Paul Pass joined as Executive Director of the Japan-America Society of Dallas/Fort Worth in January 2019. He comes from Asia Society Texas Center, where he held several positions, creating lasting connections for visitors through Asia-Pacific arts, business, cultural, and policy programming for adults, educators, families, and students. In his time at Asia Society, he played a role in over 920 programs reaching more 75,500 Houstonians. He also previously worked in education and community outreach positions at the World Affairs Council of Houston, the United States House of Representatives, the Delegation of the European Union to the United States, Indiana University, and the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
He was an Institute for Cultural Diplomacy forum delegate in spring 2010 and a Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mosaic Taiwan fellow in summer 2017. He holds a master’s degree from Indiana University, a bachelor’s degree from Miami University, earned a certificate from The London School of Economics and Political Science, and completed post-graduate coursework at The Ohio State University.
Programs & Events Manager
Madoka Leonetti joined the staff in November 2017 as Programs and Events Manager, a role which also includes marketing and membership responsibilities. After receiving a bachelor’s degree in marketing at Chukyo University in Nagoya, Japan, Madoka moved to Australia and worked as Marketing Coordinator at an event management company for 6 years. Before moving to the Dallas area, she worked at a relocation company in Nagoya and provided relocation services to non-Japanese expatriates for 3 years.
Membership & Office Administrator
A native of Nagasaki, Mihoko Ishikawa joined the staff in 2008. After 10 years presenting the Japan-in-a-Suitcase program and 5 years managing all educational outreach activities for JASDFW, Mihoko has assumed the role of Office Administrator in 2018. In Japan, Mihoko worked as a hotel concierge, and she holds an associate degree in English from Sophia University in Tokyo.
Communications & I.T. Coordinator
Matthew joined JASDFW in September of 2018 as the Communications & I.T. Coordinator. Matthew received his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science, Economics and Asian Studies from Southern Methodist University in May 2017. Before joining JASDFW, Matthew interned in the House of Representatives in Washington, DC, and served as a campaign staffer in the Dallas area. He is also part of Tufts’ Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy’s Map-your-future program, a special deferred program for graduating seniors.
GEN-J Facilitator, Grassroots Exchange Programs
A native of Hiroshima, Natsuyo Taniyasu joined the Japan-America Society of Dallas/Fort Worth staff as a Cultural Exchange Facilitator as part of the GEN-J Grassroots Exchange Network-Japan program to strengthen networks between local communities and companies. Before moving to Dallas, Natsuyo taught Japanese language at a public high school in Vietnam, served as an administrative assistant in the public relations department at Agricultural Cooperative, and worked in the Student Affairs Office at Hijiyama University in Hiroshima.
Educational Outreach Coordinator
A native of Tokyo, Maki Hasegawa joined the staff in 2018. She enjoys sharing her love of Japan through Japan-in-a-Suitcase presentations and at Japan-America Society events and community festivals throughout the year. She received her bachelor’s degree in Government from Monmouth College in Illinois and worked at various global companies in Tokyo before moving to the Dallas area.
Noriko Danh has been a member of the staff since January 2017. After moving from Japan to the United States, earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Oklahoma. She has since worked for a number of major companies, most recently MUFG Union Bank, N.A. In addition to her role at the Japan-America Society, Noriko works as a real estate agent with Schuller Properties, Inc., dba Plano Property Management.
Born in Denton Texas, Charles Carr joined the JASDFW in March 2019 as a student intern. He has spent four years studying Japanese at the Koan School in Denton, TX. After Charles traveled to Japan as part of his education at the Koan School, he gained a new interest in Japanese language and culture which encouraged him to become a part of JASDFW. Later in Fall of 2019, Charles Carr will be attending a university out of state to continue his Japanese studies.
Born in Tokyo, Japan, Hana Hirano joined the JASDFW in May 2019 as a student intern. She has attended a boarding school in Maine and now attends Smith College in Massachusetts. On campus, as an executive board member of a Japanese cultural organization, she strives to provides the opportunities to learn and enjoy Japanese culture to the Smith community. Additionally, while she experiences the cultures of both countries and familiarizes herself with the two very distinctive societies, she became more interested in the Japan-America relationship, which has lead her to become a part of JASDFW.