Sakakihara Awarded JACL Mike Masaoka Fellowship


Harvard Law graduate currently interning with Rep. Mazie Hirono’s office.



WASHINGTON.—The Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) awarded the 2009 JACL Mike M. Masaoka Fellowship to Scott Sakakihara, who has started work in the Washington, D.C. office of Rep. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) where he will serve for approximately four months. He was previously an intern in the office of Rep. Pete Stark, his own congressman from Northern California. He has also been an intern with the California Governor’s Office of Constituent Affairs, Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS), and the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services.

After graduation from Harvard Law School in 2008, Sakakihara was an associate at Simpson, Thatcher & Bartlett LLP in Palo Alto. Before attending Harvard Law School where he graduated cum laude with his J.D., Sakakihara received a B.A. in Political Science with a minor in Law and Society at the UC San Diego. He completed his degree in two years and was Valedictorian. He will serve as the JACL Masaoka Fellow because he wanted the experience of working on the Hill before further pursuing his career as an attorney.

Sakakihara grew up in Union City, and is the son of Dean and Tracie Sakakihara. He was involved in the youth sports program of the Eden Athletic Club sponsored by the Eden Japanese Community Center. He has volunteered at events with Eden such as the bazaar and the mochitzuki. Since moving to the Washington area, he has become a board member of the D.C. JACL Chapter.

The Mike M. Masaoka Fellowship Fund was established in 1988 to honor Mike M. Masaoka for a lifetime of public service to the nation and the JACL. Masaoka was the JACL’s national secretary, field executive, na¬tional legislative director of the JACL’s Anti-Discrimination Committee and the JACL Washington, D.C. representa¬tive. Masaoka Fellows are placed in the Washington Congressional offices of a members of the United States Senate or the House of Representatives. Dr. H. Tom Tamaki of Philadelphia administered the program for the JACL for 20 years since its inception. Floyd Mori, national executive director of the JACL, stated: “This is a great opportunity for young people to get a taste and feel for service in the nation’s capital. Scott’s achieve-ments so far are commendable, and we expect big things from him in the future.”


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