biosecurity Authority of Fiji.

…Read an interview with Hillary Kumwenda

March 2019

Leszek Jodlinski (YLP ’07), Director, Upper Silesian Museum in Bytom, Poland

Leszek01Trained as an art historian and a graduate of the Polish National School of Public Administration, Leszek has been managing cultural institutions for over 15 years. He served as Director of the Museum in Gliwice (2003-2008) and the Silesian Museum in Katowice (2008-2013) before moving to the Czech museum in Opava in 2013. In 2016, Leszek was appointed as Director of the Upper Silesian Museum in Bytom. In this capacity he was also responsible for managing and overseeing the construction of the new museum building. Leszek gained considerable attention with a project he initiated that aims to make painting galleries accessible to the visually impaired. He has authored many publications and articles on the history of art and lectures at the University of Silesia and Jagiellonian University.

…Read an interview with Leszek Jodlinski

February 2019

Gulnara Kireyeva (YLP ’07), Deputy Chairman, JSC “Kazakhstan Sustainability Fund”

Gulnara01Gulnara started her career with the National Bank of Kazakhstan after finishing her internship there in 1998. During her 20+ years with the Bank, she has served in many different roles and has developed a diverse set of professional skills and broad knowledge of the financial sector. Her valuable experience has enabled her to gradually advance in her career; Gulnara is serving as Deputy Chairman of JSC “Kazakhstan Sustainability Fund”, a subsidiary of the National Bank of Kazakhstan, since September 2017. Gulnara holds a degree in International Foreign Exchange and Finance from the Kazakh State Academy of Management (1998) and received her Master of Public Policy from the Young Leaders Program at GRIPS in 2007.

…Read an interview with Gulnara Kireyeva

January 2019

Sachiko Kondo (IDS ’03), Natural Resources Management Specialist, Environment & Natural Resources Global Practice, The World Bank, Washington D.C.

Sachiko01Sachiko Kondo is working as a Natural Resources Management Specialist at the World Bank (WB), engaged with fisheries, forestry, and biodiversity projects in Africa.  Sachiko started her career at the World Bank in the Liberia Country Office in 2011, then moved to the headquarters in Washington D.C. in 2015.  Before joining the Bank, Sachiko was working as a consultant for Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and previously for Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) supported projects in Asia and Africa.  Sachiko has a Bachelor of Science in Regional Economics and Resource Science from the Agriculture Department of the University of Tokyo, and a Master of International Development Studies from GRIPS.

…Read an interview with Sachiko Kondo

December 2018

Ali Bin Mehmood (PP ’15), Assistant Chief, Planning and Development Department, Government of Balochistan, Pakistan

Ali01After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in business and information technology in 2004, Ali started his career in the banking industry but joined the Pakistan civil service at the Government of Balochistanin 2011. Eager to continue learning new knowledge and skills, he pursued an MBA while working, and was selected for a MEXT scholarship to study at GRIPS from which he received his Master of Public Policy in 2015. In the summer of 2018 Ali had the honour to represent his country as a member of the US Department of State Exchange Program. It was a unique experience to participate in a program that is designed to help strengthen relations with countries around the world and to celebrate each other’s culture and history.

…Read an interview with Ali Bin Mehmood

November 2018

Nwe Nwe Win (TE ’96), Director General, Budget Department, Ministry of Planning and Finance, Republic of the Union of Myanmar

NweNweWin01Daw Nwe Nwe Win was appointed Director General of the Budget Department in 2015. In her current role she has been one of the key figures in Myanmar’s public finance management reform. The so-called Modernization of Public Finance Management  (PFM) Project has been implemented in Myanmar since 2014, in collaboration with the World Bank to support the strengthening of Myanmar’s PFM systems and institutions, and improving policy formulation and implementation for effective, efficient and accountable delivery of public services.

…Read more about Nwe Nwe Win

October 2018

Ryan L. Estevez (YLP ’11), Undersecretary, Philippines Presidential Legislative Liaison Office

Ryan01Ryan entered the government service as legislative staff through the then Senate President Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr. after passing the bar exams in 2007. He subsequently worked for Congresswoman Bernadette Herrera-Dy and Senator Aquilino “KOKO” Pimentel III, enabling him to build up substantial expertise in drafting legislations. Prior to entering the government service, Ryan worked in various capacities as college and university professor, mentor, Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) lecturer and advisers to various civic and non-government organizations. Now serving in the executive branch of the government, banking on his decade-long experience in legislation, he acts as the bridge and liaison officer, shepherding the legislative agenda of the President.

…Read an interview with Ryan L. Estevez

September 2018

Andrea Pressello (MA ’02; PhD ’12), Assistant Professor, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS)

Andrea01Andrea Pressello has been an Assistant Professor at GRIPS since April 2017. He received both his master’s and Ph.D. degree from GRIPS. In addition to GRIPS, Andrea has been teaching at the International University of Japan, and Keio University, where he lectures on Japanese history and culture, diplomatic history and foreign policy to international students. Andrea was recently one of the recipients of the 14th Nakasone Yasuhiro Award, an award given to honor meaningful achievements in the political, economic, cultural, and science and technology fields and to encourage further endeavors which will contribute toward the realization of true peace and prosperity in the international community. Highly evaluated for his work in both research and practical arenas, he is expected to play an important role of bridging Japan and the world.

…Read an interview with Andrea Pressello

August 2018

Edwin P. Medhe (MA ’10; PhD ’18), Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Investment (MITI), Tanzania

Edwin01Edwin has extensive working experience in economic research, policy analysis, strategic planning, and project management. He joined the public service in 2006, as Economist II in the Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Investment (MITI) and gradually worked his way up to Senior Economist. After serving briefly as Acting Assistant Director (Enterprise Promotion) at MITI, from May this year, and subsequently as Research and Advisory Manager at the Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank (TADB), Edwin was appointed by H.E. Dr. John P. Magufuli, the President of the United Republic of Tanzania, to serve as a Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment (MITI) on July 24, 2018. Edwin holds a B.Sc. in Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness, from Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA), Morogoro, Tanzania and an M.A. 8’10) and Ph.D. (’18) in International Development Studies from GRIPS.

…Read an interview with Edwin P. Medhe

July 2018

Erdenejargal Tumurbaatar (YLP ’05), Project Manager Integrated Livelihoods Improvement and Sustainable Tourism in Khuvsgul Lake National Park, Mongolia

Erka01While still a student at the Mongolia State University of Agriculture, Erka started her career as growing manager at the only state-owned greenhouse farm in Ulaanbaatar. She then moved to the Ministry of Food and Agriculture where – based on her excellent performance -  she was soon promoted to senior officer. After completing her degree at GRIPS in 2005 she was promoted to Director of the Ministry’s International Cooperation Division, a position she held for seven years. In 2010 Erka was chosen to represent East Asia and the Pacific in the Steering Committee of the Global Agricultural and Food Security Program. Since March 2016, Erka is serving as Project Manager of Integrated Livelihoods Improvements and Sustainable Tourism in Khuvsgul Lake National Park.

…Read an interview with Erdenejargal Tumurbaatar

June 2018

Edieser Dela Santa (PP’00), Dean, Asian Institute of Tourism, University of the Philippines

Edieser01After graduating from the University of the Philippines in 1994, Edieser started his career as a tourism marketing specialist at the marketing arm of the Department of Tourism. He was selected to study at GRIPS’ predecessor GSPS in 1998 and after returning from his studies in Japan in 2000, Edieser joined the University of the Philippines. He has been teaching there since, while holding several administrative positions. In 2006 he went to New Zealand to pursue further studies and obtained a PhD degree from the University of Otago in 2010. Edieser has been serving as the 7th Dean of UP’s Asian Institute of Tourism since November 2016.

…Read an interview with Edieser Dela Santa

May 2018

Woothisarn Tanchai (PP ’86), Secretary General, King Prajadhipok’s Institute, Thailand


Professor Woothisarn Tanchai has been serving as Secretary General of King Prajadhipok’s Institute since December 2014. In addition, Mr. Tanchai is a Professor at Thammasat University and he also serves on many policy and advisory bodies. His research interests include Decentralization and Local Governance, Public and Social Policy, and People Participation. Mr. Tanchai received a Bachelor of Science, from Khon Kaen University (1980), a Master of Public Administration from the National Institute of Development Administration (1982) and a Master of Policy Science from GRIPS’ predecessor GSPS, Saitama University (1986).

…Read more about Wootisarn Tanchai

April 2018

Dabone Atta Snr. (MP1 ’10), Senior Economics Officer, Debt Management Division, Ministry of Finance, Government of Ghana

Atta01Atta joined the Ministry of Finance in 2004, after graduating with a BSc in Economics from the Methodist University College Ghana. He has gradually worked his way up in the Debt Management Division where he is currently awaiting confirmation to become a Principal Economics Officer. In addition, Atta was recently appointed as Deputy Board Chairman of Foklex Media Awards/ Production, a private organization whose core mandate is to strengthen and promote media engagement in Ghana as a tool for championing societal change and development. In his free time, he runs a rabbit and quail farm together with his wife, while with his twin brother he has established Voice FM 94.3 which has become one of the leading radio stations in Ghana.

…Read an interview with Dabone Atta Snr.

March 2018

Tatsuya “Ted” Takeda (Ph.D. ’16), Chief Investment Officer and Board Director, AIG Japan Holdings KK


Ted Takeda joined AIG Japan Holdings in August 2013 as the Japan Chief Risk Officer to oversee risks taken by AIG operations in Japan. He became the Japan Chief Investment Officer in March 2017 and assumed responsibility for all investment related activities of AIG Japan. He also leads research activities of AIG Institute as Senior Fellow since December 2017. Ted started his career at J.P. Morgan in currency and interest rate derivatives products in 1989. After 14 years at J.P. Morgan and Citigroup, he joined an advisory firm, IFL, to start its operation in Japan, where he advised governments, manufacturers, and financial institutions in Japan, Singapore, Thailand, HK, and the US on their risk and capital management issues. Ted holds a Master of Public Policy and a Ph.D. in Public Economics from GRIPS, a BA in International Relations from the University of Tokyo, and a BA in Mathematics from Oberlin College, Ohio.

…Read an interview with Tatsuya “Ted” Takeda

February 2018

Chori Mirzaev (TE ’00), Chairman of the Board, JSC Turon Bank, Uzbekistan

Chori01After graduating from Tashkent State University of Economics in 1995, Chori Mirzaev joined the Central Bank of Uzbekistan where he held various positions before he was selected to study in the “Transition Economy Program” at GRIPS’ predecessor, the Graduate Institute of Policy Science in 1998. Chori re-joined the Central Bank after returning to Uzbekistan in 2000 but moved to the Korean Development Bank in Uzbekistan in 2008, and on to the JSC Asaka bank in 2010. He has been with the JSC Turonbank since 2015, initially as Deputy Chairman of the Board, and since 2016 as Chairman of the Board.

…Read an interview with Chori Mirzaev

January 2018

Judith A. Esteban-Sungsai (PP ’92), Senior Director, Central Point of Contact Department 1, Supervision and Examination Sector, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP)

Judith01Judith started her career as a certified accountant at an audit firm in 1982. She moved to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) in 1986 where she started as a junior bank supervisor handling commercial banks. She has gradually worked her way up and has held several positions in the Bank before she was appointed to her current position as Senior Director of the BSP-Supervision and Examination Sector in January 2018. Judith holds a Bachelor of Science in Commerce with a major in Accounting (1982) from the University of Santo Tomas, Manila, and a Master of Policy Science from GRIPS’ predecessor GSPS (1992).

…Read an interview with Judith A. Esteban-Sungsai

December 2017

Boris Martinović (YLP ’15), Head of Mergers Section, Hungarian Competition Authority

Boris01Boris Martinović received his Master Degree in Finance from Corvinus University of Budapest in 2008, and started his career at the Treasury Department of MOL Plc., a Hungarian energy conglomerate. In 2009 Boris switched from private to public and assumed office at the Hungarian Competition Authority where he has served in several positions until his appointment as Head of the Mergers Section in March 2017.  Apart from his work at the competition authority, Boris is the founder and president of a charity organisation named kodoMOZI. The charity focuses on providing cultural and educational experience to orphaned children through cinema, where mostly Japanese Studio Ghibli animation is being screened. Boris is also a literary author, whose short prose was published in various Hungarian print and online magazines. His first novel, titled “Tokyo Purpleness” came out in November 2017.

…Read an interview with Boris Martinović

November 2017

Hisanori Nakayama (PP ’83), Professor, Kobe Gakuin University, Faculty of Contemporary Social Studies, Department of Social Studies of Disaster Management

Nakayama01After obtaining his master’s degree in civil engineering from Osaka University, Nakayama started working for the Kobe City Government in 1975. In his early years, he was mainly involved in infrastructure planning and urban development projects but when the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake struck in 1995 his focus shifted to promoting resident participation in earthquake reconstruction projects. After the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011, Nakayama was appointed as a supervisor to oversee surveys and reconstruction projects in the Tohoku region. He also conducted surveys in Kumamoto after the earthquakes in 2016. Eager to share his valuable knowledge, Nakayama is currently a professor in disaster management at Kobe Gakuin University and has published 3 books on his experience with reconstruction projects in the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake.

…Read an interview with Hisanori Nakayama

October 2017

Almaz Sazbakov (TE ’10), Deputy Minister of Economy, Kyrgyz Republic


Almaz Sazbakov has been serving as Deputy Minister of Economy of the Kyrgyz Republic since April 2016. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration (Cum Laude) from the American University in Kyrgyzstan, Almaz started his career in the National Statistics Committee in 2004. Eager to further develop his knowledge and skills, Almaz has taken every opportunity to get further educated and went to study abroad three times, at Hitotsubashi University (’05-’07), GRIPS (’09-’10) and George Mason University (’12-’13). With brief stints in the Ministry of Finance and the Administration of the President, Almaz spent most of his career in the Ministry of Economy where he has gradually worked his way up to hold senior positions until being appointed Deputy Minister in April last year.

…Read more about Almaz Sazbakov

September 2017

Linda Ward (PP ’03), Principal Advisor, Macroeconomic Group, Australian Treasury


Linda Ward is a senior executive in the International Policy and Engagement Division of Macroeconomic Group, having held this position since May 2016. Linda joined the Treasury in 2006 from the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. During her time at Treasury she has held numerous roles in Revenue Group, Fiscal Group and Macroeconomic Group. She also worked for two years as an economic adviser to the then Minister for Infrastructure. Prior to her current role, Linda spent a year working in BHP Billiton’s Marketing office in Singapore as part of a secondment arrangement.


…Read an interview with Linda Ward

August 2017

Hiroyuki Takada (PP ’97), Chief Representative, JICA Rwanda Office


Hiroyuki Takada has been involved in African development activities for more than 25 years. His first experience, as a member of a JICA team engaged in agricultural community development in Zambia just after graduating from university, made him realise he needed more specialist knowledge and thus enrolled in GRIPS’ predecessor GSPS to study international development. Since his graduation from GSPS, Mr. Takada has been working with JICA in many overseas postings. He has been Chief Representative of the JICA Rwanda Office since April 2016.


…Read an interview with Hiroyuki Takada

July 2017

Fraidoon Alkozai (DMP ’06), Director General of Survey and Project Establishment, Ministry of Public Works, Government of Afghanistan


Fraidoon Alkozai was appointed as Director General of the Survey and Project Establishment Department in the Ministry of Public Works, Government of Afghanistan in February 2017. Prior to this, he worked as a professor and the Head of the Civil Engineering Department of the University of Kabul. Fraidoon graduated from the Earthquake Engineering Course of Disaster Management Policy Program in 2006.


…Read an interview with Fraidoon Alkozai

June 2017

Husin Bagis (PP ’92), Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates


H.E. Husin Bagis has been serving as Indonesian Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates since March 2016. His career as a diplomat started with his posting as Commercial Attaché at the Indonesian Embassy in Cairo in 1995, where he stayed until 2001. His next posting was to Tokyo, where he served as Commercial Attaché from 2003 to 2007, after which he was appointed as Chairman of the Indonesian Trade Promotion Centre in Dubai, until 2010.


…Read an interview with Husin Bagis

May 2017

Sammer Ahmad (MP1 ’12), Additional Accountant General Punjab, Department of the Auditor General of Pakistan


Having a background in chemical engineering, Sammer Ahmad started his career in 2001 as a Process Engineer at Century Paper & Board Mills Limited. He joined the Civil Services of Pakistan in January 2005 after qualifying the Central Superior Service Examination and was allocated to the Pakistan Audit & Accounts Service. Sammer gained experience and qualifications in auditing and accounting during his various postings in the department over the past 12 years. He is currently serving as Additional Accountant General Punjab in Lahore, Pakistan. Sammer recently received a Letter of Appreciation from the highest administrative officer in his department for his revolutionary idea on how to get rid of tax evasion.

…Read an interview with Sammer Ahmad

April 2017

Gobinda Bahadur Karkee (IDS ’03), Consul General, Consulate General of Nepal in Lhasa, China


Mr. Gobinda Bahadur Karkee assumed the position of Consul General of Nepal in Lhasa, China in May  2016. He joined Nepalese Civil Service in December 1996. In the 20+ years of his career, he has held a variety of positions in the Government of Nepal, at both central and local government level. Prior to his appointment to the post of Consul General of Nepal in Lhasa, Mr. Karkee was working in the capacity of Director General of the Department of Tourism. Mr. Karkee obtained a Master of Business Administration (’94) and a Master of Public Administration (’99) from Tribhuvan University, Nepal, and a Master of International Development Studies from GRIPS in 2003.

…Read an interview with Gobinda Bahadur Karkee

March 2017

Haniwa Natori (PP ’80), President, National Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs of Japan (BPW), Former Director General of the Cabinet Office Gender Equality Bureau


Haniwa Natori joined the Ministry of Justice in 1973, after graduating from the School of Law, the University of Tokyo. In 1995 she was appointed Director and Counselor of the Prime Minister’s Office for Gender Equality. Ms. Natori held several positions until her appointment as Director General of the Cabinet Office Gender Equality Bureau in 2003. Several ground-braking gender equality policies, such as the Basic Law for a Gender-equal Society (1999) and the second Basic Plan for a Gender-equal Society (2005) were drafted and decided by the cabinet during her term. After retiring in 2013, Ms. Natori is now President of the National Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs of Japan (BPW) as well as head of gender equality advisory boards at several local governments. From 2016, she has been engaged as Auditor of the University of Electro-Communication.

…Read an interview with Haniwa Natori

February 2017

Hayrullo Malikov (TE ’01), Social Policy Specialist, UNICEF Gambia Office

Hayrullo01Hayrullo started his career in the Ministry of Finance of the newly established Republic of Uzbekistan in 1997. He worked for several years in economist positions and was selected for the Transition Economy Program at GRIPS in 2000. Upon his graduation he returned to MOF where he was made responsible for financial decisions of strategic investment projects focusing on enhancing the social and infrastructure projects. Eager to pursue further studies, in 2006 Hayrullo enrolled at the Muskie School of Public Service, University of Southern Maine in Portland, USA from which he graduated with a Master of Public Policy and Financial Management in 2008. Ready for a career change, Hayrullo joined UNICEF Uzbekistan as Social Policy Officer in 2010. In October 2014, Hayrullo and his family moved to Gambia where he is currently serving as Social Policy Specialist at the UNICEF, Gambia Office.

…Read an interview with Hayrullo Malikov

January 2017

Chantha Onxayvieng (YLP ’05), Director General, Public Administration Research and Training Institute (PARTI), Ministry of Home Affairs, Lao PDR

Chantha01Chantha served in several positions in the Cabinet of the Public Administration and Civil Service Authority (PACSA) under the Lao Prime Minister’s Office. In 2011, PACSA was upgraded to become the Ministry of Home Affairs (MOHA) and Chantha was appointed Deputy Director General of the Department of Planning and Cooperation shortly thereafter. In the Fall of 2012 Chantha was accepted as a doctoral student at the College of Public Administration of Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST) in Wuhan, China from which she received her Ph.D. in June 2015. Upon her return to Laos, Chantha was appointed as Director General of MOHA’s Public Administration Research and Training Institute (PARTI).

…Read more about Chantha Onxayvieng

December 2016

Syeda Adeela Bokhari (PP ’07), Chief Information Technology, Federal Board of Revenue, Ministry of Finance, Government of Pakistan

Adeela01Ms. Syeda Adeela Bokhari joined the Federal Board of Revenue, Government of Pakistan in 1998 where she held various positions until she was transferred to become the Director General Accreditation & Certification & International Cooperation at the National Vocational & Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC) under the Prime Minister Cabinet in March 2013. NAVTTC is an apex body to regulate, facilitate and provide policy direction in vocational & technical training and Adeela was entrusted with the responsibility to establish a system of accreditation. In October 2016, she returned to her parent organization, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), to briefly serve as Chief Tax Payers Audit and since December as Chief Information Technology.

…Read an interview with Syeda Adeela Bokhari

November 2016

Vathouniyom Douangmala (YLP ’11), Director, Tourism & Exchange ASEAN-Japan Centre, Tokyo

Nick01Vathouniyom Douangmala joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in October 1999, after graduating from the Law Faculty of the Laos National University. As a career diplomat, he served in various positions, including a three-year posting at the Embassy of Lao PDR in Paris, before joining the Young Leaders Program at GRIPS in 2010. After serving for another 5 years in Laos’ MOFA, he returned to Japan in April 2016 when he was appointed as Director of the Tourism & Exchange Division of the ASEAN-Japan Centre (AJC) in Tokyo, where he is responsible for invigorating tourism and the expansion of personal exchanges between the ASEAN countries and Japan.

…Read an interview with Vathouniyom Douangmala

October 2016

Yang Qin, Vice Chairman (PF ’99), Customs and Trade Facilitation Commission, China National Committee, ICC

Qin01Mr. Yang Qin worked at the General Administration of Customs of PRC for more than 16 years as Senior Expert of Customs Policy & Administration and he has been the key promoter and facilitator of many China Customs modernization projects. After his successful career in the public sector, Mr. Yang Qin started his initiatives in the private sector with CC International Consulting Limited, which is now a top customs consultancy in China. In 2012, Mr. Yang Qin was one of the initiators of the “China International Trade Facilitation Forum”  which has grown out to become a national regular trade promotion platform while in 2015, he was appointed as chief expert committee member by the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) in the field of customs modernization and trade facilitation. Furthermore, in June 2016 Mr. Yang Qin was elected as the Vice Chairman of the Customs and Trade Facilitation Commission, China National Committee, ICC.

…Read an interview with Yang Qin

September 2016

Ranjit Kumar (PF ’12), Additional Director, Directorate General of Central Excise Intelligence, Ministry of Finance, India

Ranjit01Ranjit joined the Indian Revenue Service (Customs & Central Excise) as a career bureaucrat after receiving his degree of Bachelor of Technology in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, India in 1995. He held several positions as tax administrator before enrolling in the Public Finance Program at GRIPS in 2011. Upon his return to India, in addition to his position as Additional Director at Directorate General of Central Excise Intelligence, Ranjit became a member of the team responsible for designing the structure and draft law for the Goods and Services Tax which is to be implemented in 2017. Ranjit was conferred a Presidential Award – the highest award for Revenue Officials – on Republic Day of 2016 for his “Specially Distinguished Record of Service”.

…Read an interview with Ranjit Kumar

August 2016

Henry Kyeremeh (PP ’09), Economic Officer, Debt Management Division, Ministry of Finance, Ghana

Henry01Henry joined the Ministry of Finance after graduating from the University of Cape Coast with a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Economics in 2005. He has held several positions in the Ministry, mostly engaging in economic diplomacy and debt management. Henry was selected, from nearly 2000 candidates, for the Mandela Washington Fellowship 2016, the flagship program of US President Barack Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), launched in 2010. He participated in a 6-week program of intensive academic coursework and leadership training in the US, culminating in a Presidential Summit convened by President Obama on August 1-3, 2016.

…Read an interview with Henry Kyeremeh

July 2016

Kimio Wada (PP ’99), Vice Mayor, Tsurugashima City, Saitama Prefecture

Wada01 Kimio Wada started his career at the Saitama Prefectural Office in 1987. After spending about a decade with the prefectural government, he was selected for the masters program at GRIPS’ predecessor, the Graduate School of Policy Science, Saitama University from which he graduated in 1999. After graduating, he returned to the Prefectural Office where, among others, he was in charge of promoting decentralization as well as supporting the internationalization of Saitama Prefecture.

Kimio Wada was appointed as Vice-Mayor of Tsurugashima City in April this year.

…Read an interview with Kimio Wada

June 2016

Bounlouane Douangngeune (MA ’02; Ph.D. ’05), Director, Laos-Japan Human Resource Development Institute, Vientiane

Bounlouane01(s) After receiving his Bachelor of Applied Science majoring in horticultural technology from the University of Queensland, Australia in 1998, Bounlouane Douangngeune started his career in the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. He was awarded a 5-year JICA scholarship for undertaking a master’s and doctorate degree in International Development Studies at GRIPS, from September 2000. Upon his return to Laos, he joined the Laos-Japan Human Resource Development Institute as Deputy Director. Bounlouane was appointed Director of the Institute in February 2016.

…Read an interview with Bounlouane Douangngeune

May 2016

Tony Hell (PP ’03), Secretary General, Tonle Sap Authority, Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology, Cambodia

Tony01 Tony completed his Bachelor of Economic Analysis at the Faculty of Law and Economic Science in Cambodia in 1998. He worked for one year at a private bank before joining the Ministry of Planning where he was, among others, responsible for preparing the National Socio-Economic Development Plan (NSDP) and the public investment program. In 2007, Tony moved to the Tonle Sap Authority to become Director of the Planning and Cooperation. In 2013, he was promoted to Secretary General. Tony graduated with a Master of Public Policy degree from the Public Policy Program in 2003.

…Read an interview with Tony Hell

April 2016

Le Minh Hung (TE ’97), Governor, State Bank of Vietnam

LeMinhHung(1)Le Minh Hung, 46, is officially the youngest Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) in history, after his appointment on April 9, 2016. Vietnam lawmakers approved Le Minh Hung as the governor of the State Bank of Vietnam, a day after he was nominated by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc. Le Minh Hung is a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party. He spent most of his career in the State Bank of Vietnam but in 2014, he was transferred to become the deputy chief of the Communist Party administration office.

…Read more about Le Minh Hung

March 2016

Azman bin Mohd. Yusof (PP ’97), Deputy Secretary General (Strategic), Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development Malaysia

Azman01Azman bin Mohd. Yusof completed his Bachelor of Science (Hons.) in Public Administration at West Texas State University, United States and started his career at the University Malaya. Later, he joined the Prime Minister’s Department as the Assistant Secretary after completing his Diploma in Public Management (Hons) at the Institut Tadbiran Awam Negara (INTAN). Since completing his Master in Public Policy (MPP) at the Graduate School of Policy Science, Saitama University, Japan, Azman served in various capacities at different government agencies before he  joined the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development as the Deputy Secretary General (Strategic) in June 2015.

…Read an interview with Azmin bin Mohd. Yusof

February 2016

Tanavadee Khuvasanont (YLP ’09), Counsellor (Economic and Investment), Office of Economic and Investment Affairs, Royal Thai Embassy in Tokyo

Tanavadee01Tanavadee received a Bachelor of Engineering from Kasetsart University and went on to study Industrial and System Engineering at Virginia Tech, USA. She joined the Thailand Board of Investment (BOI) in 2006 where she worked as Investment Promotion Officer until she enrolled in the Young Leaders Program at GRIPS in October 2008. Since her graduation she has held several positions at the BOI headquarters in Bangkok before she was posted to the Office of Economic and Investment Affairs, at the Royal Thai Embassy in Tokyo, in March 2015. Tanavadee was awarded as “Outstanding Civil Servant” of the year 2014.

…Read an interview with Tanavadee Khuvasanont

January 2016

Nurbek Toichubaev (YLP ’03), Founder and CEO, Invivo LLP, Almaty, Kazakhstan

Nurbek01(s)After graduating from Kyrgyz State National University in Bishkek in 1997, Nurbek started his career at GosComInvest, the Kyrgyz State Commission on Foreign Investments and External Assistance. Prior to his enrolment in the Young Leaders Program in 2002 he worked for the President administration. After returning from Japan, he joined an internet company before moving to neighbouring Kazakhstan in 2007 to set up his own business, Invivo LLP, a medical laboratory company providing diagnostic testing services. The company has grown rapidly and currently employs over 3000 people. In his free time, Nurbek is very actively engaged in sports and he recently won the Bronze Medal at the World Paratriathlon Championship in Chicago, USA. It is his dream to participate in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.

…Read an interview with Nurbek Toichubaev

December 2015

Mauricio Reyes Gallardo (DMP ’13), Professor, Ocean Engineering School, Faculty of Engineering, University of Valparaiso, Chile

Mauricio01Mauricio studied civil engineering at Federico Santa María Technical University, in Valparaíso city. Following over a decade of experience in hydraulic and geotechnical engineering as project engineer and freelancer, he became a part-time professor at the University of Valparaíso. After obtaining a diploma in Maritime Engineering, and taking a master’s course in Geotechnical and Structural Engineering, he was appointed full-time professor at the Ocean Engineering School in 2009. Mauricio graduated from GRIPS/Building Research Institute with a Master in Disaster Management in 2013. He was selected to receive the Dean’s Award for his outstanding research and achievement in academic and other activities.

…Read an interview with Mauricio Reyes Gallardo

November 2015

Anwar Sanusi (PP ’98; PhD ’07), Secretary General, Ministry of Villages, Disadvantaged Regions and Transmigration, Republic of Indonesia

Anwar01In May 2015, Dr. Anwar Sanusi was inducted as Secretary General of the Ministry of Villages, Disadvantaged Regions and Transmigration, a newly established ministry that has a mandate to implement the Village Law No.6/2014. Implementing the law should give villages more autonomy and a significantly greater amount of development funds aimed to increase the community’s welfare and aid development in villages. Prior to his current appointment, Anwar worked for over two decades in various positions at the National Institute of Public Administration (NIPA), most recently as Director of the Center for Development Policy Analysts. Anwar graduated with and M.A. degree from GRIPS’ predecessor GSPS in 1998 and received his Ph.D. in Public Policy from GRIPS in 2007.

…Read an interview with Anwar Sanusi

October 2015

Md. Siddiqur Rahman (PP ’10), Upazila Nirbahi Officer (Chief Executive Officer), Upazila Nirbahi Office, Kishorganj, Nilphamari, Bangladesh

Siddiqur01After a short stint in the banking sector, Md. Siddiqur Rahman joined the Bangladesh Civil Service Cadre under Ministry of Public Administration in 2003. He was posted in several districts and upon his return from his studies in Japan in 2010 he joined the Bangladesh Public Administration Training Center ? the apex training center in Bangladesh. Since March 2014, he has been working as CEO in the Nilphamari District in northern Bangladesh where he is committed to help the poor and needy for which he was named Kaizen Role Model in 2014 by the International KAIZEN Convention on Improving Public Services through Total Quality Management, jointly organized by BPATC and JICA. Md. Siddiqur Rahman received his Bachelor of Social Science (BSS) and Master of Social Science (MSS) in Economics from the University of Dhaka, and a Master of Public Administration from GRIPS.

…Read an interview with Md. Siddiqur Rahman

September 2015

Trinh Thi Tam (PP ’03), Minister Counselor & Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam in Canberra
Upon her graduation from Hue University with a BA in Foreign Language Studies, Ms. Trinh Thi Tam joined the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1994. She started as a country desk-officer in the Department of Southeast Asia-South Asia and South Pacific and has gradually worked her way up in the Ministry. She served her first overseas posting as Second Secretary at the Vietnamese Embassy to South-Korea in 2005~08. In 2010 she was promoted to Deputy Director General and Ms. Tam has been posted as Minister-Counsellor & Deputy Chief of Mission at the Vietnamese Embassy in Canberra since 2014.

…Read an interview with Trinh Thi Tam

August 2015

Katsuya Kasai (IDS’11), Project Formulation Advisor, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Ghana Office

Dr. Katsuya Kasai is currently with the JICA Ghana Office as a project formulation adviser in charge of the promotion of public-private partnerships (PPP) and the analysis of macroeconomic conditions of Ghana. During his 17 years working experience for various companies and organizations he has engaged in a variety of international programs and projects. He holds a Ph.D. in Economics on top of three master’s degrees, in Carbon Finance, Development Economics, and Regional Planning. Building on his educational background along with his career experiences, he is hoping to make active contributions to the realization of sustainable development by combining environmental and social benefits into developmental activities in developing countries.

…Read an interview with Katsuya Kasai

July 2015

Ung Eang (IDS’03), Vice President (Secretary of State), Secretariat of National Counter-Terrorism Committee & Vice President, Cambodia Human Rights Committee

Eang01Ung Eang started his career in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation where he worked until coming to Japan in October 2001. After his graduation, Ung Eang was transferred to the Cambodia Human Rights Committee, under the Council of Ministers umbrella. He has recently been appointed as Vice President of Secretariat of National Counter-Terrorism Committee, with the rank of Secretary of State. His main areas of responsibility are training and capacity building, inter-agency coordination and international cooperation. Simultaneously, he has been appointed as Vice President of the Cambodia Human Rights Committee (CHRC).

…Read an interview with Ung Eang

June 2015

Wijeratne Bandara (PF ’02), Superintendent, Post Clearance Audit Branch, Sri Lanka Customs

Wije01Wijeratne Bandara (Wije) started his career as an Audit Examiner in the Department of Auditor General’s of the Sri Lanka Customs in 1987. After 24 years of service in various branches and divisions he was promoted to Superintendent of Customs. Since then he has been working at the Post Clearance Audit (PCA) Branch where he is responsible for the detection and investigation of customs related commercial fraud and errors in collecting revenue.

…Read an interview with Wijeratne Bandara


May 2015

Nestor A. Espenilla, Jr. (PP ’88), Deputy Governor, Supervision and Examination Sector, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas

NestorEspenilla(s)Mr. Nestor A. Espenilla, Jr. heads the Supervision and Examination Sector which oversees the supervision of banks and other non-bank financial institutions under the jurisdiction of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the Central Bank of the Philippines. He assumed said office in April 2005. He serves concurrently in various BSP high-level policy committees: Advisory Committee on Monetary Policy; Financial Stability Committee; Inclusive Finance Steering Committee; and Payment and Settlements Steering Committee. He is likewise BSP Representative to the Capital Markets Development Council and Alternate Board Member to the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation and alternate Vice Chair of the Agricultural Credit Policy Council.

…Read more about Nestor A. Espenilla, Jr.

April 2015

Megumi Muto (Ph.D. ’09), Deputy Director General, Southeast Asia and Pacific Department, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)

Megumi01As Deputy Director General of the Southeast Asia and Pacific Department of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Dr. Muto develops and manages the portfolio of JICA covering the Philippines and the Pacific Islands. She has led many innovative projects and programs in the area of development finance through her career in the Overseas Economic Cooperation Fund (OECF), Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and JICA. Her area of expertise ranges from infrastructure financing, impact evaluation to disaster risk finance.

…Read an interview with Megumi Muto

March 2015

Zaw Myo Khaing (DMP ’14), Assistant Forecaster, Department of Meteorology and Hydrology, Ministry of Transport, Myanmar

MyoKhaing01Zaw Myo Khaing entered the Department of Meteorology and Hydrology under the Ministry of Transport while he was in his first year at Dagon University, in 1995. He started his career as Junior Observer in Data Recording and Forecasting in the Hydrological Division. In 2002, he was posted to the communication section as Senior Observer where his job involved data processing and checking and maintenance of hydrological instruments. In 2009, he was transferred to the Research and Training Section where he is currently working as Assistant Forecaster.

…Read an interview with Zaw Myo Khaing

February 2015

Yoko Tsuge (IDS ’09), First Secretary for Public Affairs, Embassy of Japan in the United States

Yoko01Yoko Tsuge joined the diplomatic service in 1995 after her graduation from the University of Osaka for Foreign Studies with a major in Mongolian Language and Mongolian Area Studies. She was posted as Third Secretary to the Embassy of Japan in Mongolia from May 1998 till February 2000. Upon her return to Japan she worked as official at the MoFA in the China and Mongolia Division, the International Organised Crime Division, and the ODA Policy First Division respectively before being posted as First Secretary to the Embassy of Japan in Slovenia in October 2009. From there she moved to Yangon to become First Secretary at the Japanese Embassy in Myanmar in May 2012. Yoko has been posted as First Secretary for Public Affairs at the Japanese Embassy in Washington since September 2014.

…Read an interview with Yoko Tsuge

January 2015

Moinul Khan (PF ’03), Director General, Customs Intelligence and Investigation Directorate, Bangladesh Customs, Ministry of Finance

Moinul01Dr. Moinul Khan joined the Bangladesh Civil Service (Customs and VAT) under the Ministry of Finance in 1994. He worked in different capacities and was appointed as Director General of Customs Intelligence and Investigation Directorate of Bangladesh Customs, Ministry of Finance in August 2013. As CEO, he plans, directs and executes the policies regarding law enforcement on customs. Since his joining he has been very successful in leading the operations on anti-smuggling and illicit trafficking. Dr. Khan received a bachelor’s and master’s degree in International Relations from the University of Dhaka (1987 & ’88), an MBA from the University of Queensland (2001) and a Master of Public Finance from GRIPS (2003). Dr. Khan recently obtained his PhD from the Centre for Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism (PICT), Macquarie University, Australia.

…Read an interview with Moinul Khan

December 2014

Rudy Purba (PP ’01), Director – Development Projects, ANUedge, The Australian National University, Canberra

Rudy01Rudy Purba is Director of Development Projects at ANUedge, a consulting part of ANU Enterprise Pty Ltd, the commercial arm of the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra, Australia. His role is to lead the activity of building development projects in Asia-Pacific countries through ANUedge’s clients and network of ANU academics and associates. Before residing in Australia, from late 2007, Rudy worked with the Indonesian government, an industrial technology think tank and later established businesses with partners in Jakarta in the area of international trade and telecommunications. Rudy obtained his engineer’s degree and conducted research in the Netherlands in 1996 and he received his Master of Policy Analysis from GSPS/GRIPS in in 2001.

…Read an interview with Rudy Purba

November 2014

Oleg Smolyakov (TE ’01), Deputy Governor, National Bank of Kazakhstan

Oleg01Oleg Smokyakov was appointed Deputy Governor of the National Bank of Kazakhstan in September 2014. He started his career in the central bank in 1996 where he has held various positions including Director of the Financial Stability and Risk Management Department, Head of the Financial Stability Division as well as Principal Economist and Deputy Director of the Balance of Payments and Currency Regulation Department and Leading Economist in the Research and Statistics Department. Mr. Smolyakov majored in economics at the Kazakh State Academy for Management and completed the Transition Economy Program at GRIPS in 2001. In 2011, he graduated from Warwick Business School with an MSc in Finance and Economics.

…Read an interview with Oleg Smolyakov

October 2014

Cesar Polvorosa, Jr. (PP ’86), Professor, Humber School of Business, Ontario, Canada

Cesar01Graduating with a BA from the University of the Philippines in 1982, Cesar Polvorosa, Jr. joined the Central Bank of the Philippines as an Economist. He received his Master of Policy Science in 1986 from GRIPS’ predecessor GSPS. Cesar moved to Canada in 2004 and did doctoral studies in geography at York University. After graduation, he shifted full time to the academe and consulting work in Toronto. He is a consultant on business plans, publications, immigration and strategic planning. Over the years, he published several business and economics articles including book chapters. He is an occasional columnist for Interaksyon, the popular news website of Philippine TV channel TV5 writing on economic issues and developments relevant to the Philippines.

…Read an interview with Cesar Polvorosa, Jr.

September 2014

Mizanur Rahman (PP ’03; PhD ’08), Associate Professor, Department of Accounting & Information Systems (AIS), University of Dhaka

Mizan01Dr. Mizanur Rahman received his undergraduate and graduate degrees in accounting from the University of Dhaka. His professional engagements have included many consultancies with international organizations. Mizan has widely published in international journals and he often appears in electronic media and writes op-eds in print media on issues of public policy relevance. In January 2010, the Global Development Network (GDN) awarded Dr. Rahman the Luxembourg Ministry of Finance First Prize for his outstanding research on development under the theme of “Regional Integration–Convergence Big Time, or, an Opportunity Wasted.”

…Read an interview with Mizanur Rahman

August 2014

Edward Tenywa, (PP ’12), Head of Corporate Affairs, Communications Department, Bank of Uganda

Edward01Edward completed his undergraduate education at Makerere University majoring in Quantative Economics. He joined the Bank of Uganda in May 2004. He started in the Research Department but switched to the Communications Department in 2011. After obtaining his Masters degree in Public Policy from GRIPS in September 2012 he returned to the Bank of Uganda where he served as Head of the Economist Section until his appointment as Assistant Director & Head of Corporate Affairs, Communications Department in September 2013.

…Read an interview with Edward Tenywa

July 2014

Nguyen Duc Nhat, Vietnam (PP ’02), Chairman of the Board and Lead Researcher
VietSurvey Research and Analysis

Nhat01After graduating from the Hanoi Foreign Trade University in 1999, Nguyen Duc Nhat joined the Ministry of Trade. During his six years at the Ministry Nhat was involved in several high-level trade negotiations, including on the accession to the WTO. In 2005, he left the Ministry to become one of the founding members of Depocen, the first non-state research centre in Vietnam. Building upon prior experience Nhat established VietSurvey Research and Analysis in 2011 which has now become one of Vietnam’s leading independent research institutes on micro data and development studies. As Chairman of the Board and team leader of the governance team, Nhat has extensively designed and implemented high profile research on governance and integrity in Vietnam. Nhat is expected to receive his Ph.D. in Economics from the Université Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne in August 2014.

…Read an interview with Nguyen Duc Nhat

June 2014

Koji Fukuda, Japan (IDS ’07), Regional Programme Analyst, UN-REDD Programme Africa Unit, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP, Nairobi, Kenya)

Fukuda01Koji Fukuda graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from The University of Arizona in 2002. After gaining his first work experience as Environmental Education Officer under JICA’s Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers at the Marshall Islands, Koji enrolled in the IDS program at GRIPS in 2005. His program included a 5-month internship at ADB’s headquarters in Manila. Upon graduating from GRIPS, Koji briefly worked for a consulting firm before taking up a position as Policy Researcher in the Climate Change Group at the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) in 2008. In April 2013, he moved to Nairobi, Kenya, to start working for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as Regional Programme Specialist in the UN-REDD Programme.

…Read an interview with Koji Fukuda

May 2014

Hassan Soroosh (PP ’13), Counselor, Afghanistan Permanent Mission to the United Nations, Vienna

Soroosh01After graduating with a bachelors degree in political science, Soroosh was among the first young Afghans who joined the Interim Administration of Afghanistan following the collapse of the Taliban regime in late 2001. He started his career with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan in early 2002 and has since worked under different capacities both in Kabul and at various Afghan missions abroad. Soroosh graduated from the Public Policy Program at GRIPS in 2013 and is currently serving as Counselor at the Embassy and Permanent Mission of Afghanistan in Vienna.

…Read an interview with Hassan Soroosh

April 2014

Hannah Malloch (PP ’12), Senior Policy Analyst, New Zealand Customs

Hannah01Hannah completed her undergraduate education at the University of Canterbury and Victoria University of Wellington majoring in both Political Science and Gender and Women’s Studies. After finishing a successful internship with the Ministry of Social Development in October 2007, Hannah was offered a job as policy analyst in the Department of Labour where she began working in the field of border management and security. During her studies at GRIPS her focus area was on the role of governance institutions to foster global security. After obtaining her Masters degree in Public Policy in September 2012 she returned to Wellington and was appointed Senior Policy Analyst at New Zealand Customs.

…Read an interview with Hannah Malloch

March 2014

Aidar Zhexenbiyev, Kazakhstan (PP ’01), Corporate Secretary, KazMunaiGas Exploration & Production JSC

Aidar01Aidar started his career as attache of the Department of Bilateral Cooperation with the Russian Federation in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1999. He held various positions within MoFA – including a posting to the Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan in Japan – before taking up a position as lawyer in the National Company KazMunayGas JSC, Kazakhstan’s state-owned oil and gas company, in 2005. In 2010, Aidar moved to the Ministry of Oil and Gas where he was appointed as a Deputy Director. He has been working as Corporate Secretary of KazMunaiGas Exploration & Production JSC since August 2013.

…Read an interview with Aidar Zhexenbiyev

February 2014

Ashhad Jawwad, Pakistan (PF ’08), Secretary Customs Budget, Federal Board of Revenue, Government of Pakistan

2011 HHHumphrey Fellows Evans School UW (C)2011 KarenOrders.comAshhad Jawwad joined the civil service of Pakistan as a Customs Officer 17 years ago. Since then he has served at various middle and senior management levels in the Customs Department, both at the operational and policy levels. At middle management positions Ashhad has supervised customs clearance processing of commercial cargo at Karachi port. He also served in the Sales Tax field formation, which used to be a part of the Customs organization till 2008. After he got promoted to a Senior management position, Ashhad was posted at the policy headquarters of his organization where he has been working since 2009.

…Read an interview with Ashhad Jawwad

January 2014

Lujun Sun, China (TE’03), Director General, Capital Account Management Department, State Administration of Foreign Exchange, China

Mr. Lujun Sun started his career as official in charge of foreign exchange administration in Beijing in 1993. He was appointed Director-General of the Capital Account Management Department, State Administration of Foreign Exchange of China in August 2010. He is as such responsible for foreign exchange administration under capital account, researching and making policy on capital account convertibility of renminbi. Lujun Sun graduated with a Masters Degree in Economics from Renmin University of China in 1993. He completed his Masters in Public Policy at GRIPS in 2003.

…Read more about Lujun Sun

December 2013

Marcelo Echague Pastore, Paraguay (PP’13), Junior Professional Associate, The World Bank Group, Paraguay

Marcelo01Marcelo obtained his Bachelors in Economics degree from the National University of Asuncion. Eager to spread his wings, he took advantage of the opportunity to work for eight months as a Foreign Language Teacher in the city of Toulouse, France, appointed by the French Ministry of Education. At his graduation from GRIPS in 2013 he received the Dean’s Award for being the best graduate of the Two-year Master’s of Public Policy Program. Marcelo was also very active as a member of the International Student Council and in the organizing committee of the GRIPS Summer Program, among others. While still in Japan, Marcelo was offered a contract with the World Bank in Paraguay where he started working as Junior Professional Associate in September 2013.

…Read an interview with Marcelo Echague Pastore

November 2013

Rajesh Kumar Khullar, India (YLP ’03), Joint Secretary to the Government of India, Ministry of Finance, Department of Economic Affairs

Rajesh01Shri Rajesh Kumar Khullar has over 23 years of rich experience in the Indian Administrative Service. He currently serves as Joint Secretary to the Government of India in the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance where, among others, he has been closely involved with PPPs and infrastructure issues at the national level. Mr. Khullar has served on various positions in the Government. While he was posted as Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, Faridabad from July 2007 to June 2009, he was conferred an Award of Excellence under Jawahar Lal-Nehru Urban Renewal Mission by the Government of India for improving the city’s green transport mode and sustainable urban mobility.

…Read an interview with Rajesh Kumar Khullar

October 2013

Sok Sopheak, Cambodia (PP ’00), Director General, General Directorate of International Trade Ministry of Commerce

SokSopheak01H.E. Sok Sopheak has been Director-General of the General Directorate of International Trade, Ministry of Commerce of Cambodia since September 2007. He joined the Ministry of Commerce, as Assistant to the Director of the Foreign Trade Department in 1992. From October 1997 till July 2004 he served at the ASEAN and International Organizations Department, first as Deputy Director and from August 1999 as Director. He was appointed Deputy Director-General of the General Directorate of Trade in 2004, in charge of the ASEAN and International Organizations Department, and the CAMCONTROL Department. He was promoted to Director-General of the General Directorate of International Trade in September 2007 and is as such responsible for trade policy formulation and negotiations. Mr. Sok has been a key member of many high-level trade negotiations committees.

…Read more about Sok Sopheak

September 2013

Ayako Tamiya, Japan (IDS ’10), Senior Advisor, DFDL, Cambodia Office

Ayako01Ayako is currently a Senior Adviser at DFDL, an international law firm in Southeast Asia, and a member of the Banking and Finance group and Japan Desk which is responsible for supporting Japanese investors in Southeast Asia, especially the Mekong region. Prior to joining DFDL, she worked at the Ministry of Justice in Cambodia as a Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) expert for two years since 2011. She was seconded from a Japanese law firm, Atsumi & Sakai (Tokyo) to DFDL in May 2013 and started her new career. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Hokkaido University, Japan and a Master of International Development Studies from GRIPS. She is admitted to bar in Japan (Tokyo- Daiichi Bar Association) and a member of the International Legal Assistance Group.

…Read an interview with Ayako Tamiya

August 2013

Deborah Koh, Singapore (PP ’08), Centre Director, Chicago office, Singapore Economic Development Board

Deborah01Ms. Deborah Koh is Centre Director (based in Chicago, Illinois) for the Singapore Economic Development Board, and is responsible for working with Midwest-based multinationals and fast-growing companies to explore opportunities in the Asia-Pacific region. Prior to this position, she was part of the Consumer Businesses division, where she promoted and developed the Household and Personal Care industry in Singapore.

She holds a Bachelor of Science (graduated with Distinction) in Biology and Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a Master of Public Policy – graduated with Distinguished Academic Performance – from GRIPS.

…Read an interview with Deborah Koh

July 2013

Aye Thidar Myo, Myanmar (YLP ’10), First Secretary, Permanent Mission of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar to the Association of South East Asia Nations, Jakarta


Ms. Aya Thidar Myo is currently First Secretary of the Permanent Mission of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar to Association of South East Asia Nations in Jakarta. She joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1997 as a career diplomat and has held various positions within the Political and the International Organization and Economic Departments within the Ministry. From 2005 till ’08 she was posted at the Permanent Mission of Myanmar to the United Nations, New York. Ms Aya Thidar Myo holds a B.Sc. (Hons) in Chemistry from the Yangon University, Myanmar and a Masters of Public Administration from GRIPS.

…Read an interview with Aye Thidar Myo

June 2013

Hiroki Hayashi, Japan, (IDS ’04), Member of Parliament (Diet)


Hiroki Hayashi was elected as Diet member for “Minna no To” (Your Party) at the latest general elections in December 2012. After his graduation from the International Development Studies Program in March 2004, he started working at the Finance Department of Sony Corporation. After two years, an opportunity came up to become a TV newscaster and radio DJ and Hiroki spent the next six years working for several broadcasting companies in the Kanto region. Being born and raised in the Tohoku area, the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami was another turning point in his career that made him decide to go into politics and put his energy into the reconstruction and revitalization of the affected areas.

…Read an interview with Hiroki Hayashi

May 2013

Phongsamouth Anlavan, Laos, (YLP ’08), Counsellor, Embassy of Lao PDR in Kuala Lumpur

Until her recent posting as Counsellor at the Embassy of Laos in Kuala Lumpur, Mrs. Phongsamouth Anlavan served as Deputy Director General for the Economic Affairs Department in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Prior to that, she had held various positions within the same ministry focusing on economic affairs since 1999. In parallel to her established position within the Department of Economic Affairs, Mrs. Anlavan also served in the Ministry of Commerce as Chief of Division for Information and Public Relations in the Export Promotion Department from 1994 until 1999. Mrs. Anlavan holds a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration in Foreign Trade from the College of Foreign Trade in Budapest, Hungary and received her Masters Degree in Public Policy from GRIPS in 2008.

…Read an interview with Phongsamouth Anlavan

April 2013

Kento Ozaki, Japan (MP2 ’13), Consultant, Nippon Koei Co.

Kento has just started working at Nippon Koei, Japan’s leading consulting firm in the field of technical assistance to developing countries. As President of the International Student Council, Kento was very active with student activities and played an important role as a bridge between the Japanese and international students. During his studies at GRIPS Kento had the opportunity to participate in a number of international exchange programs, including at Tsinghua University in Beijing and the Korea Development Institute School in Seoul. He was also selected to take part in the Change Course Conference hosted by the Club of Rome in Switzerland and the North East Asian Youth Conference organised by the UNDP in Seoul.

…Read an interview with Kento Ozaki

March 2013

Boaz Nimpe, Burundi (PF ’01), Senior Advisor to Executive Director, African Development Bank, Central Africa Group

Since March 2008, Mr. Boaz Nimpe has been working at the African Development Bank in Tunis, Tunisia in the Office of the Executive Director representing the “Central Africa Group” in the Board of Directors.

Until his appointment at the African Development Bank, Boaz had more than 14 years experience in public policy formulation and tax administration within the Burundian Public Administration in various Departments of the Ministry of Finance.

…Read an interview with Boaz Nimpe

February 2013

Loo Took Gee, Malaysia (PP ’90), Secretary-General, Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water

Datuk Loo Took Gee was appointed the Secretary-General of the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water, Malaysia in August 2010. She has almost 34 years of experience in the civil service. Prior to her appointment as the Secretary-General, she was the Deputy Secretary-General (Energy) since April 2007. In her current capacity, she is responsible for the planning and formulation of policies for the energy, green technology and water sectors of Malaysia. She was also involved in the formulation of the National Renewable Energy Policy and Action Plan 2009 and the drafting of the Renewable Energy Act 2011 to enhance the role of Renewable Energy towards energy security in Malaysia.

…Read more about Loo Took Gee

January 2013

Reiko Hayashi, Japan (Ph.D. ’07), Director International Research and Cooperation Department, National Institute of Population and Social Security Research

Reiko Hayashi graduated from the University of Tokyo with a Masters degree in Health Sciences (’90) and a Bachelors degree in Architecture (’92). After working for some years at Kimura Structural Engineers in Tokyo, she set up Linz co. ltd. in 1996, a company dealing with consulting in health care, population, architecture and urban planning, through which she participated in a number of of ODA projects, especially in African countries. In 2002, she started her doctoral research at GRIPS on historical global urban population trends for which she received her Ph.D. in 2007. Reiko went back to Senegal where she worked a few more years before assuming her current position in April 2012.

…Read an interview with Reiko Hayashi

December 2012

Chibwe Chisala, Zambia (IDS ’08), First Secretary (Economic and Trade), Embassy of the Republic of Zambia in Paris

As a Senior Economist, his main role entailed supervising the development and implementation of industrial policies and programs in order to stimulate sustainable growth and development of Zambia’s industrial sector. In addition, Chibwe has been involved in negotiating trade and investment agreements at bilateral, regional and multilateral levels. In Paris he continues to work in the same area and is now responsible for research, analyzing, monitoring and evaluating economic trends so as to provide information to be used in policy formulation and decision making by the Zambian Government.

…Read an interview with Chibwe Chisala

November 2012

Roman Hvezda, Czech Republic (YLP ’06), Executive Manager, ELI Beamlines Project, Institute of Physics, Academy of Science of the Czech Republic

The Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI) Project is a new pan-European scientific infrastructure in lasers’ field. ELI-Beamlines, located in the Czech Republic, is on of the three pillars of the ELI Project and will focus on creating a new generation of secondary sources for interdisciplinary applications in physics, medicine, biology and material sciences. As Executive Manager of the ELI-Beamlines, Roman Hvezda is responsible for the overall planning, risk management, financial and human resources, procurement, and the construction of the research campus.

…Read an interview with Roman Hvezda

October 2012

Sonam Karma Tshering, Bhutan (PF ’05), Secretary General, Bhutan Olympic Committee

Until his appointment as Secretary General of the Bhutan Olympic Committee, Sonam had more than 10 years experience in tax policy and administration. Until his current appointment, he was most recently engaged at the Royal Education Council as an associate director, and before that as project manager. Sonam’s considerable experience in legal and public policy formulation will certainly help him with the reforming and strengthening the Olympic sports sector in Bhutan. Sonam has a BA in economics from the Madras Christian College, a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Delhi and an MA in Public Finance from GRIPS.

…Read an interview with Sonam Karma Tshering

September 2012

Joanna Dopierala-Konkolowicz, Poland (YLP ’04), First Counsellor, Head of Economic Section, Embassy of the Republic of Poland to Japan

Joanna started her professional career in the Ministry of Finance, Department of International Economic Integration. In 2002 she was seconded by the Ministry as a consultant to the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris. After her graduation from GRIPS, Joanna returned to the Ministry of Finance and from April 2006 she worked as a Head of Unit for Support of Integration Processes in the Department of the European Union. A year later, she joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a counsellor, Head of Economic Section of the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Tokyo. In 2012 she was promoted to the position of first counsellor.

…Read an interview with Joanna Dopierala-Konkolowicz

August 2012

Shukhrat Kayumov, Uzbekistan (YLP ’08), Deputy-Minister, Ministry of Higher and Secondary Special Education

In May 2012, Shukhrat was appointed Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Higher and Secondary Special Education. From an early age, Shukhrat was interested in math and science and his enrollment into a lyceum specialized in math and physics paved the way for his career in science and higher education. He earned degrees in Science, in Economics, in Public Administration, and in 2002 he received a Ph.D. degree for his research on “modeling and optimisation of operation modes of pumping stations” from Tashkent State Technical University.

…Read more about Shukhrat Kayumov

July 2012

Salamat Kussainova, Kazakhstan (YLP ’06), Director, Corporate Governance Department National Holding Company “Samruk-Kazyna”

Salamat received a bachelor’s degree from Astana’s Eurasian University in 1999 and a master’s degree from the Young Leaders Program at GRIPS in 2006. She started her career in 1999 with the Committee of State Property and Privatization of the Ministry of Finance. After her return from Japan in 2006, Salamat joined the Strategy and Corporate Governance Department of the state-owned National Holding Company “Samruk”. In 2009 she moved to the World Bank Country Office in Kazakhstan, where she worked as a public sector reform consultant. She was in charge of coordinating public sector projects in Kazakhstan and was involved in projects in Europe and Central Asia region. From February 2012 Salamat is working as Director of Corporate Governance Department in the Sovereign Wealth Fund “Samruk-Kazyna

…Read an interview with Salamat Kussainova

June 2012

Prakash Kumar, India (PF ’97), Director, Public Sector, Cisco Systems India, Internet Business Solutions Group

Prakash heads Public Sector vertical of Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG), the strategic consulting arm of Cisco Systems since September 2008. A consistent theme of Prakash’s professional experience has been public policy and management. Prior to joining Cisco, he was a member of Indian Administrative Service (IAS) for 23 years. As such he worked in various capacities with State Governments and the federal government in India. He worked as General Manager of Delhi State Industrial Development Corporation, Chairman-cum-Managing Director of Andaman & Nicobar Islands Integrated Development Corporation, Additional Commissioner sales Tax and Secretary to Government of a State looking after IT and Technical Education. Proficient in analysis of information needs of organizations and design of IT Projects. He had opportunity to handle large IT projects in the government and initiate administrative reforms programs.

…Read an interview with Prakash Kumar

May 2012

Heru Subiyantoro, Indonesia (PP ’88), Secretary, Directorate General of Fiscal Balance, Ministry of Finance

Heru Subiyantoro is the Secretary of the Directorate General of Fiscal Balance in the Ministry of Finance of Indonesia. He is also a lecturer at the School of Graduate Studies at the University of Indonesia. Mr. Subiyantoro obtained his Master’s degree in Economics from University of Indonesia in 1983 and joined the Ministry of Finance shortly after that. In 1986 he got the opportunity to study in Japan with a MEXT scholarship and he received his Master of Policy Science from GRIPS’ predecessor in 1988. He returned to MOF but hungry for more he took another study leave and returned to Japan to pursue his PhD, specializing in finance, at Nanzan University in Nagoya from which he obtained a Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration in 1998.

…Read an interview with Heru Subiyantoro

April 2012

Susan Bultitude, Australia (YLP ’06), Advisor to the Executive Director, International Monetary Fund, Washington D.C.

After completing degrees in Economics and Commerce at the Australian National University Susan joined the Australian Treasury in 2002. In 2005, Susan came to GRIPS to pursue further studies under the Young Leaders Program from which she graduated with a Master of Public Policy in September 2006. After her return to the Australian Treasury she was soon hard at work to deal with the global financial crisis.

In June 2010 Susan started a posting to the International Monetary Fund in Washington D.C. as an advisor to the Executive Director representing 15 countries, including Australia. The issues she looks after range from commenting on economic assessments of individual fund members, to looking at global macroeconomic surveillance, to policy issues relating to the composition and governance of the Fund.

…Read an interview with Susan Bultitude

March 2012

Mukhtar Paras Shah, Pakistan (YLP ’11), Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Human Resource Development

Mukhtar joined civil service after qualifying the Central Superior Services Examination in 2001 and has since served in various capacities in national and international assignments. One of his key postings has been in the Ministry of Economic Affairs (2004) where he served as the Economic Policy Officer looking after matters pertaining to International Financial Institutions. As such he was responsible for developing the country strategy for development projects worth $1.4 billion. As the Director, Planning and Strategy Development in National Vocational and Technical Education in Pakistan (2009), he proudly contributed to the development of the National Skills Strategy focusing on the 100 million young population and the same is now under implementation. Presently Mukhtar is working as Deputy Secretary in the Government of Pakistan.

…Read an interview with Mukhtar Paras Shah

February 2012

Angela Carabas, Romania, (YLP ’06); General Director, Treasury and Public Debt Department, Ministry of Public Finance & Alternate Board Member European Investment Bank

Angela01Angela Carabas has worked more than eight years in the Ministry of Finance, being involved in drafting documents, legislation and positions related to public debt issues, relations with international financial institutions and with the banking sector. Recently she was part of the technical team discussing the IMF/ EU/ WB external financing packages for Romania. Since January 2010 she is general director of the treasury and public debt department, as well as alternate Board member with the European Investment Bank. Angela is fluent in English and French, and intermediate in Italian and Spanish. She is married and has two sons.

…Read an interview with Angela Carabas

January 2012

Sakihito Ozawa, Japan (PP ’81); Member of the House of Representatives (Diet) & former Environment Minister

Ozawa01Sakihito Ozawa is the first Japanese GRIPS alumnus to become a member of parliament and to have served as Cabinet Minister. Mr. Ozawa has served in numerous key positions in the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), including vice secretary general, economy, trade and industry minister in the shadow Cabinet and chairman of the national rallying and canvassing committee. In the Diet he headed the environmental committee and was a member of the financial affairs committee. He was the Environment Minister in 2009/10 in the Hatoyama Cabinet. First elected to the Lower House as member of the Japan New Party in 1993, Ozawa joined the DPJ three years later. Before launching his political career, he worked at the Bank of Tokyo before heading the policymaking group for LDP Diet members for 10 years, specializing in economic policy.

…Read an interview with Sakihito Ozawa

December 2011

Bojan Petrovski, Macedonia (PP ’09); Head of International Office, Tokyo, Agency for Foreign Investment of Macedonia

Bojan05Bojan has been heading the Tokyo International Office of the Agency for Foreign Investment of Macedonia since October 2009. Over the past two years he met with more than 100 Japanese companies’ executives to promote Macedonia as an investment destination and has successfully negotiated some major deals. In addition, Bojan is preparing the ground to establish Macedonia’s first embassy in Tokyo. He recently talked about this mission to the Japan Times and the article can be read here. Prior to coming to Japan, Bojan worked as a consultant in the European Commissions’s Human Resource Development Fund operating under the auspices of the Ministry of Economy. He was also engaged in the World Bank’s Social Protection Implementation Project executed within the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy.

…Read an interview with Bojan Petrovski

November 2011

Ma. Cyd Tuaño-Amador, Philippines (PP ’88); Assistant Governor, MPSS, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas

Amador01As Assistant Governor, Dr. Ma. Cyd Tuaño-Amador heads the Monetary Policy Sub-Sector (MPSS) of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the central bank of the Republic of the Philippines. The MPSS oversees the operations and functions of four core Departments in the BSP, namely, the Department of Economic Research (DER), the Department of Economic Statistics (DES), the Center for Monetary and Financial Policy (CMFP), and the Economic and Financial Learning Center (EFLC). She is a member of the Advisory Committee that recommends the monetary policy stance of the Monetary Board of the BSP. She also represents the Bank in various international and regional meetings as well as in various local inter-agency committees.

…Read more about Ma. Cyd Tuaño-Amador

October 2011

Raphael Owino Otieno, Kenya (PP ’02); Director, Debt Management Programme, Macroeconomic and Financial Management Institute of Eastern and Southern Africa (MEFMI)

Otieno01Raphael O. Otieno is currently the Director of Debt Management Programme at Macroeconomic and Financial Management Institute of Eastern and Southern Africa (MEFMI), a 13 member country capacity building organisation based in Harare, Zimbabwe. He received his M.A. in Public Policy from GRIPS in 2002 and a B.A. Economics (Hons) from the University of Nairobi, Kenya. Otieno has vast experience in public finance and macroeconomic analysis. He has held various senior positions in Kenya’s public service including working as an Economist in Kenya’s Ministries of Finance and Planning, Policy Analyst at the Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis (KIPPRA), and Senior Research Officer/Economist at the Central Bank of Kenya. His experience on Public Debt management issues spans more than 16 years. He is married and has three children.

…Read an interview with Raphael Owino Otieno

September 2011

Melis Mambetjanov, Kyrgyz Republic (’01); Minister of Finance of the Kyrgyz Republic

Melis01From 1997 until his enrollment in GRIPS’ forerunner, the Graduate School of Policy Science (GSPS) in 1999, Melis Mambetjanov was Assistant Secretary of the Kyrgyz Republic Minister of Finance. Mr. Mambetjanov enrolled in the Development Studies Program in 1999 and was part of the last batch of graduates from the Graduate School of Policy Science at Saitama University. After graduating from GSPS in 2001, Melis returned to the Ministry of Finance in his homeland where he held several positions before becoming the Minister of Finance of the Kyrgyz Republic in February 2011. Melis also serves as Governor for the Kyrgyz Republic of The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

…Read more about Melis Mambetjanov

August 2011

Krishna Bahadur Raut, Nepal (PP ’09); Joint Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Transport Management & Executive Director of Social Security Fund

Krishna01Krishna Bahadur Raut was appointed Joint Secretary at the National Planning Commission Secretariat in February 2011. He is the youngest person ever to have been promoted to the rank of Joint-Secretary in Nepal’s Civil Service. He has been given the challenging task of running the recently established Social Security Fund as Executive Director and is responsible for designing and implementing the country’s social security programs. Krisha graduated from the Public Policy Program at GRIPS in 2009. Upon his return to Nepal, he was posted at the Ministry of Physical Planning and Works. Krishna begun his professional career in 2003 when he entered the Ministry of General Administration. After just a few months he was shifted to the National Planning Commission Secretariat where he worked as Planning Officer until he was granted study leave to pursue his Master’s degree at GRIPS from October 2008.

…Read an interview with Krishna Bahadur Raut

July 2011

Nguyen Duc Thanh, Vietnam (Ph.D. ’08); Director, Vietnam Centre for Economic and Policy Research (VEPR), University of Economics and Business, Vietnam National University, Hanoi

Thanh01Dr. Nguyen Duc Thanh earned his PhD. in Development Economics from GRIPS in 2008. He has been teaching macroeconomics at leading universities in Vietnam. He was a senior researcher in the Policy Advisory Group at the Ministry of Finance from March 2007 to September 2008. In July 2008, he co-founded the Vietnam Centre for Economic and Policy Research (VEPR) at the University of Economics and Business, Vietnam National University, Hanoi, and has been acting as VEPR’s Director and Chief Economist since then. Dr. Thanh is a member of several advisory committees. He was recently invited to join the Macroeconomic Advisory Group for the Economic Committee, Vietnam National Assembly. Dr. Thanh publishes extensively in academic journals and is actively involved in the country’s policy debates. He is the founder and chief editor of the influential Vietnam Annual Economic Reports. The Reports – published annually since 2009 – are widely recognized in the economic research and policy making profession.

…Read an interview with Nguyen Duc Thanh

June 2011

Muhammad Aamer, Pakistan (PF ’05); Commercial Counsellor, Consulate General of Pakistan, New York, USA

Aamer01aMuhammad Aamer was appointed as Commercial Counsellor in the Consulate General of Pakistan, New York in September 2007. He is dedicated to promote trade between Pakistan and the United States of America in 14 U.S. States mainly on the East Coast. Aamer is a distinguished officer of the Federal Board of Revenue working under the Ministry of Finance, Pakistan and has served as Customs, Central Excise and Sales Tax Officer at number of assignments in Pakistan since 1995. He also served as a liaison officer with the World Customs Organizations, World Trade Organization and has dealt with a host of trade agreements between Pakistan and other trading partners. Aamer graduated with a B.Sc. in Civil Engineering from the University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore in 1992. He also received a Bachelor of Arts and Diploma in International Affairs from Punjab University, Lahore and, finally, a Masters in Public Finance from GRIPS in 2005.

…Read an interview with Muhammad Aamer

May 2011

Rika Yorozu, Japan (IDS ’03); Programme Specialist, UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL), Hamburg, Germany

Rika01MAfter graduating with a BA from Tokyo’s International Christian University in 1991, Rika’s first job was at an NGO in Japan called Asia-Pacific Cultural Centre for UNESCO (ACCU) where she was dealing with the implementation of regional literacy collaboration programmes in Asia-Pacific. In 1999, she moved to Bangkok to work for UNESCO Regional Bureau for Education as an associate expert on the development of regional resource books on literacy and non-formal education. After two years Rika returned to Japan and, eager to further advance her career, enrolled in the IDS program at GRIPS in 2001.Rika has been with UNESCO’s Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL), a non-profit, policy-driven, international research, training, information, documentation and publishing centre of UNESCO located in Hamburg, Germany, since her graduation from GRIPS in 2003. In her current capacity as programme specialist, Rika is dealing with policy research, advocacy and capacity building of education policy makers. She is responsible for coordinating the Institute’s activities for Africa and is officer for literacy programmes in Asian and African countries.

…Read an interview with Rika Yorozu

April 2011

Mohammed Sabir Yousafzai, Afghanistan (PP ’10); National Policy Advisor, Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock

Sabir01Mohammed Sabir Yousafzai was appointed Policy Advisor at the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) shortly after his return from Japan in the fall of 2010. Sabir begun his professional career in 2006, after receiving his BA in Economics from Kabul University. After his graduation, he started working as a Senior Examiner in the Financial Supervision Department of the Da Afghanistan Bank, the Central Bank of Afghanistan. After one year, he was hired to work as Consultant at UNICEF Afghanistan for six months and in October 2007 he moved on to become the Internship Coordinator at the development agency DAI/USAID’s Afghanistan Small & Medium Enterprise Development Project. His major achievements there include the establishment of a large scale and highly successful internship program for university students – the first of its kind in Afghanistan – and the introduction of a business mentorship program, linking young entrepreneurs with successful business executives. He subsequently worked for one year as Capacity Building Specialist in the same organization until he departed for Japan to pursue his studies at GRIPS from October 2009.

…Read an interview with Mohammed Sabir Yousafzai

March 2011

Ahmad Rozian Abd. Ghani, Malaysia (YLP ’04); Minister Counsellor/Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Malaysia, Tokyo

Rozian01Rozian Ghani is about to finish his four-year posting at the Embassy of Malaysia in Tokyo. In the interview Rozian looks back at his experience here and how his studies at GRIPS has helped him understand and strengthen the bilateral relations between Malaysia and Japan. Rozian received a Bachelor of Law (Honours) degree from the National University of Malaysia in 1992. After a brief stint as legal consultant at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Rozian joined the Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1994. He has been working mostly on bilateral issues, first as Assistant Secretary at the MOFA headquarters in the Kuala Lumpur and then at his posts at the Embassy of Malaysia in Budapest (1998-2001) and Algiers (2001-2002). Shortly after returning to Malaysia, Rozian applied and was accepted into the GRIPS Young Leaders Program and he completed his Master in Public Policy in 2004. Upon his return to Kuala Lumpur, Rozian worked for two and a half years as a Special Officer to the Secretary General at MOFA before being posted as Counsellor at the Embassy in Tokyo in 2007. He was promoted to Minister Counsellor in 2009 and is currently also Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy. He is responsible for reporting and covering both political and economic aspects of the bilateral relationship with Japan. In his free time, Rozian likes to go out and explore Japan. And, being a fervent runner, he has participated no less than three times in the Tokyo Marathon, including the most recent 2011 one, held in February this year.

…Read an interview with Ahmad Rozian Abd. Ghani

February 2011

Brian C. Gozun, Philippines (PP ’00; Ph.D. ’08); Dean, College of Business, De la Salle University, Manila

Brian01Brian graduated with a Master of Arts from the School of Urban and Regional Planning, University of the Philippines Diliman in 1999 and received his Master in Policy Analysis degree from GRIPS’ predecessor the Graduate School of Policy Science (GSPS) in 2000. After returning home, he worked for some time as instructor at he University of the Philippines. Brian returned to Japan in 2003 to enroll in the Ph.D. program at GRIPS. Under the guidance of Dean Prof. Tatsuo Oyama, Brian specialized in Operations Research and successfully defended his dissertation, entitled “Applying Systems Analysis Approaches for Measuring the Robustness” in July 2008. Brian initially returned to the Unback in the Philippines, Brian soon moved to the Holy Angel University where he was appointed Associate Professor, and became Dean of the Graduate School of Business in June 2009. In March 2010, Brian was on the move again and became Dean of the College of Business at De La Salle University in Manila with a mission to strengthen the international reputation of the college.

…Read an interview with Brian C. Gozun

January 2011

Shavkat Inamov, Uzbekistan (YLP ’04); Joint Chief Executive Officer, Uzbekinvest International InsuranceCompany Ltd (UIIC) and Chartis Uzbekinvest Ltd, London

Shavkat01Shavkat Inamov has been serving as Joint Chief Executive of Uzbekinvest International Insurance Company Limited (UIIC) and Chartis Uzbekinvest Limited since September 2008. The companies are based in London and deal with promoting new foreign investment in infrastructure, natural resource development and industrial production in Uzbekistan by providing political risk insurance to foreign investors. Prior to moving to London, Shavkat gained experience in the management of financial services and insurance operations at Uzbekinvest in Tashkent where he worked for three and a half years, first as General Manager of the Export Credits and Investments Insurance Department and later as First Deputy Director General. Shavkat earned a diploma in Economics from Tashkent State University in 1995 and spent much of the early days of his career in various capacities at the Geology Development Commercial Bank and the National Bank for Foreign Economic Activity. He moved to the Cabinet of Ministers in 2002 where he worked as Chief Officer of the Department of External Economic Relations and Foreign Investments until he came to GRIPS and enrolled in the Young Leaders Program in October 2003.

…Read an interview with Shavkat Inamov

December 2010

Ondrej Matl, Czech Republic (YLP ’02); Advisor to Czech Republic’s Member of European Parliament

Ondrej01Ondrej Matl (1977) is devoted to the modernization of public services. He currently works as an advisor in the European Parliament and consultant on European affairs in Union of Towns and Municipalities Czech Republic. He also carries out academic activities at the Faculty of Humanities and Faculty of Social Sciences of Charles University. Previously he worked in management positions at the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and the Ministry of Interior, where he participated in the reform of social services and pursued strategy for modernization of public services. He also was a governmental appointee on health care finance reform in the Czech Republic. Ondrej was part of the very first batch of the GRIPS Young Leaders Program from which he graduated in 2002. Upon returning to Europe he moved to London to study postgraduate courses of European Social Policy at the London School of Economics. He graduated in engineering studies at the University of Economics in Prague, specializing on public finance and insurance mathematics. Ondrej Matl likes skiing, travelling and music. He is married and lives in Prague, Czech Republic.

…Read an interview with Ondrej Matl

November 2010

Saysamone Chanthachack, Laos (PP ’98); Deputy Secretary-General, Securities and Exchange Commission of the Lao PDR (SECO), Bank of the Lao PDR

Saysamone01Ms. Saysamone Chanthachack was appointed as Deputy Secretary-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SECO) of Lao PDR in early 2010. The SECO was established under the umbrella of the Bank of Lao PDR in late 2009 and is the supervising authority for the securities market. Laos, one of the world’s few remaining communist countries is about to take a great leap into the global capitalist marketplace with the recent launch, on 10-10-10, of a stock exchange. Ms Chanthachack joined the Bank of Lao PDR in 1993, immediately after she graduated with a Master of Economics degree from the Russian Kuban State University. She spent the first seven years of her career working at the Monetary Policy Department of the Bank. In 1997, she was selected to pursue further studies at GRIPS’ predecessor, the Graduate School of Policy Science (GSPS) at Saitama University from which she graduated with a Master of Public Policy degree in 1998.

…Read more about Saysamone Chanthachack

October 2010

Pavin Chachavalpongpun, Thailand (PP ’97); Lead Researcher, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Regional Strategic and Political Studies, and ASEAN Studies Centre, Singapore

Pavin01Dr. Pavin Chachavalpongpun is currently the Lead Researcher for Political and Strategic Affairs of the ASEAN Studies Centre at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS), Singapore. Before joining ISEAS, he served in the Thai Foreign Service in various capacities for 16 years, most recently at the Royal Thai Embassy in Singapore. While working for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Pavin was granted study leave and came to Japan in 1995. He received his Master of Public Policy from GRIPS’ predecessor, the Graduate School of Policy Science (GSPS) in Saitama in 1997. Upon graduation from GSPS, Pavin moved to the United Kingdom to pursue further studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. He obtained his Ph.D. from SOAS in 2002 with a dissertation on Thai-Burmese relations. Pavin has written widely on Thai politics, foreign policy and international relations, among others, in journals and newspapers. He is the author of A Plastic Nation: The Curse of Thainess in Thai-Burmese Relations (2005), and Reinventing Thailand: Thaksin Shinawatra and His Foreign Policy (ISEAS, 2010). Pavin has also written extensively on Myanmar issues and co-authored “Myanmar: Life After Nargis” (ISEAS, 2009).

…Read an interview with Pavin Chachavalpongpun

September 2010

John Akoten, Kenya (Ph.D. ’05); Deputy Director for Research, Awareness & Preventive Services, Anti-Counterfeit Agency, Ministry of Industrialization

John01Dr. John Akoten is a Deputy Director for Research, Awareness & Preventive Services at the Anti-Counterfeit Agency, a parastatal body within the Kenyan Ministry of Industrialization. In his current role he assists in the implementation of the vision and mission, and prepares strategic plans of the Agency. Until April ’10, Dr. Akoten was Ag. Executive Director of the Institute of Policy Analysis and Research (IPAR), an independent, non-profit organization established in 1994 that aims to strengthen the national capacity to develop, implement, and evaluate public policy in Kenya. The Institute conducts policy analysis and research and shares the result with the government of Kenya, development partners, the private sector, and civil society. John Akoten holds a BSc. (Hons) in Horticulture from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology. Upon the successful completion of the master’s program in International Development Studies (IDS) at GRIPS in 2001, John proceeded to the Ph.D. program and received his Doctoral degree in International Development Studies in 2005.

…Read an interview with John Akoten

August 2010

Abhai Kumar Srivastav, India (PF ’01); Additional Commissioner, Gujarat Customs Zone

Abhai01Abhai Kumar Srivastav was appointed as Additional Commissioner, Gujarat Customs Zone in April 2007. He is responsible for overall administration of ten customs assessment formations in Gujarat state spanning over 18 districts, including an International Airport and Air Cargo Complex. His main challenges are (i) collection of intelligence and execution thereof to unearth commercial frauds, and (ii) coastal & border security. He was deputed by the Indian Government to Republic Democratic Federal of Ethiopia in June-July 2009 for providing technical assistance to Ethiopian Revenue and Customs Authority (ERCA). On 16th November, 2004, he was appointed as Deputy Secretary, by the Minister in the Finance Ministry, New Delhi; wherein he was responsible for formulation and implementation of Indirect Tax Policy and Budget. He also looked after the task of Coordinator for the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Technical Assistance Project 4263 – Capacity Building for Tax Administration- from June 2005 to July 2007. Prior to that, he worked for two years as Joint Director in Customs Valuation Directorate, Mumbai, wherein he conceptualized and administered various IT projects that helped in increasing transparency and efficiency of Indian Customs. He has represented India at various seminars and workshops organized by international organizations.

…Read an interview with Abhai Kumar Srivastav

July 2010

Lukman Hakim, Indonesia (PP ’86); Chairman, Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI)

Lukman01On June 14, 2010, Prof. Dr. Lukman Hakim was appointed as chief of the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), the preeminent science and research institution in Indonesia that directly reports to the President of the Republic of Indonesia. Dr. Hakim first graduated from the Department of Pharmacy of the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Indonesia in 1979. He joined LIPI in 1980 as a researcher and has gradually worked his way up in the Institute. He was Assistant to the Deputy Chairman of Technology when he first came to Japan and enrolled in GSPS in 1984. Upon his graduation in 1986 with a Masters degree in Policy Science, Lukman had developed strong linkages with Japan and the Japanese Science and Technology community. He decided to pursue his doctoral studies in Japan and enrolled in he University of Tokyo from which he received a Ph.D. in General Systems Studies in 1994.

…Read more about Lukman Hakim

June 2010

Zhu Hong, China (TE ’01); Deputy Director General, Department of International Trade and Economic Affairs, Ministry of Commerce

John01Mr. Zhu Hong joined the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) in 1983 after he graduated from Nanjing University of China. He dealt with the import planning issues for about nine years and was appointed as Consulate General of China in New York as a commercial consul from 1993 to 1996. Upon his return to China he rejoined MOFCOM and was appointed as deputy director and director respectively in charge of trade statistics issues. He enrolled in GRIPS in 2000 and obtained a Master in Policy Science degree in 2001. He also received a Master of World Economy from Renmin University of China. Zhu Hong currently serves as Deputy Director General in charge of Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations and Multilateral Cooperation in the Department of International Trade and Economic Affairs of MOFCOM.

…Read an interview with Zhu Hong

May 2010

Fabian Bigar, Malaysia (PP ’02); Associate Director, Performance Management and Delivery Unit (PEMANDU), Prime Minister’s Department

Fabian01Fabian Bigar was born in Brunei Darussalam and received his primary and secondary education in Sarawak, Malaysia. He ventured out to the US to study at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland Ohio from which he received a Bsc in Biology in 1994. Upon returning to Malaysia, Fabian joined the Ministry of Health where he has served in various positions, including finance, policy, and international relations. While working at the Ministry of Health, Fabian studied at the National Institute for Public Administration in Kuala Lumpur and received a diploma in Public Management in 1997. Still eager to expand his knowledge and enrich his experience, Fabian applied for GRIPS and was selected for a scholarship from the Japanese Ministry of Education (Monbukagakusho) and accepted into the Public Policy Program. He graduated in 2002 with a Master of Public Policy. Until becoming Associate Director at Performance Management and Delivery Unit (PEMANDU) in January 2010, Fabian was Senior Principal Assistant Secretary (Policy) at the Health Ministry and also Special M-KPI officer to the Minister of Health.

…Read an interview with Fabian Bigar

April 2010

Waruna Sri Dhanapala, Sri Lanka (IDS ’07); Assistant Secretary to the President, Office of the President

Waruna01Waruna Sri Dhanapala (37) obtained his Bachelors Degree in Science (Geology Special with Computer Science) in 1998 from the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. He joined the Sri Lanka Administrative Service (SLAS) in 2000 after doing a few temporary jobs in the private sector and the government. He was appointed as an Assistant Secretary to the President in 2001 in the Policy Research & Information Unit of the Presidential Secretariat after the SLAS induction training and is serving at the same capacity in the Secretary’s Bureau up to date. He also serves as a Director of the National Administrative Reforms Council (NARC) and a Government’s Representative of the Country Operating Committee for Japanese Grant Aid for Human Resource Development (JDS) Scholarship Program since its inception in Sri Lanka in 2009. During his career, he obtained a Masters Degree in Public Administration from the Postgraduate Institute of management (PIM), Colombo. Under a JICA scholarship, he joined GRIPS in 2005 to read for Masters in International Development Studies (IDS) under the FASID-GRIPS joint graduate program. He represented Sri Lanka in several overseas delegations including the first ICT Committee Meeting of the United Nations’ Economics and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN-ESCAP), held in Bangkok in 2008 and the First Meeting of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Cabinet Secretaries (October, 2009). Waruna’s areas of professional interest are e-Government, International Relations, Public Administration and Good Governance, Human Resources Development (especially through ICT and language skills). He is married to Wasantha – a schoolteacher in Physics – and is a father of two sons.

…Read an interview with Waruna Sri Dhanapala

March 2010

Giang Thanh Long, Vietnam (Ph.D. ’08); Director of the Center for Economic Analysis, Forecasting, Training, and Sustainable Development, Faculty of Economics, National Economics University (NEU), Hanoi

Long01Dr. Giang Thanh Long is Director of the Center for Economic Analysis, Forecasting, Training, and Sustainable Development at the Faculty of Economics, National Economics University (NEU), Hanoi, Vietnam. He is also a researcher at the Vietnam Development Forum (VDF) and Indochina Research and Consulting Ltd., (IRC), in charge of social protection studies. His main research interests include social security pensions, the economics of aging, and simulation of anti-poverty programs for the older persons, particularly for Vietnam. His research outcomes have been published in various books and renowned journals. Currently. Long is a member of the drafting team for the Vietnam’s Social Protection Strategy in 2011-2020; and a member of task force team for the Vietnam’s Population and Reproductive Health Strategy 2011-2020. He has also been a consultant for a number of domestic and international organizations, including Ministry of Finance, Vietnam (MoF), Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, Vietnam (MoLISA), Ministry of Health, Vietnam (MoH), ADB, GTZ, UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF, and the World Bank, and WHO. Long earned a Master degree in public policy from Asian Public Policy Program (APPP), Hitotsubashi University, and a Ph.D. degree in Public Policy from GRIPS, both in Tokyo. Long has received many research grants, honors and awards. He was one of the finalists for the Global Development Network’s (GDN) prestigious Medals for Research and Development 2009; he received the “NEU Rector’s Award for Excellent Research Achievements in 2008”; and the “Sasakawa Scientific Research Award of Commendation” for his work “Non-contributory Pension Scheme as a Tool to Mitigate Poverty of the Elderly: An Exploration with Vietnam” in 2008. He also regularly presents his work at international conferences and participates in workshops around the globe.

…Read an interview with Giang Thanh Long

February 2010

Mubin Mirzaev, Uzbekistan (TE ’02); Deputy Minister of Finance of the Republic of Uzbekistan

Mubin01Mubin was born and raised in Uzbekistan’s famous historical city of Bukhara. Upon finishing high school Mubin entered Tashkent State University and graduated with a Diploma of Mathematics in 1993. Following his graduation, Mubin worked as researcher at Tashkent State University for one year and then enrolled as a post-graduate student in the Institute of Mathematics, in 1994. Mubin started his career at the Central Bank of Uzbekistan, in December 1996, first as Economist in the Monetary Policy Department and he was promoted to Leading Economist a year later. While working for the Central Bank, Mubin enrolled in the Tashkent Financial Institute from which he received a Diploma of Economics in 2001. Eager to pursue even further studies, Mubin applied for GRIPS and was admitted into the Transition Economy Program in 2001 from which he graduated with a Master of Public Policy a year later. Upon returning to Uzbekistan Mubin continued his career in the Central Bank where he gradually worked his way up in the Monetary Policy Department to finally become Director of the Department in September 2006. His hard work, dedicated studies and determination have been paying off; Mubin was appointed Deputy Minister of Finance of the Republic of Uzbekistan in May 2008, a position he still holds today.

…Read more about Mubin Mirzaev

January 2010

Arifur Rahman Khan, Bangladesh (PP ’05); Lecturer in Accounting, Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia

Arif01After obtaining a Bachelors (’98) and Masters (’99) of Commerce in Accounting, both from the University of Dhaka, Arif started his career in academia at Queens University in Bangladesh where he lectured in accounting and financial management. He moved to East West University in 2001 and was offered a position as Lecturer in the Department of Accounting and Information Systems at the University of Dhaka in 2002. After completing the Public Policy Program at GRIPS in September 2005, Arif returned to Dhaka University and was promoted to Assistant Professor in January 2006. Around the same time, he was awarded a Ph.D. scholarship in the Department of Accounting and Finance at Monash University, Melbourne and Arif left for Australia in March ’06 to take up a new challenge of pursuing further studies abroad. He successfully completed his studies and earned a Ph.D. in Accounting and Finance from Monash University in 2009 with a dissertation entitled “Managerial share ownership, firm performance and dividends: Australian Evidence”. Arif has accepted a position as Lecturer in Accounting at the School of Accounting, Economics and Finance of Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia, where he is currently teaching Management Accounting and International Financial Reporting System.

…Read an interview with Arifur Rahman Khan

December 2009

Zaza Chelidza, Georgia (PF ’03); Deputy Minister, Ministry of Finance

Zaza01Zaza completed the Master of Public Finance Program at GRIPS in 2003. In addition, to the required subjects of public finance, macroeconomics, and international taxation at GRIPS, Zaza completed a nine-month practicum at the National Tax Administration of Japan. Prior to entering the workforce, Zaza obtained a degree in Economics from the Tblisi State University. Zaza started his working career at the Committee on Economic Policy of the Parliament of Georgia in 1997. He moved on to become State Advisor at the Office of Finance and Budget under the President of Georgia in 2001 and held various positions at the State United Social Security Fund of Georgia, the Anticorruption Bureau, and Financial Monitoring Service respectively, before being appointed as Deputy Minister of Economic Development in March 2005. In that capacity he was actively involved in Georgia’s economic policy-making process. He supervised the Department of Economic Policy, the body responsible for making economic policy, conducting macroeconomic policy analysis, planning and forecasting, and addressing fiscal and monetary policy tasks. After his resignation as Deputy Minister in November 2006, he worked as Manager of the Business and Economic Centre at the Parliament and then as consultant for the 3 Year (2009-2011) Strategic Plan of Institutional Development of the Ministry of Finance and Economics of the Autonomous Republic of Adjara. Zaza joined the Ministry of Finance of Georgia in July 2009 as Chief Adviser to the Minister, and was appointed Deputy Minister in August ‘09

…Read an interview with Zaza Chelidza

November 2009

Delgermaa Gira, Mongolia (TE ’98); Board Member & Director International Department, Bank of Mongolia

Delgermaa01After completing the Bachelor in Banking degree with honors at the Mongolian National University, Delgermaa joined the Bank of Mongolia in 1995, working first as State Supervisor and Examiner in the Banking Supervision Department and then promoted to Director of the Banking Division in 1996. In that latter role she was in charge of 22 off-site bank examiners, and was responsible for a wide range of issues. Among others, she developed most policies and procedures that are currently in place to regulate Mongolia’s banking and financial system and was one of the key players in banking system restructuring process. In 2000, Delgermaa transferred to the Agricultural Bank of Mongolia, working as Credit Executive in charge of ensuring efficient lending operations of the bank. After the successful privatization of the Agricultural Bank in 2003, Delgermaa briefly worked as Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer of the Xac Bank – a private bank specialized in micro-financing – overseeing its day-to-day operations. While being employed in the banking sector, Delgermaa participated in many courses, seminars, and short-term training programs. Her extensive academic preparation includes the completion of the Transition Economy Program with a Master in Public Policy at GRIPS’ predecessor GSPS in 1998 and the Outreach Program with a Master in Business Administration at Maastricht School of Management in the Netherlands, in 2005. She has regularly received advanced technical training in courses provided by leading American, Asian and European financial institutions. She also studied at Shanghai University of Finance and Economics in 1997, and interned at Wells Fargo Bank in the areas of marketing, lending, and human resource management in 2001. Now a highly-trained professional banker with considerable experience, Delgermaa founded Neule Co. Ltd, Mongolia’s first, and highly successful, professional private company specializing in banking and business training and consulting in April 2005. In January 2008, Delgermaa accepted an offer to rejoin the Bank of Mongolia, as Board Member and Director of the International Economic Department. In addition to her Board Member duties, Delgermaa is, among others, overseeing Mongolia’s international reserve management, the operation and development of the local FX Market and compilation of external sector statistics of Mongolia. She is also responsible for formulating Mongolia’s foreign exchange rate policy, in line with the country’s overall macroeconomic policy stances.

…Read an interview with Delgermaa Gira

October 2009

Abdul Qadir Memon, Pakistan (PP ’02); Deputy Secretary (Foreign Trade), Ministry of Commerce

Memon01Qadir has been particularly interested in the field of trade and sustainable development since 2001 when he was selected for an Asian Development Bank’s scholarship to study in the Public Policy program in GRIPS. He graduated with a Master of Public Policy in 2002 with a focus on globalization, international trade, political economy, barriers to trade and industrial competitiveness. In 2004, Qadir proceeded to the University of Washington, Seattle USA on Hubert H Humphrey Fellowship and completed Graduate Certificate in Global Trade, Transport and Logistics Studies (GTTL). His main area of interest was the impact of trade liberalization of non agriculture sector under the WTO and its implications on the productive competitiveness of the developing countries. While studying at University of Washington, Qadir led the team of the Evans School of Public Affairs in the Global Social Entrepreneurship Competition (GSEC). The Global Social Entrepreneurship Competition (GSEC) invites students from around the world to find creative, unorthodox solutions to problems of poverty in the developing world. The project proposal developed by Qadir won second place in the competition. At present Qadir is working as Deputy Secretary (Foreign Trade), Ministry of Commerce, Government of Pakistan, where he is involved in negotiating trade agreements with the partner countries. Qadir was a member of Pakistan’s negotiating team that concluded Free Trade Agreements with China and Malaysia. He is also member of the SAFTA Committee of Experts that has been mandated by the SAARC members to oversee the implementation of SAFTA Agreement. Presently he is involved in negotiating trade agreement with Indonesia, Jordan, Afghanistan, Singapore, GCC and Developing 8 (D-8). Qadir’s work has taken him around the world and he likes to capture his travels in photographs which he shares with his friends on Facebook. Qadir is married to Frida, also a civil servant in Pakistan and they have two children – Hassan and Aisha.

…Read an interview with Abdul Qadir Memon

September 2009

Masato Hayashikawa, Japan (IDS ’03); Policy Analyst, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Paris, France

Masato01Having lived more than ten years in the USA, two years in both the UK and the Philippines and currently in France, Masato Hayashikawa has spent much of his adolescent and adult life abroad. He received a B.A. and M.A. degree from the Boston University Centre for Energy and Environmental Studies. Upon the completion of his master’s degree in 1996, he accepted a post at the OECD in Paris through a program sponsored by the Japanese government, where he conducted research on the development of international environmental management system (EMS). In 1998, Masato moved to the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), where he worked initially at its headquarters in Tokyo and from 2000 as Aid Coordination Advisor to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) in Manila. Masato enrolled in the International Development Studies Program at GRIPS in 2002. After graduating in 2003 and working for a year in a development consulting firm, Masato joined the Development Cooperation Directorate (aka DAC Secretariat) of the OECD in Paris in 2004 through the young professionals program. An Economist and Policy Analyst his work has focused on the development impactAid for Trade and making aid programs more effective. Masato has co-authored two publications (Aid for Trade: Making it Effective & Trade-Related Assistance: What Do Recent Evaluations Tell Us) and the joint OECD-WTO Aid for Trade at a Glancereport, the second editionof which was launched at the WTO Global Aid for Trade Review on 6-7 July 2009 (a high-level gathering of the heads of major development agencies like the World Bank, IMF, UNDP, etc. + ministers and heads of donor agencies from WTO member countries – see the 2009 Global Review website). He will soon start working on the Peer Review of Japanese Aid Policy as well.

…Read an interview with Masato Hayashikawa

August 2009

Nguon Sokha, Cambodia (TE ’97); Deputy Director General, The National Bank of Cambodia

Nguon01Nguon Sokha received her higher education overseas, in both Europe and Japan. In 1988, she obtained a Diploma in Economics from the Leipziger Business University in former East Germany. She continued her graduate education at the same university and received a Doctor in Economics degree in September 1992. Upon her graduation from the Leipzig Business University, Sokha returned to Cambodia. She joined the Balance of Payments Division of the National Bank of Cambodia in 1993 where she worked until her enrollment in the Transition Economy Program at GRIPS’ predecessor GSPS in October 1996. She completed the Master in Public Policy in 1997. When rejoining the National Bank in 1997, Nguon Sokha was appointed Chief of the International Economics Studies Division. In this capacity she studied the macroeconomic development of Cambodia and its main trading partners and reported her results to the Bank’s management. She was promoted to Deputy Director in charge of the Statistics and Economic Research Department in 1999, and to Director of the same Department in 2002.

…Read more about Nguon Sokha

July 2009

JJ Samuel A Soriano, Philippines (PP ’88); President and CEO, PROJECT Corporation

JJ01JJ Samuel A. Soriano earned the degree of Master of Policy Science from GRIPS’ predecessor GSPS in 1988. He founded PROJECT Corporation (Philippine Resource Organization on Japanese Enterprise, Capital and Technology) upon finishing his studies in Japan. PROJECT is a management, business consultancy and project development firm that acts as a boutique investment banking company in promoting investments from Japan and encouraging meaningful Filipino-Japanese joint ventures. Being a seasoned entrepreneur with extensive cross-border experience in business development, finance, marketing, property and information technology, JJ has successfully brought together Japanese and Filipino businessmen & companies as well as other international entities for meaningful investments and joint ventures in manufacturing, transportation, tourism, real estate and telecommunications, among others. Furthermore, JJ Soriano is Chairman of In-store Digital Display International (IDDI) which has an investment from Tokio Marine Insurance’s venture fund. He is also the CEO of TLC Group (NY, USA). In addition, he is a member of the Board of Directors and business development adviser to other significant businesses in real estate, tourism, sales & distribution, life and non-life insurance, manufacturing, transport and logistics, among others.

…Read an interview with JJ Samuel Soriano

June 2009

Gao Shan-wen, China (TE ’01); Chief Economist, Essence Securities Co. Ltd

Gao01Gao Shan-wen was admitted to Peking University in 1988 and graduated there in 1995 as a Bachelor in Science and Master in Economics. He started his working career at The People’s Bank of China in 1995. While working for the Bank, Gao joined Grips in 2000 and gained a Master in Policy Science degree in 2001. In 1999, Gao was also admitted to the graduate school of The People’s Bank of China from which he graduated in 2005 with doctoral degree in International Finance. In 2003, Gao accepted a position as Chief Economist at Everbright Securities where he steadily gained a reputation as one of China’s chief business economists. When he announced his departure in May 2007, the media referred to his move as a “shock resignation“! After leaving Everbright Securities, it did not take long for Gao to be hired by Essence Securities, where he has been working as Chief Economist since 2007.

…Read an interview with Gao Shan-wen

May 2009

Alhassan Iddrisu, Ghana (Ph.D. ’06); Ag. Director Economic Planning Division, Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning

Alhassan01Upon the successful completion of the master’s program in International Development Studies (IDS) at GRIPS in 2003, Alhassan proceeded to the doctoral program. Together with his supervisor Prof. Tetsushi Sonobe he engaged in empirical-based research on cluster-based industrial development in Ghana and obtained his Ph.D. degree in 2006. Prior to his studies in Japan, Alhassan completed a Bachelor of Arts (BA Hons) programme in Economics and Statistics at the University of Ghana in 1996. He joined the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning as Assistant Economics Officer in 1997 and continued his studies while working in the Ministry. He received an MPhil in Economics from the University of Ghana in 1999. Alhassan has gradually worked his way up in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning and is currently working as Ag. Director of the Economic and Planning Division. His responsibilities include preparing, formulating and analyzing economic and energy policies, and providing policy advice to Ministers and Chief Director of the ministry.

…Read an interview with Alhassan Iddrisu

April 2009

Warren King, Australia (PP ’98); Director Japan Section, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

WarrenKing01Warren completed the Master of Policy Science Program at GSPS in 1998, while he was employed in the Australian Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. He chose as his thesis topic an assessment of Japanese strategic policy since the end of the Cold War. Warren joined the Australian Public Service in 1990, working first as an analyst in the Department of Defence and then moving to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet in 1991. In that latter role he worked on a wide range of foreign and security policy issues, including Australia’s relations with North Asia and the 2000 Defence White Paper. Warren transferred to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in 2001, working mainly on the China political desk, in which role he was closely involved in complex and sensitive diplomatic tasks such as the annual the bilateral human rights dialogue with China and managing high-level visits. In 2004 he was posted to Washington, working initially as an exchange officer in the US State Department, later as First Secretary and then Counsellor at the Australian Embassy. In that role he was responsible for reporting and advocacy on US Asia policy – with a focus on North East Asia and regional architecture issues. When he returned to Canberra in mid-2007 he was appointed Director of the Japan Section, covering both political and economic aspects of the bilateral relationship with Japan.

…Read an interview with Warren King

March 2009

Samrit Yossomsakdi, Thailand (PP ’90); Dean, Faculty of Political Science and Law, Burapha University

SamritSamrit was appointed as Dean of the Faculty of Political Science and Law at Burapha University in 2008. He started his career in 1978 as commercial officer at the Department of Foreign Trade in the Ministry of Commerce where he stayed until moving to Burapha University – one of Thailand’s major public universities, located around 100 kilometers east of Bangkok – in 1992, where he has been working since. Prior to assuming the position of Dean, Samrit has held many different positions at Burapha University, including lecturer, assistant professor, associate dean of Academic Affairs, associate dean for Research and International Affairs – Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, and Chair of the Department of Political Science and the Department of Law, respectively. Before coming to Japan, Samrit completed his Bachelor in Political Science and Master of Public Administration at Chulalongkorn University, as well as a Bachelor of Law at Thammasat University. He received his Master in Policy Science at GRIPS’ predecessor, the Graduate School of Policy Science (GSPS) in Saitama in 1990 and then pursued further studies in the US where he earned a Ph. D. in Political Science from Northern Illinois University in 1999. As a scholar in residence under the Fulbright Scholarship, Samrit spent two semesters teaching at two American universities in Georgia in 2007-8. A scholar and a teacher, Samrit has published several books in Thai on public administration, human resource management and integrated perspectives on Thai society.

…Read an interview with Samrit Yossomsakdi

February 2009

Samat Konokbaev, Kyrgyz Republic (TE ’04); Member of Executive Board, National Bank of Kyrgyz Republic

SamatKonokbaevSamat started his professional career in 1998 as economist, and later leading economist, at the Settlement & Savings Company, where he was responsible for preparing financial market reviews and assisting in the development of the annual business plan. In 2000, Samat started working for the Parliament of the Kyrgyz Republic as consultant to the chairman of the budget and finance committee and later head of economist at the fiscal analysis unit of the Legislative Assembly. Until his present appointment, Samat was also involved as advisor and economist in various reform projects for USAID, the Asian Development Bank, and Bearing Point LLC/KPMG. Prior to obtaining his Masters degree from GRIPS in 2004, Samat studied Information Technology at the Kyrgyz-Russian Slavic University and received his bachelor’s degree in 1999. He then pursued further studies in the same university and graduated from the economics faculty with a major in Banking and Finance in 2002.

…Read an interview with Samat Konokbaev

January 2009

Aya Suzuki, Japan (IDS ’02); Assistant Professor, GRIPS

AyaSuzukiAya Suzuki is the first GRIPS alumnus to have been appointed as faculty at GRIPS. She currently teaches Introductory Mathematics & Economics and Microeconomics to the International Development Studies (IDS) Program students. She is also conducting research on agricultural and industrial development, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa. Aya has a special interest in analyzing the market structure of high-value agricultural commodities that are increasingly becoming important in Sub-Saharan Africa. For her Ph.D. dissertation, she studied the pineapple industry in Ghana, with a particular focus on the marketing structure and production organizations. Aya previously worked at the Center of International Cooperation for Computerization under the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry, dealing with development assistance in the field of IT. She entered the IDS program in October 2000 as one of the first-batch students. During the program, Aya worked as an intern at the United Nations Development Programme in Lusaka, Zambia for six months. After completing her master’s degree at GRIPS, she pursued further studies at the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of California, Davis, where she obtained her Ph.D. degree in June 2008. She worked as a research fellow at the Foundation for Advanced Studies on International Development (FASID) and as a visiting lecturer at GRIPS from October 2007. Aya was appointed as assistant professor at GRIPS from October 2000.

…Read an interview with Aya Suzuki

December 2008

Saurabh Kumar, India (YLP ’06); Secretary, Bureau of Energy Efficiency, Ministry of Power

An Electrical Engineer from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur, Saurabh briefly joined the Telecom sector in 1989. In 1992, he got selected in the Indian Revenue Service as Assistant Commissioner of Income Tax and, after training in the National Academy of Direct Taxes Nagpur, he was posted in New Delhi. From 1992 until 2002, Saurabh worked as Deputy Commissioner in various sensitive intelligence assignments. In the year 1996-97, he was appointed as first officer of the tax department in India to levy tax on national political parties. He also worked in the enforcement wing of the Revenue Department and conducted search and seizure operations against tax evaders. As part of this job, he conducted one of the biggest anti-tax evasion search operation covering 30 cities and over 15 premises on a large industrial group of India which remains one of the most successful operations in the Department.

…Read an interview with Saurabh Kumar

November 2008

Ganesh Prasad Pandeya, Nepal (PP ’02); Undersecretary, Ministry of Local Development

GaneshPandeyaGanesh Prasad Pandeya is Under Secretary at the Ministry of Local Development, Nepal. He is heading the District Development Committee in Dhading, the district just west of Kathmandu. Building on more than twenty years of varied administrative and management experience at all levels in the public sector and non-profit organizations, he is currently responsible for formulating, implementing, monitoring and evaluating the district level development plans and programs. Among others, he aims to develop strategic partnerships with key stakeholders and develop strong working relationships in policy dialogue to ensure that priority issues and concerns are taken into account in the key policy areas. His portfolio also includes the development of strategic frameworks and road-maps at the local level – in particular the conflict prone areas – so as to promote and protect the rights of minorities, indigenous and vulnerable groups. Prior to coming to Japan, Ganesh obtained as many as three bachelor’s and two master’s degrees, all from Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu, in the fields of Arts, Law, Education, Public Administration and Political Science respectively. He completed his Master in Public Policy at GRIPS in 2002.

…Read an interview with Ganesh Prasad Pandeya

October 2008

Tashi Wangmo, Bhutan (PP ’03); Member, National Council of Bhutan

TashiWangmoTashi Wangmo is a member of the National Council of Bhutan. She has been appointed by His Majesty the King as one of the five special eminent members. Together with 20 representatives from the dzongkhags (prefectures/provinces) that were elected in Bhutan’s recently held first ever elections, they form the Upper House of the Bhutanese parliament. Prior to joining the National Council, Tashi was Head of Policy & Planning Division at the Ministry of Labour and Human Resources in the Royal Government of Bhutan. She was responsible for developing and coordinating implementation of policies and programmes concerning employment, labour administration, and vocational skills development. She previously worked as a Planning Officer at the National Technical Training Authority, which was responsible for overseeing all activities of vocational education and training in the country. Tashi started her career as an assistant engineer at the Civil Aviation Division, Ministry of Information and Communications in 1999. She obtained a bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Wollongong, Australia, in 1997, and she completed her Masters Degree in Public Policy at GRIPS in 2003.

…Read an interview with Tashi Wangmo












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