The Washington Post

Sadako Ogata, former UN high commissioner for refugees, joins Brookings

Sadako Ogata, former president of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and United Nations high commissioner for refugees, has joined the Brookings Institution as a distinguished fellow.

“With [Ogata’s] many years as an international public servant and world leader, she will have considerable impact on the Institution’s international agenda,” said Brookings President Strobe Talbott in a statement. “She embodies Brookings’s ideals and further demonstrates our reach as a global think tank.”

Before her eight-year tenure at JICA, Ogata was the UN high commissioner for refugees from 1991 to 2000. She was appointed as the special representative of the prime minister of Japan for Afghanistan Assistance in November 2001. From 1982 to 1985, she was also the representative of Japan on the UN Commission on Human Rights. In 1978 and 1979, Ogata was envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary at the Permanent Mission of Japan to the UN after serving as minister from 1976 to 1978.

As a distinguished fellow, Ogata joins a small group at Brookings that includes Donna Shalala, president of the University of Miami and former U.S. secretary of health and human services; Itamar Rabinovich, an Israeli diplomat and university president; Ed Rendell, former governor of Pennsylvania; Thomas Pickering, a career U.S. ambassador and former permanent representative to the UN; and Javier Solana, former secretary general of NATO and high representative for foreign and security policy of the European Union.

Allen McDuffee writes about politics and policy and covered think tanks for The Washington Post from 2011 to 2013. He freelances and hosts a podcast at and is currently working on a book about the influence of think tanks in Washington.


Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read


Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
Deaf banjo player teaches thousands
Unconventional warfare with a side of ale
It's in the details: Five ways to enhance your kitchen makeover
Play Videos
Drawing as an act of defiance
A fighter pilot helmet with 360 degrees of sky
Border collies: A 'mouse trap' for geese on the National Mall
Play Videos
Bao: The signature dish of San Francisco
This man's job is binge-watching for Netflix
What you need to know about Planned Parenthood
Play Videos
How to save and spend money at college
Pandas, from birth to milk to mom
Europe's migrant crisis, explained