Marie Conte-Helm OBE
Professor Marie Conte-Helm has been the Executive Director of the UK-Japan-21st Century Group since November 2011.
From 2000 to 2011 she served as Director General of the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation, the largest UK charity supporting links between the two countries. Prior to that, she was Reader in Japanese Studies and Director, East Asian Developments at Northumbria University, Newcastle (1994-99), where she continues to hold a Visiting Professorship. She has also been Reader in Japanese Studies and Head of the Japanese Studies Division at the University of Sunderland where she worked closely with Japanese companies investing in the North East of England and played an active role in support of educational and cultural exchange.
Professor Conte-Helm's research has centred on the economic and cultural relationship between Japan and Britain and she has published widely in the field, including Japan and the North East of England: From 1862 to the Present Day and The Japanese and Europe: Economic and Cultural Encounters.
She is currently a Director of the UK-Japan 21st Century Group, and a member of the White Rose East Asia Centre (Universities of Sheffield and Leeds) International Advisory Board, and the British Association for Japanese Studies. She is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
In 2009 Professor Conte-Helm was awarded the Japanese Foreign Minister's Commendation 'for outstanding contribution to relations between Japan and the UK'.
She was awarded an OBE in the 2011 Queen's Birthday Honours for services to UK-Japan educational and cultural relations.