About me – Brian Woodall
To be truthful, serendipity — not prescience — led me to an academic career. I hold a Ph.D. in Political Science from University of California at Berkeley, where I specialized in comparative politics, political economy, and East Asian regional studies. Berkeley is an incredible place to pursue graduate study, and I was fortunate to work with world-class professors and classmates in an intellectually stimulating environment. After completing my doctorate I held faculty positions at the University of California at Irvine and Harvard University before assuming my present post in Georgia Tech’s Sam Nunn School of International Affairs. Along the way, I have enjoyed visiting appointments at the University of Tokyo, Tokyo Tech, and Tōhoku University — three of Japan’s finest universities. In addition to my regular professorial duties, I serve as Director of the Japan Summer Program in Sustainable Development.
Teaching and research are the core pursuits of my professional life. It is a joy working with bright university students and watching them proceed to meaningful careers and productive lives. The most palpable fruits of my research are three books: Growing Democracy in Japan (University Press of Kentucky, 2014), Japan Under Construction (University of California Press, 1996), and Japan’s Changing World Role (Japan Society, 1993). In addition, I co-edited Elections in Japan, Korea, and Taiwan Under the Single Non-Transferable Vote (University of Michigan Press, 1999) and authored numerous journal articles and book chapters. Some recent publications include “Japan in 2018” (Asian Survey, February 2019) and “Democratization in East Asia” (chapter in the Routledge Handbook of Politics in Asia. I have received research funding from a variety of sources, including the Japan-United States Educational Commission (Fulbright Japan), Coca-Cola Foundation, U.S.-Japan Friendship Commission, Social Science Research Council, and the Japan Foundation. I serve on the editorial boards of Routledge Studies on Comparative Asian Politics, and have been interviewed on CNN, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Asahi Shimbun, and other media outlets. My current research explores relating to sustainable development, including energy security, environmental stewardship, and the role of institutions in creating sustainable and resilient infrastructure. For more about my teaching and research activities, click on the relevant tabs at the top of this webpage or visit Amazon.com’s “Brian Woodall Page”
I was born in Idaho, raised and educated in Utah and California, and have also called Hawai’i, Massachusetts, and Georgia home. It has also been my good fortune to have lived in Japan (for more than six years), and to have enjoyed extended stays in New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and Australia. I enjoy spending time with my family, hiking and savoring nature, reading, and following my favorite sports teams. The photo on the left is of me fly fishing on the slopes of New Mexico’s Sangre de Cristo Mountains. In addition, I enjoy good food and travel, and have managed to visit more than thirty countries and 47 of America’s 50 states. Can you guess the three states that remain on my bucket list? The answer is found at the bottom of the page under the “Activities” tab.