February 18, 2014 

The Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission and the U.S. CULCON Panel are pleased to announce the appointment of a new Chairman, Mr. Harry A. Hill. 

Mr. Hill, a native of New York City, has served as President and CEO of Oak Lawn Marketing, a branding and media company that owns Shop Japan, the largest infomercial brand in Japan, since 2006. He brings with him a wealth of experience related to educational and cultural exchange and entrepreneurship, having lived and worked in Japan for nearly thirty years.  Mr. Hill served as a participant on the Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme and its precursor program, the Monbusho English Fellows from 1987-1990 in Gifu Prefecture, where he created a strong network of individuals and government officials who would later help him in building his professional career.   His extensive professional experience includes founding H&R Consultants, a leading lease providing and relocation service in Tokyo and Nagoya.  In addition, Mr. Hill has been actively involved in numerous charitable and non-profit organizations, including the U.S.-Japan Bridging Foundation, where he has been a member of the Tokyo Advisory Committee and long-time sponsor of its scholarship program.  “Mr. Hill will be an asset to the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission and CULCON, bringing strong leadership experience as a successful entrepreneur, and a deep passion for strengthening the U.S.-Japan relationship through educational and cultural exchange,” says Executive Director Paige Cottingham-Streater.  Mr. Hill’s expertise on Japan and cross-cultural communication skills will further advance the Commission and CULCON’s efforts to invest in Japanese and American studies, people-to-people exchanges and artistic and cultural initiatives. 

Mr. Hill succeeds Mr. Thierry Porté who completed six years of Commission and U.S. CULCON leadership.

The Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission is an independent federal agency established by Congress in 1975 to strengthen the US-Japan relationship through educational, cultural, and intellectual exchange.  Its mission is to support reciprocal people-to-people understanding, and promote partnerships that advance common interests between Japan and the United States.

Membership on the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission is comprised of nine private sector members, three ex-officio government officials, four congressional members and the chairs of the NEA and NEH.  For a complete list of membership and bios of commissioners, please go to:  http://www.jusfc.gov/about/jusfc-members/.

CULCON is a binational advisory panel to the U.S. and Japanese governments and facilitates collaborations and partnerships with other U.S.-Japan organizations. All U.S. CULCON members are also members of the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission. For a complete list of membership and bios of CULCON Panelists, please go to http://culcon.jusfc.gov/about-us/membership/.  For an organizational comparison of the U.S.-Japan Friendship Commission and CULCON, please go to:  http://culcon.jusfc.gov/about-us/culcon-jusfc-usjbf-organizational-comparison.