Portrait of Shinobu Yume Yamaguchi

Shinobu Yume Yamaguchi

Director of UNU-IAS

PhD, Economics of Education, Columbia University
MA, Public Administration, Columbia University
yamaguchi@unu.edu +81 3 5467 1212

Shinobu Yume Yamaguchi is the Director of UNU-IAS.

Since 2019 Dr. Yamaguchi has been Director of the United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS). Her fields of specialization include international development and cooperation, ICT in education, education policy, science and technology policy, and the application of technology in world heritage site preservation. As UNU-IAS Director she has delivered expert interventions at numerous UN conferences and meetings including UN Climate Change Conferences (UNFCCC COPs), the annual UN High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), the Transforming Education Summit, and sessions of the Committee of Experts on Public Administration (CEPA). Among her many contributions to education policy, Dr. Yamaguchi served as a member of the International Advisory Board of the UNESCO flagship programme Futures of Education. She is the founding Chair of the SDG–Universities Platform, an initiative mobilizing efforts by Japanese universities towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Prior to this post Dr. Yamaguchi was Professor at Tokyo Institute of Technology (from 2006), where she is currently serving as Professor Emeritus. In her earlier career Dr. Yamaguchi worked for UNESCO, primarily on the development of education systems in China, Indonesia, Mongolia and Pakistan.

Dr. Yamaguchi is an Associate Member of the Science Council of Japan and a Member of the Japanese National Commission for UNESCO, and has served on several committees of the Government of Japan. She is also an active member of the Comparative and International Education Society, the Japan Society for International Development, and the World Council of Comparative Education Societies. Dr. Yamaguchi holds a PhD in Economics of Education from Columbia University. She has authored or co-authored more than 200 publications and conference/seminar presentations.

Research Interests

  • ICT in education
  • International development and cooperation
  • Reform and policy of education
  • Science and technology policy
  • Technology for world heritage site preservation


  • Professor, Tokyo Institute of Technology (2006–2019)
  • Advisor to the President, Tokyo Institute of Technology (2005–2007)
  • Associate Professor, Tokyo Institute of Technology (2002–2006)
  • Programme Specialist, Beijing Office, UNESCO (1994–1996)
  • Assistant Programme Specialist, Education Sector, UNESCO Paris (1991–1994)