FEW Japan is run solely by members for its members. FEW is governed by a Board of Directors, elected for a one-year term by the regular membership that meets monthly.
Comprising women from diverse nationalities and professional backgrounds, all board members serve on a volunteer basis and have separate full time or part-time jobs. These women are committed to offering the membership a consistent, inspirational and educational experience.
Feel free to contact any board member via email anytime or to say hello in person at one of our meetings or events! We hope to see you soon.
Meet the 2016-2017 Board
12 directors, 6 countries, 4 moms
Born and raised in Christchurch, New Zealand, Sarah has lived and worked in Japan for over 16 years. She currently works at a leading global management consulting firm as a translator and editor, with previous experience in international relations, global PR and community event planning. As a member of FEW since 2008 and in her second year as FEW President, she remains committed to providing women of all nationalities, professions and backgrounds with a supportive space for learning and connection through the sharing of stories, skills and authentic dialogue, thereby further adding to the diversity of the FEW community.
Divya Marie Kato
Divya Marie Kato, of When In Doubt, Draw, is a British artist in Tokyo helping people reignite creativity at home and at work through drawing. She first joined FEW as a speaker and member and currently serves FEW as Vice President and Strategic Partner providing workshops and discounted services for FEW members. She brings a love of empowerment through creativity and diverse, inspiring events and looks forward to welcoming you to FEW.
Jane’s professional background is in accounting and she worked as an external auditor for nine years. She came to Tokyo a year ago after living and working in Australia for five years and in Chicago, where she grew up. Jane first got involved with FEW through volunteering with Second Harvest, one of FEW’s Community Service Partners. She was impressed with the diverse and motivated group of women she met and is now excited to have an active role in FEW. As Membership Director, she looks forward to promoting FEW to both foreigners and Japanese so others can benefit from the group as she has.
Saya moved to Tokyo in 2011 after living in New York and Hong Kong. She studied political science and minored in global leadership at Waseda University. She’s currently the marketing manager at Lumina Learning and loves travelling, reading, cooking, gardening and being outdoors. Passionate about women’s empowerment, international development, marine conservation and inter-cultural communication, Saya is excited to contribute to FEW, a community that has supported and empowered her for the past two years, and to get to know the amazing women of the FEW community.
Sabine has lived and worked in Paris, the Balkans, and New York before moving to Tokyo in 2012 with her family. Originally from Germany, Sabine is an independent consultant and PhD candidate at Waseda University specializing in international development and evaluation, for which she travels within Japan and abroad. Thanks to FEW, Sabine felt quickly at home in Japan, and is excited to support the FEW community by continuing to source interesting speakers and fuel inspiring debates.
Beth Thomas is a journalist who first came to Japan to work in 1996, and has since lived here three times, adding up to more than 10 years in Japan. Originally from the U.K., her paid job is now working as an editor for an international financial newswire, and her unpaid job is taking care of two young girls. With almost two decades experience as as journalist, she has lived and worked in London, Paris, Hanoi and Tokyo, covering stories as diverse as the introduction of the euro, and Vietnamese businessmen snapping up agricultural land to build golf courses. When she’s not doing all this, she can sometimes be found upside-down in a yoga pose, up a mountain, or in the sea with a scuba tank on her back. She likes to hear people’s’ stories, and hopes to bring these to FEW with an interesting and diverse range of speakers.
SPECIAL EVENTS DIRECTOR
With a communication and event management background, Tanja is now a full-time freelancer, active in digital communication, writing and broadcasting for media houses back in her native Luxembourg as well as teaching German and French. Tanja has lived in Austria and France, and moved to Tokyo in 2015 with her husband. She was happy to discover FEW during her first weeks in Tokyo and the multiple opportunities to meet inspiring women and to network. As a Special Events Director, Tanja aims to bring people together, to share experiences, inspire each other and to learn.
PUBLIC RELATIONS & COMMUNICATIONS CO-DIRECTORS
Raena joined FEW in 2016, soon after moving to Tokyo from her native New York. She is a strategic and corporate communications consultant, specializing in reputation management and thought leadership for major global companies. Raena has always had a passion for strengthening cross-cultural ties, having grown up in a bilingual and bicultural family, and having lived in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. She is excited to learn, share, and connect with the inspiring members of the FEW community. Alongside learning Japanese, Raena looks forward to helping share the FEW mission of fostering a network to achieve professional and personal growth.
Jodi is a trained clinical social worker, teacher, life coach and writer. Originally from Austin, Texas in the USA, Jodi has lived in Spain, Northern Ireland, the Dominican Republic and Madagascar. She and her family came to Japan in August 2015 and she attended her first FEW meeting just weeks after arriving in Japan. Passionate about connecting people to resources, community and learning opportunities – she looks forward to helping spread the word about FEW and all it has to offer as one of the Public Relations & Communications Co-Directors.
STRATEGIC PARTNERS CO-DIRECTORS
Born and raised in Ehime Prefecture in Shikoku, the smallest of the four main islands of Japan, Akane also spent time living and studying in the United States after graduating from Japan Women’s University in Tokyo. Over the past 10 years, she’s worked for several international media companies as an advertising and marketing specialist, helping hundreds of Japanese companies and governments promote their services to foreigners living in Japan and overseas. In 2016, she started her company, SEDO Co., Ltd. She looks forward to utilizing her experience to secure new sponsors and partners to contribute to the continued success of FEW.
Originally from Texas, this is Michelle’s third time living in Japan. While in the U.S., she worked in marketing. However her passion for women’s rights was ignited while living in Seoul. She currently works on the ground and as a consultant for NGOs focusing on human trafficking and human rights. Becoming involved in FEW in 2015, she hopes to contribute to this great organization by working with strategic partners to find creative ways to collaborate for the mutual benefit of partners and members. She is also married and the mother of two.
COMMUNITY SERVICES DIRECTOR
Hailing from Northern Ireland, Kathryn has worked in Japan since 2008, first in southern Kyushu and currently in Tokyo. She is an editor, writer and content creator with an academic and professional background in media and Japanese. A former editor of the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan magazine, Kathryn has had her work published in Japan, the UK, Singapore and Canada. She looks forward to meeting more FEW members and boosting ties between FEW and its community service partners for the benefit of the wider Japan community.