Executive Committee
Central Committee

Kanto Team
Kansai Team
Tohoku Team
Kyushu Team
Hokkaido Team

Executive Committee

Austin ZENG
President / Co-founder

Nationality: Singaporean
School: University of Tokyo / Undergraduate
Arrival in Japan: 2012
Austin is currently working in multiple startups in the Tokyo tech scene. He is also a member of a research group at RIETI researching about the laboural scene for foreigners in Japan.

Vice President of Regionals / Co-founder

Nationality: Indian
School: Kyoto University / PhD
Arrival in Japan: 2015
Anirban’s research area is earthquake engineering and current focus is on quantifying the resolution reliability of seismic hazard maps.

Global Strategy Advisor / Co-founder

Nationality: Indian
School: Tokyo Institute of Technology / Undergraduate
Arrival in Japan: 2015
Karthik currently works at a leading VC fund in Japan and is active in the global entrepreneurship scene as an investor and a mentor. He is passionate about cutting edge technologies, finance & sustainability, and entrepreneurship. Feel free to reach out to him / follow him on LinkedIn, Instagram

Anastasia BENDER
Head of Media / Co-founder

Nationality: German
School: University of Tsukuba / Masters
Arrival in Japan: 2015
Anastasia is working at a major Japanese corporation in Tokyo and is in charge of supporting other corporations, which are considering or already implementing downsizing measures.

Yuhchian ONG

Nationality: Singaporean
School: Tokyo Institute of Technology / Masters, on hiatus
Arrival in Japan: 2019
A graduate of the ASJA-MEXT scholarship program, Yuhchian works in Tokyo as a Product Analyst in a tech company. He had taken up masters studies in his mid 30’s to facilitate a mid-career transition, and is currently figuring out childcare in Japan as a father to a newborn baby.

Nguyễn Hữu Lê Quang TÍN
Head of Alumni

Nationality: Vietnamese
School: University of Tokyo / Masters
Arrival in Japan: 2018
Tin’s research revolves around haptics for softness perception and flexible pressure sensor technology. His interests are in mechatronics, robotics and potential human-machine interfaces.

Xiaochen SU
Executive Member

Nationality: American
School: University of Tokyo / PhD
Arrival in Japan: 1994
Xiaochen grew up in Japan as a child and returned in 2017 for a PhD, researching international immigration. He currently works as a business risk consultant in Tokyo while running the Study Abroad Research Institute, an NGO that promotes study abroad in Japan.

Executive Member

Nationality: Iraq – Kurdistan
School: Hiroshima University / PhD
Arrival in Japan: 2017
Nawras’s research interest is Learning Engineering. Using data analysis and statistical methods he tries to explain the factors that can improve the process of learning for general people as well as in educational settings.

Executive Member

Nationality: Pakistan
School: Tokyo Institute of Technology / Masters
Arrival in Japan: 2020
Haris is working to enable Artificial Intelligence (AI) on small user devices like smartphones and smart watches. His interests include applications of AI and robotics and learning about different cultures. Follow him on LinkedIn

Central Committee

Head of Kanto Region

Nationality: Greek
School: Keio University / PhD
Arrival in Japan: 2018
Harry is an architect engineer and filmmaker, with studies and professional experience in Greece and Germany. Currently pursuing a PhD in Media Design in Keio University, his research focuses on Augmented Reality and Haptics, at the intersection of design and technology.

Head of Kansai Region

Nationality: American
School: Kyoto University / PhD
Arrival in Japan: 2017
Chika’s research interests includes minority farmers, food sovereignty, and agroecology in the United States and Japan.

Head of Tohoku Region

Nationality: Indian
School: Tohoku University / PhD
Arrival in Japan: 2018
Shreya is a PhD student in space robotics developing innovative space systems for planetary exploration missions. Her interests are in space, robotics, travelling, dance and gardening.

Alexander EVANS Head of Kyushu Region

Nationality: United States of America
School: Kyushu University / Research
Arrival in Japan: 2018
Alexander’s research revolves around the economic history of early-modern Japan, and his current project examines the role of religious institutions in the creation of a tourism industry.


Head of Hokkaido Region

Nationality: Bangladesh
School: Hokkaido University / Masters
Arrival in Japan: 2017
A molecular microbiologist by profession and musician and entrepreneur by passion. Currently developing a low cost and sustainable system for the production of biomolecules with the help of plant-microbe symbiosis as my Masters research. I’m interested in the usage of microorganisms for a sustainable and eco-friendly biotechnology industry.


Stéphane FOUCHÉ

Nationality: Haitian
School: Kyushu University / Japanese Studies
Arrival in Japan: 2013 – 2014 (Exchange), Returned to Japan in 2015.
Stéphane co-lead the early expansion efforts of HLAB, was the member of the co-founding team of Komatsu Summer School and founded the Harvard Japan Career Forum. He currently works as the youngest manager of one of Japan’s largest IT, Digital Contents & e-service platforms and is also the advisor to Taktopia.


Nationality: German
School: Waseda University, Fukui University, Hamburg University / PhD
Arrival in Japan: In 1991, since then going back and forth.
Iris is President and CEO of IRIS Science Management Inc., a Tokyo-based consulting firm specializing in research management, policy advice, and support for global cooperation in science and research. She has profound practical expertise in research management in Europe and Japan. Among others, she acted as Founding Director of the Japan Office of the German Research Foundation (DFG) in Tokyo, retains a research position with the German Institute of Global and Area Studies (GIGA) in Hamburg, and is advising the Japanese government on research policy issues.

Gustavo DORE

Nationality: Brazilian
School: Keio University / Masters
Arrival in Japan: 2009
Gustavo is the CEO of Motify. He wants to change how people work through technology. Loves IoT, startups, videogames, AR and organization psychology. If you want to start a business in Japan, he might be able to help. =)