On November 14, 2019, a ceremony was held in Washington, DC, USA to launch the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Foundation (OIST Foundation) at the official residence of the Japanese Ambassador to the United States. Guests travelled from across the US to attend and represented diverse sectors. Present at the event were government officials, leaders in the business and scientific communities from both Japan and the United States, leaders in the Okinawan-American community and representatives of the Okinawan Prefectural Government, and Japan-related parties in the United States, as well as the Board of Trustees and Advisors of the OIST Foundation. In addition, OIST executives and faculty travelled from Okinawa to be part of the event and participate in a dynamic series of talks and lectures aimed at helping raise the visibility of OIST in the US.
OIST executives and faculty travelled from Okinawa to be part of the event.
From left to right: Mr. David Janes, Managing Director and Secretary of the OIST Foundation, Dr. Mary Collins, OIST Provost, Prof. Evan Economo, Pro. Keshav Dani and Prof. Izumi Fukunaga.
H.E. Shinsuke Sugiyama, Japan’s Ambassador to the United States talks at the ceremony of OIST Foundation launch.
The OIST Foundation was founded by a group of Americans interested in the future of OIST, Okinawa, and enhancing US-Japan scientific collaboration. The Foundation was certified as a non-profit organization by the US government in July 2019. The Foundation has nine trustees and 17 advisors (a full list is available here: https://oistfoundation.org/about/). Mr. Takeshi Ueshima, Founder and CIO of Heritage Fund Management LLC, serves as Chair of the Foundation, Ms. Julie Meier Wright, Former Secretary of Trade and Commerce for the State of California, is Vice Chair. Other members of the Board include Dr. Yuko Kakazu, who was born and raised in Okinawa, and currently working at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan in Hawaii, and Dr. Faisal Mahmud, OIST alumus and now Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School. All are committed to working on common goals with OIST.
Dr. Peter Gruss, OIST President talks at the ceremony of OIST Foundation launch.
The mission of the OIST Foundation is to promote innovative global scientific breakthroughs through enhancing and strengthening science and technology research and related programs at the OIST and to empower Americans to support the sustainable development of Okinawa and deepen U.S.-Japan relations. The foundation will further OIST’s mission to improve the development of Okinawa. Through voluntary contributions, American residents interested in science and Okinawa can support OIST’s research and education activities through the OIST Foundation for scientific advancements, breakthrough innovation, and independent development of Okinawa.
The OIST Foundation is located in the United States which has some of the most advanced scientific research globally. Furthermore, the US-Japan relationship is critically important and while OIST is global, it also aims to work with the foundation to deepen US-Japan scientific interactions. In addition to developing strategic partnerships and raising visibility of OIST in the US, the Foundation aims to raise philanthropic support for OIST and for Okinawa through OIST. According to Dr. Peter Gruss, President of OIST, “To do great research, you need to hire the best people from around the world. This requires funding, so I think it's good that we have built a system that allows people to contribute to the benefit of Okinawa’s society by making donations through the OIST Foundation".
Group photo with a group of drummers and dancers who demonstrated Okinawa’s traditional performance.
Mr. David Janes, Managing Director and Secretary who helped establish the OIST Foundation said, “The idea behind OIST’s scientific and technological research is to drive innovative scientific breakthroughs around the world. I hope many Americans understand this vision, and are keen to contribute to this great project.”
For more information on the OIST Foundation, please visit: https://oistfoundation.org/