January 2014, Hiroshima, Japan - UNITAR is pleased to announce that a new Head of Hiroshima Office, Ms. Mihoko Kumamoto, took office from January 2014.

new Head of Hiroshima Office, Mihoko KumamotoMs. Mihoko Kumamoto has over 18 years of professional experience in the development cooperation field and has been with the United Nations for 12 years. Ms. Kumamoto started her career at Kyushu Electric Power Company in Japan where she coordinated training programmes and while there, she discovered that her passion was in helping people to help themselves, specifically through human development and development cooperation. After six years, Ms. Kumamoto left the company and moved to New York to earn her Masters in Economic Development at Columbia University.

In 2001, she joined the United Nations Development Programme, and served its Vietnam Country Office as Junior Professional Officer. In 2003, she moved to the Bureau for Development Programme of UNDP Headquarters in New York and led various signature programmes that promoted the capacity development of institutions and individuals including the Africa Adaptation Programme. In 2011, Ms. Kumamoto worked for UNDP Multi-Country Office for Samoa, the Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau as Assistant Resident Representative for Crisis Prevention and Recovery, the Environment and Climate Change. After the assignment, she rejoined UNDP Headquarters, and in 2012, Ms. Kumamoto moved to Jakarta to serve UNDP Indonesia as a Senior Advisor.

Ms. Kumamoto holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from West Virginia University and a Master’s Degree in International Affairs from Columbia University. She is a PhD candidate at Kyoto University on climate change and sustainable development.

Ms. Kumamoto is very happy to move to Hiroshima, as she is looking forward to the many regional foods there.  While living in the US, she appreciated learning how to bake and sampling the foods at many farmers’ markets. Ms. Kumamoto also enjoys swimming and spending time with her one-year old daughter, Hotaru, and husband, Matt. After living overseas for the past 15 years, Ms. Kumamoto looks forward to returning to Japan and rediscovering the beauty of her homeland.