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Leadership Meeting

On February 10, 2007, alumni members from all over the United States met in Washington, DC to discuss special topics related to the activities of the alumni association. Members of the Executive Committee, Science Group Coordinators, and former Executive Committee members convened the meeting.

In the morning, Executive Committee members met together with the staff of JSPS Washington Office. The topics at the morning meeting were about various alumni association business, such as the newsletter, bylaws, and guidelines for alumni symposia and annual meetings. With the input of JSPS Washington Office, the Executive Committee was able to construct a good plan of procedure for their activities.

Participants began to arrive for the Saturday meeting by noon. The Executive Committee wrapped up their morning meeting session and everyone joined in on a working-lunch. It was a good chance for alums to catch up with one another.

After lunch, the meeting began with an address by Arup Neogi, chair of the alumni association, and a few words of welcome from Akira Masaike, director of the JSPS Washington Office. Wael Zatar, vice-chair, made a few remarks and mentioned that the alumni association had gained one hundred new members in recent months!

After the announcements, the meeting began with some serious discussion among all attendees. The main topic of discussion for the day was drafting guidelines for both an alumni association science symposium and an annual meeting of alumni association members. After much discussion, by the end of the day, guidelines were successfully drawn up. Jan Zeserson, Northeast region representative to the Executive Committee, took down the official notes of the meeting. This report appears on the jspsusa.org website, and we encourage you all to read it.

Besides this important achievement at the meeting, other business was also accomplished. James Kuffner from the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University proposed to lead a project to link the JSPS Washington Office alumni webpage to individual alumni web pages.

A reception followed the meeting in the evening. The reception was preceded by our keynote guest speaker, Anne Emig, program manager for Japan, National Science Foundation (NSF) Office of Science and Engineering. She spoke about the latest news and information from NSF. After her presentation, alumni members took advantage of the chance to ask many questions. It was a very informative Q&A session. Afterwards, everyone joined for a lively social hour over dinner and a commemorative photo.