Sadako Ogata (1927-2019)

Sadako Ogata (1927-2019)

30 October 2019

I am sad to announce the death of our Honorary Fellow, Sadako Ogata, at the age of 92.

Sadako Ogata graduated from the University of the Sacred Heart with a bachelor's degree in English Literature and then studied at Georgetown University, earning a master's degree in International Relations, at a time when it was not common for a Japanese woman to study abroad. She was awarded a PhD in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley in 1963. She taught international politics at Sophia University and later became Dean of the Faculty of Foreign Studies until her departure to join the UNHCR.

In 1990, she was appointed to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), a position which she held until 2001. She is particularly well known for her work in supporting Kurdish refugees after the Gulf War, refugees in the Yugoslav wars and refugees in the Rwandan genocide. In 2001, she became co-chairperson of the UN Human Security Commission.

The Japanese government appointed her as President of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in 2003, a position from which she was only able to retire in 2012 because of the strength of popular demand that she remain in post.

Sadako Ogata was made an Honorary Fellow of St Antony’s in 2002 and was a good friend of the college. The college flag will be flown at half-mast to honour the life of a truly inspirational teacher and public servant.

Roger Goodman (Warden)