Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month 2012: Matthew Asada
Matthew Asada is a fourth generation Japanese-American and third generation public servant. He joined the U.S. Foreign Service as a political officer in 2003. He is currently assigned as an American Political Science Association (APSA) Congressional Fellow with his hometown Congressman Gary Peters (MI-9) working to facilitate greater trade and travel through the Detroit-Windsor corridor.
As a Foreign Service officer he has served in border posts in South Asia (Kolkata, India; Kunduz, Afghanistan; and Lahore, Pakistan) and Europe (Munich, Germany). On the German-led Provincial Reconstruction Team in Kunduz he helped expand the opening hours and maximize trade opportunities of the new U.S.-funded $49 million Afghan-Tajik bridge. Most recently, he staffed Ambassadors Marc Grossman and the late Richard Holbrooke domestically and overseas as they sought to forge a political settlement to the conflict in Afghanistan.
He graduated from the London School of Economics (MSc in European politics and policy) and the University of Pennsylvania (BS in economics, BA in international studies and German). He also studied at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and the Humboldt University in Berlin. He speaks fluent German and rudimentary Hindi, Urdu, Dari, and Spanish. He is a governing board member of the American Foreign Service Association, where he has worked to improve governance, strengthen financial oversight, and promote diversity.