Elizabeth Leicester

A photo of Elizabeth Leicester

Elizabeth Leicester is the inaugural Associate Director of the Yanai Initiative for Globalizing Japanese Humanities. She brings over ten years of experience in managing the growth and expansion of academic programs, public outreach, and international partnerships, having previously served as Executive Director of the UCLA Asia Pacific Center, Assistant Director of the UCLA Asia Institute, and Program Manager of the USC Project for Premodern Japan Studies. Elizabeth has a BA from Columbia University and an MA from Stanford in East Asian Studies, as well as a C. Phil. in Japanese History from UCLA. She has done research and translations on women and gender in early modern Japan and taught courses on East Asian history and culture. In her new position, Elizabeth will be returning to her academic training and interest in Japan. She looks forward to bringing her experience to expand scholarship and deepen appreciation of Japanese humanities to wider audiences globally.


  • B.A. in East Asian Studies – Columbia University
  • M.A. in East Asian Studies – Stanford University
  • Candidate in Philosophy (C.Phil.) in Japanese History – UCLA