Alumna Risa Yamamoto works for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan in the International Peace and Security Cooperation Division. In her role, she coordinates and implement projects related to human resource development in the field of peacebuilding and international development.
While at UH, she received her bachelor of arts degree in both Japanese and political science. Learn more about her UH experience and what she misses most about Hawai‘i.
Please tell us about your current work. What do you do and what do you enjoy the most about it?
I currently work for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan in the International Peace and Security Cooperation Division. I basically coordinate and implement projects related to human resource development in the field of peacebuilding and international development. What I enjoy the most about my job is meeting a group of determined people in this field.
What’s one of your fondest memories of your time at UH?
One of my fondest memories would be interning at ACLU of Hawai‘i for one of my political science classes. I’ve met wonderful people that I keep in contact with, and it was eye-opening learning about organizing grassroots movements.
How has your UH education helped you in your career?
It has helped me gain a different perspective that I will always be grateful for. I majored in Political Science, and we learned a lot about indigenous politics and looking at politics from a decolonial aspect, which I probably would not have had the opportunity to learn in depth about if I studied elsewhere.
What do you miss the most about Hawai‘i?
Now that I live in the city, I feel like I took things like Hawai‘i’s nature for granted. I very much miss seeing rainbows daily, the (occasional) hikes I went on, the beautiful beaches with beautiful water. Another thing I miss the most is the people’s warmth. People there have warm energy, and they take good care of each other, regardless of if they know each other or not.