Executive Director

Beckie Callahan

Executive Director

Beckie joined JASDFW as the Executive Director in January 2024, bringing a diverse background encompassing corporate, non-profit, and educational sectors. With over two decades of experience spanning Silicon Valley’s technology industry and the financial services sector in San Diego and Dallas, she led teams within global sales and marketing strategy, planning, and operations. Beckie has held various leadership roles in non-profits within local chapters of the Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc. and her alumni associations, fostering her commitment to community service.
Born in Okinawa, Japan, and raised in the DFW area, Beckie developed a deep appreciation for cultural exchange and international relations. She graduated from Northwestern University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and International Studies, focusing on Asia. Furthering her commitment to global affairs, she pursued a Master of International Affairs from the School of Global Policy and Strategy at the University of California, San Diego. Beckie also taught junior high school English in Yokohama through the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program (JET).

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Eli Hatch

Director of Corporate Relations and Business Programs

Eli joined JASDFW in July 2022 as the Director of Corporate Relations and Business Programs. He has worked in the field of international corporate and professional development in Tokyo (New York University) and the Bay Area (University of California, Berkeley). Eli also has a background in Japanese automotive manufacturing and regional expertise in East, Southeast, and Western Asia. Eli holds Master of Arts in International Education Management and Public Administration from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, Monterey and is an alumnus of the Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies in Yokohama, Japan. He participated in the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program (JET) in Takasaki, Gunma Prefecture.

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Melissa Hill

Public Programs Manager

Melissa joined JASDFW in April 2024 as Public Programs Manager. She has over a decade of experience working in Japan with a focus on Language, international culture, and business. She has experience working in the automotive industry, in international trading companies, and with local Japanese governments. Melissa holds a Master of Business Administration from Nagoya University of Commerce and Business School with a focus on women in business leadership roles.

Melissa is passionate about grassroots and business exchange and has planned and participated in both large and small-scale events ranging from G7 Sendai and G20 Osaka Meetings to cooking classes that introduced American cuisine. She uses her skills and expertise to plan programs and events that introduce Japanese culture to a wide audience in the North Texas area.

Melissa was a Coordinator for International Relations (CIR) on the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program (JET Programs) in Sendai. She was selected as the sole CIR representative for the country at the JET Program 30th Year Celebration, an event attended by the Crown Prince of Japan.

Ikuko Fujiwara

Language Programs Manager

Ikuko joined JASDFW in July 2021 as the Education & Language Programs Coordinator. Her academic and professional background is in TESOL and Composition which began with earning a Master’s degree in TESOL from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Her career has been devoted to instruction and supporting student success while promoting diversity and inclusion in educational spaces. She has experience teaching Japanese, ESOL and college composition at various colleges in the United States. She has also organized and participated in cultural events, conferences and panel discussions that emphasize and celebrate diversity. She is committed to creating inclusive and meaningful learning spaces where people engage in cross-cultural/intercultural understanding and learn to use language in empowering ways.

Kanki Takahara

Office Manager

Kanki joined JASDFW in March 2024 as Office Manager. He has previously worked in the semiconductor, food, and designer lighting industries across international markets, managing and negotiating with both suppliers and clients from a wide range of countries: USA, Canada, Brazil, Japan, Russia, Germany, China, Australia, and New Zealand.

While a student, he interned with the Japan American Society of Chicago where the mission and service of the Japan Societies resonated deeply into a lasting interest for the organization.


Hiromi Burns

Japan-in-a-Suitcase Coordinator

Hiromi joined JASDFW as the Japan-in-a-Suitcase Coordinator in May 2022. Through her experience of studying in different countries (Australia, Portugal, and Brazil) in college, she has found joy in cultural exchange and language learning. She has been an active volunteer member in community organizations and the Society to promote cross-cultural understanding. She graduated with associated degree in English Literature and Business English. She speaks Japanese, English, and Portuguese. 


Mikio Moriyasu

Japan Outreach Initiative (JOI) Coordinator

Mikio joined JASDFW in August 2023 through the Japan Outreach Initiative.

Grace Chalker

Language Instructor

Texas born and raised, Grace graduated from the University of North Texas with degrees in Linguistics and Japanese. She spent a year studying abroad at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto where she fell in love with Japan’s history and culture. Upon graduating, Grace taught Japanese for over four years. She has assisted students with AP Japanese and JLPT test prep and led an 18-day study abroad trip in Japan in 2018. During the 2019-2021 school years, Grace worked as an Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) at junior high schools in Japan. She continued her Japanese studies and passed the JLPT N2 exam. She is excited to show students how fun learning a second langauge is.

Keiko Yokoyama

Language Instructor

Her 20+ years of professional experience include teaching a variety of subjects at a Japanese school, providing one-on-one English language support to Japanese students to succeed in their local school learning, and tutoring non-native Japanese students in the Japanese language. Her dedication and attentive support to each student represents the fulfillment of the mission of language education in an increasingly globalized world, while serving the community as a bridge for cross-cultural communication.