Joshua W. Walker Ph.D. is President & CEO of Japan Society, the nation’s leading non-profit organization dedicated to fostering deep, meaningful connection and exchange between the United States and Japan. From his base in New York City, Walker oversees a wide array of programs in arts and culture, business, policy, technology, and education to promote greater mutual understanding and collaboration between the two countries and societies.
Previously he worked at Eurasia Group, the world's premier political risk analysis firm, where he served as global head of strategic initiatives and Japan in the Office of the President. He actively expanded global events and new business offerings, including leading the company's first “GZERO” geopolitical summit in Japan. He also worked with clients worldwide with a focus on Japan and in a variety of sectors to evaluate global geopolitical risks.
Walker has more than two decades of experience in international business and diplomacy. Prior to Eurasia Group, he was CEO and president of the USA Pavilion of the 2017 World Expo in Astana, Kazakhstan; founding dean of the APCO Institute; and senior vice president of global programs at APCO Worldwide, a leading global strategic communications firm. Before joining the private sector, he worked in numerous roles at U.S. government agencies, including the State Department and the Defense Department. He is a Senior Fellow at the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress and teaches at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.
He co-founded the Yale Journal of International Affairs and Young Professionals in Foreign Policy in New York. He has taught at several academic institutions, served on multiple boards, and won various awards along with being a Presidential Leadership Scholar, Trilateral Commission Rockefeller Fellow, Mansfield Foundation Network for the Future Member, Transatlantic Fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, Munich Young Leader, Council on Foreign Relations Member, Fulbright Scholar, Foreign Policy Initiative Future Leader, Sister Cities International Honorary Board Member and Truman National Security Project Fellow. He earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Richmond, a master's degree from Yale University, and a doctorate from Princeton University.
Walker grew up in Japan where his parents still serve as missionaries, came to the United States when he was 18, and is bicultural and multilingual.
Industry Expertise (3)
Areas of Expertise (26)
Arts and Culture
Not for Profit Leadership
New York City
Inaugural Young Society Leader
2012 The American Turkish Society
2011 Foreign Policy Initiative
Inaugural Top 99 Foreign Policy Leaders Under 33
2011 Diplomatic Courier and Young Professionals in Foreign Policy
Princeton University: Ph.D., Politics and Public Policy 2012
Yale University: M.A., International Relations 2006
University of Richmond: B.A., Leadership Studies 2003
- Contributing Editor, The Japan Times
Ainur T., Business Development Manager | Dubai
Dr. Joshua Walker was essential to the team, and contributed significantly to the success of the USA Pavilion at Astana World Expo 2017, bringing intelligence, leadership and creativity to any project he was involved in. He is a take-charge person who is able to present creative solutions to complex problems, a trustworthy individual and I will always hold him in the highest esteem. He showed a high level of leadership, motivation, management skills and was a main contributor to the U.S. participation at the EXPO 2017. Dr. Walker is a detail, target oriented, ambitious and strong leader, his knowledge is vast and extensive. Has an easiness to build interpersonal relations with others. As a leader or team member, Dr. Joshua Walker earns my highest recommendation.
Alexis Lenderman-Black, CNP | CNP
I had the pleasure of being a student of Dr. Walker during the Leadership and the American Presidency Program in Washington, DC for the fall 2018 semester. Dr. Walker is by far one of the best professors I've ever had because he goes above and beyond to get his students outside of the typical classroom setting to gain hands-on and real-life experience. Even after the program has ended, he still provides mentorship and guidance. Dr. Walker invests in his students and wants nothing but the best for them. I look forward to possibly taking another course with Dr. Walker and learning from his servant leadership style.
Erick Jenkins, Human Resources Information System Manager | She Grows TM
Dr. Walker was my professor during my time in DC in 2017. More importantly Dr. Walker was a mentor in leadership. He taught my cohort the intricacies of leadership and the American presidency. I learned from Dr. Walker about American democracy and the hardships of some of the greatest American presidents. I commend Dr. Walker for taking the time out of his busy international schedule to teach those aspiring to be like him.
Media Appearances (9)
Suga and Biden Prepare for Summit
NHK World-Japan tv
Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide is set to become the first foreign leader to meet face-to-face with the US President since Joe Biden took office. The two leaders will meet next week. Joshua Walker is President and CEO of the New York-based non-profit Japan Society. NHK World's Catherine Kobayashi spoke with him about Japan-US relations, and what's at stake.
A decade later, 3/11 disaster a testament to US-Japan alliance
Nikkei Asia print
Today marks the 10th anniversary of 3/11: the Mar. 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami, and nuclear disaster that devastated the Tohoku region of northeastern Japan.
Veteran Japan watcher weighs in on US-Japan relations under Biden
NHK World-Japan online
A longtime US foreign policy analyst says President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide will have to put domestic priorities to the side as they look to strengthen ties between their countries. With President Biden taking office in Washington, geopolitical analysts are keen to see how the change at the top will affect relations between the US and Japan. NHK World's Ebara Miki spoke to one of them Dr. Joshua Walker, a seasoned Japan watcher who recently became President and CEO of the New York-based non-profit Japan Society.
11月3日、アメリカ大統領選挙が行われる。トランプ大統領は再選を果たせるのか。あるいは、バイデン氏を率いる民主党が4年ぶりに政権を奪還するのか。アメリカ社会は今後どう変わるのか、専門家を交えて議論する。 〈ゲスト〉 ●ジョシュア・W・ ウォーカー(ジャパン・ソサエティー(NY)理事長) ●マシュー・チョジック(出版社Awai Books経営/大学講師) ●細谷雄一(慶應義塾大学・法学部教授) ●宮田裕章(慶應義塾大学・医学部教授)
Japan’s new prime minister has just one year to save the country from crisis
“The impression of him is that he’s Dick Cheney,” a prickly and shadowy behind-the-scenes mastermind, said Joshua Walker, president and CEO of the New York-based Japan Society, though he noted Suga is actually more personable, folksy, and charming than the public’s perception of him.
Japan’s Suga Will Struggle to Pull off Abe’s Defense Transformation
Foreign Policy online
“Everyone has underestimated him his entire career,” said Joshua Walker, the president and CEO of the Japan Society and a former State and Defense Department official. “No one would have said two months ago he would have had a chance.”
Project Bento volunteers deliver bento to senior New Yorkers
Nichi Bei Weekly online
During the spring of 2020 when New York City was the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, residents were abruptly instructed to shelter-in-place. Susan Miyagi McCormac, a vice president and secretary of the Japanese American Association of New York, became concerned about how their older members were faring.
Why Are The Japanese So Resilient
BBC Travel online
“Like the Daruma doll that always recovers as it falls down,” said Dr Joshua W Walker, who grew up in Japan and is president and CEO of the Japan Society in New York City, “Japan is a model of resiliency.”
Joshua Walker *12 Builds Bridges Between U.S. and Japan
Princeton Alumni Weekly online
When Joshua W. Walker *12 stepped into his new office in New York last December, he sat down at his desk and contemplated the opportunity before him. It was more breathtaking than the view from his window. At just 38 years old, he had been selected to succeed Ambassador Motoatsu Sakurai as the president and CEO of Japan Society — the largest U.S. organization committed to relations between the United States and Japan.
Event Appearances (1)
Digital Fishbowl Discussion: A (Strategic) Balancing Act: NATO in an Era of Great Power Competition
NATO 2030 Youth Summit Brussels, Belgium
U.S.-Japan ties must go beyond domestic politicsThe Japan Times
Joshua W. Walker
Shortly after being inaugurated as the 46th President of the United States on Jan. 20, 2021, President Joe Biden signed 17 executive orders, among them pledging to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement. Earlier that week, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga vowed to boost Japan’s economy through the realization of a green society and promotion of digital transformation.
The Legacy of Leadership: Japan Society Beyond Pearl HarborJapan Society
Joshua W. Walker
We remember December 7, 1941. Today is the 79th anniversary of Pearl Harbor, the surprise attack by Japanese forces on the U.S. naval base in Honolulu that moved the United States to formally enter into World War II the following day.
U.S.-Japan after the Election: Thankful to Be Better TogetherJapan Society
Joshua W. Walker
2020 has been an unprecedented year, and the U.S. presidential election, frequently interesting and unpredictable, has lived up to form in an already volatile political and economic arena. Many of the norms that we have always assumed about the American presidential system have been upended by President Trump’s behavior during the electoral process, and are still playing out.
On Being a Global CitizenJapan Society
Joshua W. Walker
Over the past several decades, as air travel has become more accessible and technology has allowed us to dip our toes into new cultures with the click of a mouse, our opportunities to engage with the world at large have grown exponentially.
Leading Japan Society into the FutureJapan Society
Joshua W. Walker
We are a year away from the 50th anniversary of the opening of Japan Society’s headquarters, the original “Japan House,” on September 13, 1971, a week-long celebration that marked the start of a bold new chapter in the Society’s history. On that day, Prince Hitachi, the younger son of the Emperor, who personally attended the opening ceremonies together with Princess Hitachi, brought Japan’s best wishes to the Society “for a new chapter, both rich in content and wide in scope.”
Weather the storms together: Building new bridges from New York to JapanJapan Times
Joshua W. Walker
On June 16, 1860, 160 years ago to this day, and a year before the American Civil War broke out, the first Japanese mission to the United States arrived in New York City. They were warmly welcomed by literally hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers as their “samurai parade” moved along Broadway from the Battery to a ceremonial reviewing stand in Union Square.
Reimagining Japan Society New York: A beacon of hope at the epicenter of the pandemicJapan Times
Joshua W. Walker
New York is a beacon of hope for the free world. We are the beating heart, not just of the United States, but of the world and the global financial markets. The current moment defines our generation and the future world to come.
Time for Japan to take on a new roleJapan Times
Joshua W. Walker
2020 has gotten off to a frighteningly rocky start. The mounting global tensions of 2019 have continued to simmer at an ever-higher frequency, and at the start of this year, we are already at a geopolitical tipping point. Eurasia Group’s annual top risks report has highlighted growing levels of geopolitical risks for a decade, but this is the first year ever that the United States has been given the No. 1 slot, which places it at the top of the list of global boiling points.