Akio Takahara is the Director of the JICA Ogata Research Institute. Professor Takahara graduated from the Faculty of Law, University of Tokyo, and received his doctorate from the University of Sussex. He previously worked at the Sasakawa Peace Foundation, the Japanese consulate in Hong Kong, J.F. Oberlin University, Rikkyo University, and the Japanese embassy in Beijing. He also was a visiting professor at Harvard University (2005–06) and Peking University (2014–15) and a member of the New Japan-China Friendship Committee for the 21st Century (2009–14).