STAFF

Matt Krebs
Executive Director

Matt enjoys facilitating meaningful Japan experiences for others in Boston. He was previously the director of the Japan/America Society of Kentucky where he established the JAPAN Summer Festival and the Kentucky/Japan Relief Fund, hosted the Manjiro/Whitfield Exchange Program, and expanded other programs and partnerships. In recent years, Krebs has been a technology industry analyst while pursuing a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology focused on technology in Japan. Krebs has lived in Japan at different times in his life and built cross-industry relationships in business, academic, diplomatic, and civic sectors.

Yuko Handa
Operations Manager

Yuko Handa joined Japan Society of Boston as the Operations Manager in July of 2017.  Born and raised in Japan but going to an international school in Yokohama, she spent her childhood in between cultures. After receiving a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania, Yuko returned to Japan where she worked as a sales engineer for an American semiconductor company. Her life journey brought her back to the US in 2005, and she has been a New Englander ever since.

Spencer Thurlow
Membership Manager

Spencer Thurlow joined Japan Society of Boston as Membership Manager in October 2017 after spending 3 1/2 years in Kochi City, Japan, managing study abroad programs and teaching English at a local private English school. He has a background in development, business development, management and consulting. Spencer also recently co-translated Sonic Peace, a book of contemporary poetry by Kiriu Minashita that was published in Dec. 2017.

Jessy LeClair
Communications Manager

Jessy LeClair joined the Japan Society of Boston as Communications Manager in September 2018, after completing a year of intensive Japanese language study at IUC in Yokohama. Jessy began her study of Japanese at Williams College, where she double-majored in Biology and Japanese. Since then, she has made over ten trips to Japan, including a yearlong Fulbright Fellowship to Kyoto University. Jessy received her Ph.D. in Social Psychology from UC Santa Barbara. Her research investigated the interplay betweem culture and the mind. As a licensed Japanese Vegetable Sommelier, Jessy enjoys exploring local farmers markets on the weekend.

Mari Tanaka
Administrative Coordinator

Mari Tanaka joined the Japan Society of Boston as Administrative Coordinator in October 2018. She majored in International Studies at Aoyama Gakuin Women’s Junior College in Tokyo. After graduation, she started working at a logistics company in Kanazawa, Japan, where she oversaw training new employees. Later, she worked in the public relations and management departments. She likes creating posters and videos, as well as thinking about new designs.

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