Koichiro Matsuura’s appointment as Chairman of the Board brings with it unparalleled experience in the development of international education and training. Born and educated in Tokyo, he began his diplomatic career in Ghana, covering ten West African countries and growing a lifelong passion for the cultures and people of Africa.
After working in development cooperation, political and foreign affairs across Europe, America and Asia for many years, Dr. Matsuura was elected as Director General of UNESCO in 1999, undertaking sweeping reform, strengthening resources in the field, and focusing on key program priorities. In light of these accomplishments, as well as the addition of new members of UNESCO, including the US, he was re-elected for a second term in 2005.
Dr. Matsuura has authored books in Japanese, English and French on UNESCO, international relations, the intersection between diplomacy and development cooperation, Japan-US relations, Japan-French relations, and a history of the G-7 Summit.