About GFD

Mission Statement

The Global Faculty Development Initiative at the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Tokyo aims to promote teaching excellence among the instructors who offer courses in non-Japanese languages.

Our overarching outcomes include:
a. Expose current and future faculty to effective, learner-centered teaching techniques
b. Nurture instructors who can teach content courses in languages other than Japanese
c. Actively engage in exchange of ideas and research on global faculty development

GFD Comitte Members


Richard Shefferson
Richard Shefferson
Organization for Programs on Environmental Sciences
Richard Shefferson is an American evolutionary biologist who earned his PhD at the University of California at Berkeley, and previously worked as assistant professor at the University of Georgia's Odum school of Ecology. He currently teaches evolution, ecology, statistics, and field and molecular methods in evolution and ecology. His primary interest in teaching is to find innovative ways of training the next generation of biologists, with applications at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. He also retains an interest in teaching cutting edge perspectives on evolution to the general public.

Deputy Director 

Isabelle Giraudou
Organization for Programs on Environmental Sciences
Isabelle Giraudou is an associate professor at the University of Tokyo, the Organization for Programs on Environmental Sciences, where she teaches Environmental Legal Studies. In this position, she seeks to implement student-centered teaching methods based on complementary learning styles (including case studies and project-based learning). She is especially interested in designing learning frameworks addressing regulation in emerging fields of transnational expertise, with a focus on Earth system governance and law. Moreover, each of her university position has sharpened her scholarly interest in interdisciplinary approaches to the curriculum and global skills education as an object of research. Focusing on East Asia, her current research project examines how the ‘Anthropocene’ scientific proposal and its narratives are progressively permeating legal studies, and explores the possibility to develop interdisciplinary case-based education in the environmental field of knowledge. See more here.

Faculty Members

Jonathan Woodward
Jonathan Woodward
Organization for Programs on Environmental Sciences
Jonny Woodward was born in the United Kingdom and studied for his undergraduate and doctoral degrees in chemistry at the University of Oxford. Throughout his career he has shared two passions; chemistry research and chemistry education. While working as an academic in the UK, he was responsible for introducing a number of important educational developments, including the national ‘Chemistry: The Next Generation’ program, managed by the Royal Society of Chemistry and helping develop the first Interdisciplinary Science degree in the UK taught entirely by Problem Based Learning. In 2007 he was awarded the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Higher Education Teaching Award. Since 2011, Jonny has been an associate professor at the University of Tokyo. He has devoted himself to constantly find new ways to improve the learning experiences of his students, with a recent focus on ‘Flipped Classroom’ approaches. He is also focused on sharing ideas about pedagogy and teaching and learning throughout the University of Tokyo and in the wider Japanese educational and chemistry communities.
Ellinger James
James Ellinger
Active Learning of English for Science Students, Center for Global Communication Strategies
James Ellinger was born in the United States of America and holds a B.A. in Biochemistry from the College of Wooster and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin. He believes that class sizes should be small so as to facilitate frequent interactions between students and teachers, an outlook that was shaped by his experience at the College of Wooster. Throughout graduate school and post-doctoral positions, James routinely mentored ungraduates in the laboratory, experiences that greatly affected his desire to teach in higher education. James uses multiple modes of student-centered teaching such as problem-based and project-based learning. He is currently interested in investigating the POGIL framework in an English Language Learner context.
Midori sensei
Midori Sato
Center for International Exchange, Globalization Office
Midori currently coordinates the Global Praxis courses at the University of Tokyo at the Globalization Office and is a former UNICEF staff member who worked for children and women's health issues for 20 years. She holds a Doctorate in Public Health (DrPH) degree from the University of London, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and has a strong passion for supporting vulnerable women and children. 

Program Coordinator

Cecilia Grandi-Nagashiro
Globalization Office
Cecilia Grandi-Nagashiro is a Ph.D. (c) in Sustainability Science from The University of Tokyo. She holds a double bachelor's in Natural sciences and Biology and a master's degree in International Forestry. She has conducted research on marine conservation, forest policy and, indigenous communities. Currently, her research focuses on environmental psychology in the context of the adoption of sustainable lifestyles. 

Administrative Staff

Sachiko Arai 
Globalization Office
Zhiyun Du 
Globalization Office, Research Assistant
Zhiyun Du (Zoe) joined the PEAK program at the University of Tokyo in 2018, and will complete her undergraduate degree in International Japanese Studies in 2022. Her academic interests are literature and gender studies.