“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.