Shigeharu Kato


Mr. Shigeharu KATO holds a Master of Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and a Bachelor of Engineering from the University of Tokyo. He has ample experience in the administrative management of research institutes. During his six-year term as Executive Director of RIKEN, Japan’s leading research institute covering a broad area of natural sciences, he made a significant contribution to implementing the president’s strategic management of the institute by renewing the resource allocation scheme to ensure overall optimization. Mr. KATO also led the organizational reform to enhance facility management capabilities and develop a comprehensive reform program of its administrative functions. He also successfully directed the institute’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Through these efforts, Mr. KATO emphasized importance of communication with the various layers of RIKEN’s administrative staff and researchers.

Before joining RIKEN, Mr. KATO worked as a government official in the areas of science, technology and innovation policy, higher education, international cooperation, and nuclear safety regulation. His specific achievements include developing the third Science and Technology Basic Plan, writing the 1999 Annual Report on Science and Technology, launching joint educational programs among Japanese, Chinese and Korean universities, and convening a UNESCO world conference on education for sustainable development in Japan.

Apr. 1980
Joined Science and Technology Agency (STA) Served in sub-managerial posts in the areas of science and technology policy, nuclear energy development, including First Secretary in Japanese Delegation to the OECD
Apr. 1991
First Secretary, Permanent Delegation of Japan to the OECD
May. 1994
Head, Planning Division, National Institute of Radiological Sciences, STA
Jan. 1995
Director, Office of Completion of Fuel Cycle Back End, Nuclear Fuel Division, Atomic Energy Bureau, STA
Aug. 1995
Secretary to the Minister of State for Science and Technology Served in managerial posts at Division Director level in the areas of human resource management, science, and technology policy, and nuclear safety regulation
Nov. 1996
Director for Planning, Personnel Division, Minister's Secretariat, STA
Jun. 1998
Director, Research Division, Science and Technology Policy Bureau, STA
Jul. 1999
Director, Overseas Japanese Children Education Division, Local Education Support Bureau, Ministry of Education, Science, Sports and Culture
Jun. 2000
Director, Nuclear Materials Regulation Division, Nuclear Safety Bureau, STA
Jan. 2001
Director, Nuclear Fuel Cycle Regulation Division, Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI)
Aug. 2002
Director, Frontier Research Promotion Division, RIKEN
Jul. 2003
Director, Planning Division, RIKEN
Aug. 2004
Director, Nuclear Safety Division, Science and Technology Policy Bureau, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT)
Jul. 2005
Director for Science and Technology Policy, Cabinet Office (CAO)
Jul. 2007
Deputy Director-General for Nuclear Power Reactors, Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, METI
Jul. 2009
Deputy Director-General, Higher Education Bureau, MEXT
Oct. 2011
Deputy Director-General for Nuclear Safety Commission, CAO
May. 2012
Director-General for International Affairs, MEXT; Secretary-General, Japanese National Commission for UNESCO; Alternate Chair, Japan-US Educational Commission; Member, Higher Education Task Force, CALCON
Nov. 2014
Special Advisor to the President, RIKEN
Apr. 2015
Executive Director, RIKEN
Apr. 2017
Director-General, National Institute of Science and Technology Policy, MEXT (until December 2017)
Apr. 2018
Executive Director, RIKEN (until March 2022)
Shigeharu Kato smiling
Shigeharu Kato
Secretary-General / Vice-CEO / Vice President for Human Resource