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Paul Pass

Executive Director

Paul Pass joined as Executive Director of the Japan-America Society of Dallas/Fort Worth in January 2019. He oversees board governance, fundraising, operational management, organizational strategy, programming, and relationships with 200+ Japanese companies in North Texas. Before JASDFW, he worked at 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 had 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 a 2019 TOMODACHI-Mitsui & Co. Leadership Program delegate, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mosaic Taiwan fellow in 2017, and an Institute for Cultural Diplomacy forum delegate in 2010. 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. He is currently completing a certificate in non-profit leadership at Southern Methodist University.

Madoka Leonetti

Madoka Leonetti

Director of Programs

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.

Ryan James Barr

Programs & Development Coordinator

Coming to us from New York City, by way of Georgia, Ryan joined the staff of the Japan-America Society of DFW in August 2019 as the Programs and Development Coordinator, with program development and fundraising experience that spans nonprofits, museums, and political campaigns. After completing his graduate education at Norwich University in 2013, Ryan served as a District Executive with the Boy Scouts of America, where he developed Scouting programs and conducted fundraising efforts in his district, before moving to Dallas in 2018. Along with his duties at the JASDFW, Ryan also serves an adjunct professor at Southern New Hampshire University’s College of Online and Continuing Education, where he teaches public administration and comparative politics.


Matthew Reitz

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 currently serves JASDFW in a remote capacity while attending graduate school at Tufts University’s Fletcher School, where he is a candidate for a Master of Arts in international relations and is actively involved with the school’s Japan Club.

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Natsuyo Taniyasu

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.

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Maiko Kobayashi

Accounting & Office Coordinator

A native of Hyogo Prefecture, Maiko joined the team in February 2020. She has also worked at Hyogonishi Agricultural Bank in Himeji, Japan as a financial advisor and bank operations specialist. Maiko earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Konan University and a certificate in global business from the University of Washington. Before coming to Texas, she interned at the North American Post, a Seattle-based publishing company, where she learned Japanese-American history and found her passion in spreading Japanese culture in the U.S.

Maki Hasegawa

Education Presenter

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

Education Presenter

Noriko Danh has been a member of the staff since January 2017. She is dedicated her time to introducing Japanese culture to folks here in DFW and enjoys spreading awareness of Japanese culture throughout the community. After moving from Japan to the United States, she earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration with a double major in International Business and Marketing from the University of Oklahoma. In addition to her role at the Japan-America Society, Noriko is a seasoned Realtor proudly serving commercial and residential clients in the DFW area. She is married to her college sweetheart and have two wonderful daughters, who love dancing.