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

Faculty and Staff


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.

Deputy Director (Chair, April - September 2019)

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.

Faculty Members

Bregham Dalgliesh
Bregham Dalgliesh
PEAK Division, Center for Global Communication Strategies
Bregham Dalgliesh has extensive teaching experience in Canadian, German, Scottish, French, American and Japanese higher education. He also publishes on the ethics and power of the globalisation of knowledge dissemination.
Isabelle Giraudou
Organization for Programs on Environmental Sciences
Isabelle Giraudou is a French jurist who has been teaching in Japan since 2001 in several languages (French, English, and Japanese). She is currently 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 students-centered teaching methods based on complementary learning styles (including case studies, project- and problem-based learning). She is especially interested in designing learning frameworks addressing pioneering areas of regulation in emerging fields of transnational expertise, with a focus on environmental and natural resources law and policy. 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 transdisciplinary case- and problem-based education in the environmental field of knowledge, at the interface of Environmental Sciences and Environmental Humanities. See also: https://peak.c.u-tokyo.ac.jp/courses/peakpeople/l4/Vcms4_00000146.html
John O'Dea
Department of Interdisciplinary Cultural Studies, Center for Global Communication Strategies
John O’Dea grew up on a farm in southern Queensland, Australia, and studied psychology and philosophy at University of Queensland before moving to Melbourne to do his Ph.D. in Philosophy at Monash University. He also spent one year as a graduate student at the University of Maryland, on the outskirts on Washington, D.C., U.S.A.. After graduating with his Ph.D., John spent three years on a postdoctoral fellowship at the Australian National University in Canberra, and then for family reasons decided to move to Japan in 2006, and feels fortunate to have been with the University of Tokyo ever since. As a philosopher, John believes the university’s core educational mission is to encourage the development of reflective, critical, global individuals, and is delighted to be involved in the effort to shift educational practices in this direction.
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.
Yoko Mori
Globalization Office
Project Researcher

Administrative Staff

Sachiko Arai 
Alexander Taniguchi-Wiegman (Research Assistant)
Doyong Um (Research Assistant)