In December, CPS said farewell to a long-time colleague and friend, Yoichi Sato. Many of you had the pleasure of meeting and/or working alongside Yoichi over his eight years at the Center and ten at Portland State University. He began his career as a graduate research assistant recruited by Dr. Masami Nishishiba.
In building this mentor/mentee relationship with Dr. Masami, Yoichi gained exposure to the International Programs operated through CPS. “I was immediately drawn to the programs; one of which was the Intensive Professional Training Program for Japanese Municipal Government Managers.” Originally born and raised in Sapporo City, Japan (a sister city of Portland), this program became a natural fit for him.
Yoichi would serve as the International Programs coordinator from 2004-2011. He specifically was impacted by the Intensive Professional Training Program, stating, “Every year a group of Japanese municipal government managers participated in the training and it has been a great experience to work with such motivated participants and amazing staff. All of my experiences at CPS, including this program, have completely changed my life – I now realize the true value of public service.”
This powerful statement is backed up by his next adventure. He shared, “I am determined to devote myself to public service at the local level, specifically the human resource development of local government managers. In order to achieve this goal, I decided to leave my position at PSU to pursue a Ph.D. in Public Administration at Waseda University.” His long-term goal after receiving his Ph.D. is to co-deliver local government manager training programs throughout Japan with colleagues in the country and here at CPS.
Waseda University is not only the most prestigious private university in Japan, but is also a sister university of PSU.
Yoichi’s plan was assisted with the announcement of him receiving a fellowship title from the Center, in order to maintain the institutional knowledge Yoichi had built over his career and to have him serve as a point of contact in Japan as CPS continue to explore partnerships.
In conclusion, Yoichi shared, “It was one of the best decisions of my life to come to Portland, and it was one of the toughest decisions of my life to leave. I will be back!”