Dr. Tomoko Kitagawa (Director, Space Education Office of JAXA)

Dr. Tomoko Kitagawa

Director, Space Education Office of JAXA

Dr. Kate Kitagawa is Director of the Space Education Office at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). She received her B.Sc. degree in mathematics and life sciences with a minor in political science from the University of British Columbia, Canada, and earned a Ph.D. in history from Princeton University in 2009.

She went on to teach history at Harvard University. Prior to her appointment at Harvard, she worked for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan and the Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations. Among the courses she offered at Harvard, “Lady Samurai in Medieval Japan” and “Kyoto: The Diplomacy, 1542-1642” were particularly well-received. Her strong commitment to teaching was recognized by the Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning at Harvard, and she was cited as one of the favourite professors at Harvard.

Her first book, published in Japan, become a national bestseller. She was selected as one of the 100 most influential people in Japan and one of the 100 most amazing Japanese women. She frequently participates in international and public meetings as a speech writer and public lecturer. She also works as an occasional broadcaster, with appearances on Netflix, CNN, the History Channel, and the BBC.