Shigeharu Kato

Shigeharu Kato
Shigeharu Kato
Secretary-General / Vice-CEO
1986 Master of Public Policy, Harvard University
1980 Bachelor of Engineering, University of Tokyo


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)