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Hoping to expand the fellowship network

  • Daigo Koga
  • Daigo Koga
  • 2012 (1st cohort)


Consultant, Boston Consulting Group
Academic background
MS in Natural Resources Management and Environment, University of Michigan
Dispatched to:
First year: MIT Sloan Fellows Program
Second year: Harvard Kennedy School
June 2012- April 2014
With MIT professor and classmates
With MIT professor and classmates
With classmates and their families
With classmates and their families
What are you focusing on during your fellowship period?

Why I decided to study abroad:
I have been with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the World Bank working on development and environmental conservation in emerging countries, and I have watched my home country’s economy sliding steadily downhill while I have been away from home. I have always had a desire to contribute to Japan in the future, but I thought my specialization in environment would not be enough to enable me to make a significant contribution to solving Japan’s social and economic issues. I decided, therefore to take this opportunity to study abroad so that I could acquire knowledge in management and economic policies before returning to Japan.

Research area:
Development of the global financial order and public debt management in a global economy

The fact that the collapse of the US subprime loan has plunged the global credit market into crisis is clear evidence that the structure of the modern global economy makes it difficult to isolate and control financial crisis. It is one of global society’s urgent tasks to restructure the global financial order to prevent such crises from recurring. The issue of public debt in industrialized nations has surfaced following the global financial crisis, which is another critical problem that could trigger an entire chain of crises.

Could you explain briefly what exactly you have been doing during the International Fellowship period?

In my first year, I participated in a one-year MBA program known as the MIT Sloan Fellows Program in Innovation and Global Leadership. In my second year, I studied at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Mid-Career Master of Public Administration. As both were master’s programs, I was able to study extensive areas and themes, ranging from international politics to energy policies and leadership, while taking courses centered on my research area. I also had the opportunity to attend a Vogel Workshop held by former Harvard professor and author of Japan as No. 1, Dr. Ezra Feivel Vogel, at his house. During the workshop, I was able to become familiar with various issues facing Japan through discussions and exchange with other Japanese nationals from different backgrounds, including SDF officers, company employees, and university teachers studying at Cambridge.

First year (June 2012-June 2013):
English: MIT Sloan Fellows Program in Innovation and Global Leadership
One-year fulltime MBA program for mid-careers (completed)

Second year (July 2013-May 2014):
English: Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Mid-Career Master of Public Administration (scheduled to complete in May 2014)

Please give your feedback on the International Fellowship.

My wife gave birth to twins during my International Fellowship, and we became a big family with three children. Despite this, I have been able to concentrate on my studies without worrying about family finances thanks to the generous support we received to help with the cost of living and accommodations. I am very grateful for this. I am also thankful to the people of Nippon Foundation, who have been very supportive towards any requests or questions we have had. I think, however, that the real value of the Fellowship lies in extending the fellows’ network, including those whose fellowships have ended. I am very much looking forward to connecting with future International Fellows with the Nippon Foundation.

How do you want to build on your studies in the US after returning to Japan?

This opportunity has given me the chance to gain extensive knowledge about business, an area fairly new to me, and learn about economic policies. I expect this will work quite well in my future career.
I plan to start working in a private company after returning to Japan. Hopefully, I will be contributing to the development of the Japanese economy from the private sector. I would like to be playing a part in helping Japan make a comeback as a vibrant country in any capacity I can the future.