“After Carleton,” I followed a somewhat circuitous route to my current home.  Upon graduation, with my Art History degree in tow, I began a focused study of Japan and Japanese culture – an interest of mine that didn’t really blossom until until very late in my Carleton career.  I moved to Osaka and spent my days studying at a Japanese university and nights working in the kitchen of a sushi restaurant.  From Osaka, I moved to Okayama Prefecture under the auspices of a Japanese government program to promote the “internationalization” of Japan and worked as the Coordinator for International Relations in the Department of Commerce, Industry, and Labor in the Okayama Prefectural Government.

After a year in Okayama, I returned the US and landed in Washington DC with a job in the Clinton administration first as a policy analyst at the National Economic Council in the White House, and later as the Deputy Director for Japan Affairs  in the Office of the US Trade Representative.

Following a few years in Washington DC, and with my interests in Japan enduring, I decided to apply to graduate school.  Along the lines of my inclinations toward the “history” side of Art History while at Carleton, I enrolled in the University of Chicago’s History Department PhD program.  I ultimately completed a dissertation entitled “Notes from the Periphery: Satsuma Identities in Early Modern and Modern Japan” in which I explored how groups formed in “peripheral centers” around religious, economic and social identities in the seventeenth through nineteenth centuries, distinct from the Japanese nation-state and a perceived national identity.   After completing my dissertation, I took took a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard to begin to convert my dissertation into a book, but also to reconsider whether or not academia was the right path for me.

For a variety of reasons (including the practicalities of needing to stay in Chicago with young daughter and my wife, who was in med school at the time), I ended up looking at opportunities outside of academia.  I landed at Nuveen, a very large asset management firm that had history of hiring “non-traditional” employees as fixed income analysts — in other words, Nuveen liked to hire PhDs for their abilities to research, think independently, craft arguments, write, etc.  I quickly learned how to read balance sheets and cash flow statements in my new role as a healthcare analyst.  My role at Nuveen has evolved during the 10 years I have been here, and I  am currently Head of Strategic Product Development.