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Dean Yarhi-Milo Meets with Dignitaries, Alumni, and Students on Japan Trip 

Posted Jul 13 2023
During her June 2023 trip to Japan, Dean Keren Yarhi-Milo met with U.S. Ambassador Rahm Emanuel.
Dean Keren Yarhi-Milo met with U.S. Ambassador Rahm Emanuel during her June 2023 trip to Japan.


When Dean Keren Yarhi-Milo of SIPA visited Japan for several days in mid-June, one of the highlights was a visit to the University of Tokyo’s Graduate School of Public Policy — a partner in the Global Public Policy Network. Accompanied by the SIPA economist Takatoshi Ito, Yarhi-Milo met with Dean Keisuke Iida and joined him for a joint Q&A session with GraSPP students.

Among other things, Yarhi-Milo discussed her desire to welcome more students and experts from Japan to the SIPA community. She reiterated this theme in multiple interviews with local media, telling Nikkei Asia, for one, that “We want our students and our faculty to be involved and engaged with Japan” in light of the country’s economic role in the world and strategic position in East Asia. In an interview with World Business Satellite of TV Tokyo, she observed that “Japan is the first country that I chose to travel as dean for the purpose of recruitment, and getting more students… to join our community.”

Yarhi-Milo met with Japan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yoshimasa Hayashi, to discuss current geopolitical developments, the successful G7 meeting, and SIPA’s new Institute for Global Politics. They also spoke about strengthening opportunities for Japanese students and what can be done to incentivize them to study abroad.

During her visit Yarhi-Milo also met with US Ambassador Rahm Emanuel, who endorsed the goal of engaging with Japan and its students. “This is the moment for Columbia SIPA and other US programs to double down on Japan and Japanese studies,” Emanuel tweeted after the meeting. The ambassador also saluted Yarhi-Milo’s position as a “thought leader” and SIPA’s role in “shaping the next generation of policymakers.”

The dean, along with professors Patricia Mosser and Ito, was warmly welcomed by nearly 50 alumni of Columbia University and a dozen newly-admitted SIPA students at a June 19 event cohosted by the Columbia Alumni Association in Japan. Yarhi-Milo shared her vision for SIPA and the major policy challenges that SIPA faculty, students, and alumni are working to address. The program included Q&A with the dean and a reception for networking for alumni and students.