Lindsey Sugino's


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Hi there!

My name is Lindsey Sugino

I am incredibly thankful to have been selected as a 2018 TOMODACHI Emerging Leaders Program Delegate. Here are a few things I got out of this overwhelmingly impactful experience.

Global Perspective

Meaningful Connections

Leadership Development


Tackling societal problems with a

Global Perspective

Through this experience, I was exposed to a wide range of global issues - from the high level plenary session discussing Sustainable Development Goals, to personal stories on the ground level.

I was inspired by the "AI for Social Good" session and the “The Future of Innovation and Design Thinking,” with John Maeda and Lena Morita. It was great to hear about the incredible global-reaching impact I can potentially have by leveraging technology. As a female software engineer, I specifically appreciated learning about the current situation for women in tech in Japan.

These sessions allowed me to gain a more global perspective on how I can utilize technology to help more women get into STEM.


Community of

Meaningful Connections

The U.S.-Japan Council is an organization that offers more than just networking opportunities. I believe these conferences are about the opportunity to leverage personal connections wisely in order to solve meaningful problems and create opportunities for change.

The ELP program not only allowed me to connect to a group of amazing future leaders, but also prominent and distinguished leaders in the community. Being able to comfortably discuss U.S.-Japan relations with business, industry, government, not-for-profit, and social organizations underscores the potential of what’s possible when we all work together.

Leadership Development

Through this program, I established an understanding of the links between leadership and cultural intelligence in the context of building the skills, experiences and networks to make an impact.

Communication Skills

The program challenged my current perceptions about leadership and the values that shape it, encouraging me to think and lead differently. By identifying barriers that can disrupt the ability to effectively communicate with others, the program presented me with strategies to develop confidence and competence in communicating with others.


Women in Leadership

I felt lucky to meet and listen to the stories of a diverse set of strong women in all stages of their careers throughout the program. This reminded me of the importance in identifying current and future high-potential women leaders and coaching them to leverage their strengths and develop new capabilities.


Leadership at all levels

Through discussions with leaders from various industries, I learned that leadership skills can be used to create greater alignment and empowerment in an organization. An important takeaway was that leaders should not be at the top of the pyramid - they should provide the strong foundational base.


My Experiences

A few photos of my favorite experiences this year because of the the Emerging Leaders Program.


Norman Mineta with 2018 Class


ELP Alumni Session


u40 Breakout Session


Kau Kau Food Festival


ELP Plenary Session


John Maeda & Lena Morita

Frequently Asked Questions

Some commonly asked questions I've received post-conference

Going into the program, I felt a very strong case of impostor syndrome being surrounded by such an accomplished group of people. I quickly realized that I was fully welcomed by everyone - from my fellow delegates, toCEOs of major corporations and cabinet members of the Parliament of Japan. The interactions felt more like a friendly family gathering than the stiff corporate events I was used to. The openness of this community fosters cross-generational collaboration and opportunities that are a truly wonderful and unique.
It's been seven months since the conference, and I still feel inspired and excited to learn more about how I can contribute to U.S.-Japan relations. In addition to participating in community engagement such as the u40 conference in Hawai'i, I've been rethinking the question, “how do we ensure technological innovation delivers both societal and economic value to effectively promote U.S.-Japan relations?”
Absolutely! The program engages and challenges delegates through hands-on exercises, dynamic discussions, and leadership development opportunities that foster socially responsible leaders. While every delegate may get something different out of the program, it is always meaningful.
  • The ELP program has a website where you can find more information at
  • The U.S.-Japan Council has information on their website here
You can apply on the U.S.-Japan Council website on their Emerging Leaders Program page found here.