NEWS 2022.04.13

Introducing New Executive Director and Organizational Reform

Message from JANIC

As the new fiscal year starts in 2022, we, Japan NGO Center for International Cooperation, or JANIC, continue structural reforms to become an organization that is truly sought by civil society, domestic and international, to realize our vision and mission.

In recent years, we have taken various challenges of new initiatives as a network NGO and organizational management that are not limited to conventional frameworks. While we have achieved a certain degree of success and progress, we have yet to catch up with the changes requested by the current trends.

Therefore, we have decided to redefine the values of our organization, reform our management, operations, and finances, to reconsider the role of us in current society.

We will discuss the direction of reform with our affiliated members at the General Meeting to be scheduled in June this year, and begin implementing reforms in organizational management, operations, and finances onwards.

With the support of NexTreams LLC on organizational management, we will continue the self-organizing structure introduced in FY2020 with the aim of “each and every worker exercising his or her power through voluntary and proactive actions.

As of 1 April, we have the new Executive Director Ms. Megumi Mizusawa (former Deputy Executive Director), replacing Mr. Hideki Wakabayashi, who had been in office since FY2017, and our staffs will share responsibilities and roles in the operation of the Executive Office.

As we celebrate 35th anniversary of foundation, we call for continued supports and cooperation to our members and stakeholders in a time of great transition.


Message from former Executive Director-Hideki Wakabayashi

After five years since being hired in April 2017, I step down as Executive Director at the end of March 2022. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all of our members and stakeholders for your guidance, cooperation, and tremendous support for JANIC during the five years.

In a major generational shift, I hand over the baton to Ms. Mizusawa, former Deputy Executive Director, as New Executive Director. Mizusawa is the first female Executive Director in the history of JANIC. I would like to thank you all for your continued support and guidance.

In order to further strengthen JANIC’s advocacy work, I myself launch a think tank division on 1 April and will continue to be involved in the activities.

Looking around the international community, some of the goals of the SDGs have become more difficult to achieve, partly due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, democratic values and human rights are being threatened in Ukraine and other parts of the world. The world also faces shrinking civic spaces. To break out of this situation, it is necessary to further exploit the potential of the civil society, and I believe one of the answers will be found in think tanks’ policy recommendation and discussion that encourage various activities of citizens. Let us learn together, think together, and act together.


Message from the New Executive Director-Megumi Mizusawa

I assume the position of Executive Director of JANIC on 1April 2022. It is my pleasure to greet you on this opportunity. I joined JANIC in 2004 and have been attracted by JANIC’s activities, that can connect NGOs with each other and various sectors to achieve what one NGO could not do on its own. I have been involved in a wide variety of activities such as capacity buildings of NGOs, research and advocacy, collaboration with other sectors, and administration. In my personal life, I am a mother of three boys.

This October, we will celebrate its 35th anniversary. With social issues becoming more and more severe at both domestic and international society and the world rapidly changing, NGOs, NPOs, and CSOs are required to archive major changes to meet the needs of the current times. In this context, we will take on new challenges, while making the most of our traditions and characteristics.

Let me introduce some keywords for the implementation of this year’s projects; “a network where affiliated members actively utilize JANIC’s function” and “transition to a polycentric organization”. We will also strengthen our organizational foundation and administrative divisions.

With the motto of “Unleashing the Power of Citizens to Create an Inclusive Society,”, we hope to create a new “JANIC” with each and every one of you. We look forward to working with you all.


Megumi Mizusawa-Short Biography

Megumi Mizusawa is the Executive Director for Japan NGO Center for International Cooperation, JANIC, since April 2022. Started working for JANIC in 2002 while as a student at the Graduate School of Intercultural Communication, Rikkyo University (JAPAN), she was in charge of a wide range of projects including capacity building and training programs for NGOs, research and advocacy, and international cooperation projects. She is a mother of three boys and is a certified healer with Salon de Hagita Healing Collage where she performs healing activities on weekends and holidays.