Richard Katz
Publisher of Japan Economy Watch
Correspondent, Weekly Toyo Keizai
Senior Fellow, Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs

Katz has been writing about the Japanese economy for more than four decades for a variety of publications and is best known as editor and publisher for 20 years of The Oriental Economist Report, a monthly newsletter on Japan. He has also written two books on Japan in the past. The first is  Japan: The System That Soured  (1998) in English and Japanese. The second is Japanese Phoenix (2002), also in English and Japanese.

In early 2023, Oxford University Press will publish his third book about Japan. It tells the tale of how the emergence of a new generation of innovative companies could create the potential for an economic revival, and that several positive trends in the socioeconomic sphere, in turn, create the potential for this emergence. He reports on the struggle between these two forces and there will be a Japanese language edition.

While Japan is Katz’ main focus, he has also written a great deal about U.S. and international trade policy and the impact of finance on the stability in rich economies. He received his Master’s Degree in economics from New York University (NYU) in 1996. He has been an adjunct professor at NYU’s business school and State University of New York (SUNY) at Stony Brook. Katz has also testified several times in Congress and often write for a series of prominent publications.

Iichiro Uesugi
Professor, Hitotsubashi University Institute of Economic Research (Research Division of Economic Institutions and Policy)

After obtaining his Ph.D. at the University of California, San Diego, Uesugi worked for the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan at several positions including the Economic and Industrial Policy Bureau, the Minister’s Secretariat, the Small and Medium Enterprises Agency, and the Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI), before becoming the member of the Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University in March 2011. The subject of his dissertation concerned the functions of short-term money markets on which central banks have considerable impact through their market operations.

Since then, he has changed his area of interest and implemented empirical research using micro-level data in the fields of banking, corporate finance, SMEs, and real estate markets. He also have served as lead researcher on two large government-funded research projects: a research project focusing on inter-firm transaction networks and firm-bank relationships (FY2008-2012) and a research project to elucidate the interactions between economic activities and real estate markets (FY2013-2017).

Currently, he implements research on the following topics: (1) the impact of government involvement in the loan market for small and medium enterprises, (2) the role of collateral and personal guarantees, and the impact of real estate markets on firm financing, (3) the impact of shocks including major disasters and financial crises on firms and banks, and (4) competition in the loan market.

 Jason Galui
Professor of Practice in Executive Education, Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University

Founder/CEO of 4 Liberty Consulting LLC creatively collaborating at the nexus of business, government, and academia, and he is a Professor of Practice in Executive Education at the Edwin L. Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University (SMU), where he leads the SMU Commercial Diplomacy Initiative.

Throughout a unique military career, Jason led soldiers in combat, taught economics to West Point cadets, and advised the most senior U.S. leaders in the Pentagon and in two very different White Houses.  As Deputy Executive Secretary of the National Security Council and Chief of Staff to the National Security Advisor, Jason served as a key point of national security continuity between the Obama and Trump administrations during the 2017 Presidential Transition.

During his second White House experience (2019-2020), Jason was Senior Advisor for National Security at the Council of Economic Advisers.  Prior to his White House contributions, Jason personally advised General Martin E. Dempsey, the 18th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on Indo-Pacific issues, Afghanistan, and on keeping faith with the military family.

A two-time Assistant Professor of Economics in the Department of Social Sciences at the United States Military Academy, Jason taught and mentored two generations of West Point cadets.  He deployed to Kabul in 2011-2012 serving as Strategic Advisor to the Commanding General of the NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan, and in 2003 Jason led soldiers into combat during the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

Jason is an Associate Expert at the John G. Tower Center for Public Policy and International Affairs at SMU and a Visiting Scholar and Director of the Eisenhower Working Group on Economic Statecraft at Texas A&M University’s Bush School of Government and Public Service.  Jason also serves on the Board of Trustees at the Pingree School in South Hamilton, Massachusetts, on the Board of Directors of the American University of Iraq Foundation, and on the Board of Advisors with Deep Knowledge Investing.

Jason earned an M.S. in Economics from The University of Texas at Austin and a B.S. in Economics from the United States Military Academy at West Point.

Jason and his wife, Samantha, have been married for 19 years and they have two teenage children.

 Jessica Gordon
Director, U.S. Department of Commerce’s U.S. Commercial Service Dallas-Fort Worth Office

Gordon leads a team of industry-focused international trade
specialists to assist small to medium-sized North Texas
companies grow their businesses through launching an export
business or increasing their sales in target markets around the globe.

The Commercial Service Dallas-Fort Worth office is one of 100 plus U.S. Commercial Service offices around the nation dedicated to assisting U.S. companies to expand their businesses by exporting, through providing export counseling, business matchmaking services, market intelligence, commercial diplomacy, and trade advocacy. In addition to heading the Commercial Service Dallas-Fort Worth office, Gordon serves as the Executive Secretary of the North Texas District Export Council (NTXDEC), the Commercial Service’s lead trade promotion partner of trade professionals appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce to provide export assistance to the local business community. In her role as Executive Secretary, she serves as the chief U.S. Commercial Service liaison for NTXDEC engagement on international trade development issues and expanding the North Texas exporter assistance network.

Gordon is a member of the Mayor’s Star Council, the World Affairs Council, the Global Chamber Advisory Board, and various professional and community organizations. A native of Biloxi, Mississippi, Jessica graduated Magna Cum Laude and earned double degrees, a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Spanish and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) with a focus in International Business, from the University of Southern Mississippi. She is a graduate of the Else School of Management MBA Program at Millsaps College. Prior to assuming the director position at Commercial Service Dallas-Fort Worth, Jessica served as an international trade specialist at the U.S. Commercial Service office in Jackson, MS for several years where she managed a diverse industry sector client portfolio.

Hiroyuki Watanabe
Director, Texas Japan Office
Companies Attraction Advisor, City of Kumamoto, Japan

Hiroyuki Watanabe has served as Director of Texas Japan Office since June 2013. Before his current position, he was Executive Assistant to the late Ms. Naoko Shirane. She served as the Senior Advisor to the State of Texas and Director of the State of Texas Japan Office from the mid-1980s to June 2013, when she passed away.

Mr. Watanabe has been in the Texas Japan Office for 22 years. He has worked to encourage investments in Texas by Japanese companies, and other activities for sustainable, mutually beneficial relationships between local communities in Texas and Japanese companies. His effort to maximize the public interest of Texas and to increase employment is evidenced by the establishment of production sites in Texas by Japanese companies.

Mr. Watanabe holds a Bachelor of Laws degree from Keio University and LL.M. from the Graduate School of Law, Keio University. He is Vice President of non-profit educational organization Children, Life and Culture Association (CLCA) and a Director of the international non-profit educational organization World Campus International.

Dr. Hiroki Takeuchi (Moderator)

Hiroki Takeuchi is Associate Professor of Political Science, and Director of the Sun & Star Program on Japan and East Asia in the Tower Center, at Southern Methodist University (SMU).  He received his B.A. of Economics from Keio University in Japan, his M.A. of Asian Studies from University of California at Berkeley, and his Ph.D. of Political Science from University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA).  Previously, he taught at UCLA as a faculty fellow of the Political Science Department and at Stanford University as a postdoctoral teaching fellow of the Public Policy Program.

Dr. Takeuchi’s research and teaching interests include Chinese and Japanese politics, comparative authoritarianism, and international relations and political economy of East Asia, as well as applying game theory to political science.

He is the author of Tax Reform in Rural China: Revenue, Resistance, and Authoritarian Rule (Cambridge University Press, 2014).