Alex Okuda, MA
Director of Study Abroad and International Internships Office
Alex H. Okuda joined Soka University of America, Aliso Viejo in August 2002 as the Director of SAII and International Internships. Previously, Okuda worked at the University of Macao for eight years as a full-time lecturer in Japanese Studies and Business Administration. He went on to serve as the Japanese Business Studies Major Coordinator and Academic Counsel Member at the University of Macao in 1999 until his employment at Soka University of America. He also serves as a member of Board of Directors at an N.P.O, "Art Peace," Hiroshima, Japan.
While teaching at the University of Macau, Okuda was very active in the area of business consulting for groups that included Macao-Japan Foreign Investment Committee, Macao; CEM (Macao Central Energy) Ltd., Macao; and Be 1 Ltd. & Macao Productivity Center. He was also appointed as special taskforce advisor at the Institution of Asian Development Bank in 1998 and Macao Trade & Investment Promotion Center, Macao in 1995-97. Okuda also served as Adjunct Faculty at such universities in Asia as University of Asia and the Pacific, the Philippines, Nanyang Technological University "MBA Mission to Japan" Program, Singapore, and Adult Education Program at Polytechnic College, Macau. At the time of the Macau's hand-over to China in 1999, he reported the historic event on-site as a commentator at NHK-Japan TV broadcasting, NHK radio and NHK World Premium.
Okuda has worked extensively in the field of international exchange and business. Beginning his early career as a part-time English Communication Instructor at Waseda Pre-university, Tokyo, he started a foundation for his work in intercultural dialog. He then began to work as a freelance Japanese-English interpreter in Japan while also employed as a part-time Research Assistant at Soka University, Tokyo, Japan. Throughout his career, he has taught such subjects as International Management, Cultural Influences on Management, Japanese Economy and Management, Practical Business English, Culture and Communications, and Japan and its Culture.
Okuda's undergraduate years were spent as a scholarship student of Management Studies in the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, USA. He attended Soka University, Tokyo Japan, where he received his BA in English, Social Science in 1992 and his MA in Economics and International Business in 1994.
Okuda has received numerous honors and awards for his performance as both a student and teacher. During his time in the University of Arkansas, he was awarded the Outstanding Academic Achievement Award from the Intensive English Language Program and the Overseas Student Scholarship. Soka University granted him the Best Scholastic Achievement in Graduate Study Honor in 1994 and later the Soyukai Award (Outstanding Graduates) in 2000. He has received multiple teaching awards from the University of Macao for his work there, including the Best Teacher of the Year in 1996 and Outstanding Teaching Award: Among Highest Teaching Evaluation in 1997-2001.
Okuda has been a prolific writer in the study of International Affairs and Business. He has had many of his articles published on his research and ideas on language and cultural transferability as it relates to business affairs. Several articles and conference papers concerning cultural differences found in business were published, including "Improving Japanese Business Communication in a Global Age," that featured in Toyo Magazine in 1997 and "Is Cross-cultural Communication a Big Deal for the Japanese?: The Way of Effective Organizational Communication Between Japanese and Non-Japanese," from the International Management Conference in Manila in 1999. In addition to these writings, Okuda has been featured in a number of journal publications. Some of published journals articles are as follows: "Organizational Process of Japanese Multinational Firms in the Asian Context: Transferability Issues," Asia Journal of Management, vol. 4 Macao (1996), "Organizational Process of Japanese firms in China: Effective Roles of Japanese Managers," Journal of Asian Management, vol. 2 (1997), and "Cross-Culture Communication in Organization: How Can Japanese Firms Survive in Global Business?" English Communication Journal, vol.7, Japan (1998). His first collaborated Japanese book on "Perspectives on English in Asia" was published in November, 2002.
Okuda speaks both Japanese and English on a native level and is proficient in Chinese.
He lives with his wife Junko, two sons Mark and Andy, and daughter Karen in Aliso Viejo.
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Soka University of America, Aliso Viejo is a private, non-profit four year international liberal arts college dedicated to providing future students with an outstanding education, preparing them for the workplace and responsible, effective citizenship in the multi-cultural world of tomorrow. SUA features a 9:1 student-faculty ratio and the comparative study of Eastern and Western perspectives across the liberal arts curriculum. All students concentrate on a second language and participate in a semester of internship/SAII during their junior year. Founded on the Buddhist principles of peace, human rights and the sanctity of life, SUA offers a non-sectarian curriculum and is open to students of all nationalities and beliefs. The first 14 buildings on SUA's 103-acre Aliso Viejo campus are complete. Classes opened to the first freshman class of 120 students from 18 countries and 18 states in fall 2001.