President & CEO
Dr Joseph Haldane
BA, PhD (London), FRSA, FRAS
Joseph Haldane is the President and Chief Executive Officer of The International Academic Forum (IAFOR). He was Academic Director from IAFOR’s inception in 2009 until January 2011, and Executive Director from 2011 until late 2014, when he assumed his current role. He is responsible for devising strategy, setting policies, forging institutional partnerships, implementing projects, and overseeing the organisation’s business and academic operations, including research, publications and events.
Dr Haldane’s academic interests include politics and international affairs, literature and history, and he holds a PhD from the University of London in 19th-century French Studies. He began his academic career in France, and from 2002 to 2005 held full-time faculty positions at the University of Paris XII (Paris-Est Créteil) and Sciences Po Paris, as well as visiting positions at both the French Press Institute in the University of Paris II (Université Panthéon-Assas), and the School of Journalism at Sciences Po Paris. Prior to founding IAFOR in 2009, Dr Haldane was an Associate Professor at Nagoya University of Commerce and Business in Japan, where he taught a range of language and culture courses at undergraduate level, as well as the MBA Ethics course in the graduate school.
Dr Haldane is now a Guest Professor at Osaka University’s School of International Public Policy (OSIPP), where he teaches on the postgraduate Global Governance Course. As of 2016 he is also an Invited Lecturer in the School of Journalism at Moscow State University. His current research concentrates on post-war and contemporary politics and International Relations especially in and between Japan, China and the USA.
From 2012 to 2014 Dr Haldane served as Treasurer of the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (Chubu Region) and he is currently a Trustee of the HOPE International Development Agency (Japan). In 2012 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society, and in 2015 a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
A black belt in judo, he is married with two children and lives in Nagoya, Japan.
Chairman of the International Advisory Board (2009–2016)
Professor Stuart D. B. Picken (1942–2016)
Order of the Sacred Treasure (瑞宝中綬章), MA (Hons), BD, PhD (Glasgow), FRAS
Stuart D. B. Picken was born in Glasgow in 1942 and enjoyed an international reputation in philosophy, comparative religious and cultural studies, but it is as a scholar of Japan and Japanese thought for which he will be best remembered, and as one of the world’s foremost experts on Shinto.
Picken entered University of Glasgow, Scotland, aged 16, to study divinity and philosophy, and his studies culminated with a doctorate that looked at Christianity and the work of Kant. In 1966 he was ordained in the Church of Scotland, and began his career as a minister in Orkney.
However, his curiosity led him from isolated rural Scotland to the world’s largest city, and following a visit to Tokyo on a Rotary scholarship Picken was appointed Professor of Philosophy at the International Christian University (ICU) in 1972. Here he turned his western theological and philosophical training to comparative religious and cultural studies of Japan, at a time when the country was emerging from the shadows of the Second World War.
His groundbreaking and controversial work on suicide in Japan made his name within the country, but it was his subsequent work on Shinto that influenced the rehabilitation of the religion at a time when it was dismissed in the west as pagan and primitive, or unjustly caricatured for its wartime associations.
As Japan emerged as an economic superpower in the 1970s and 1980s, and given his growing prominence as an academic, he was much in demand as part of a period where Japanese wanted to learn more about themselves as seen through the eyes of the west, and where western businesses were eager to learn from the all-conquering Japanese model. By then fluent in Japanese, Picken served as a business consultant to such corporations and also served as a consultant to various businesses, including Jun Ashida Ltd, Mitsui Mining & Smelting Corp., Kobe Steel, and Japan Airlines. During this period he was active in the St Andrew Society, when he founded the Tokyo Highland Games, which is still an annual event.
The author of a dozen books and over 130 articles and papers, Picken was to stay at ICU for 25 years, where he was a popular lecturer and mentor to both Japanese and visiting scholars, serving tenures as Chairman of the Division of Humanities from 1981-1983, and as Director of Japanese Studies from 1995-1997, as well as concurrently founding Director of the Centre for Japanese Studies at the University of Stirling, Scotland from 1985-1988. A keen amateur footballer, whose devotion to Japan was rivalled only by that he felt for Glasgow Rangers, he continued to play into his fifties at ICU, encouraging many students to take up the sport.
He left ICU in 1997, and from then until 2004 was appointed the founding Dean of the Faculty of Foreign Languages and Asian Studies at Nagoya University of Commerce and Business, and the founding Dean of the Graduate School Division of Global Business Communication from 2002 to 2004.
Upon his retirement from his academic posts, he returned to Scotland to re-enter the ministry in 2005, as minister of the linked charge of Ardoch with Blackford, yet he continued his academic and Japanese interests as the Chairman of the Japan Society of Scotland.
Whether in his research or teaching, Picken devoted much of his life to increasing understanding between his adopted country and the west, and in 2007 he was recognised with the Order of the Sacred Treasure, an imperial decoration for his pioneering research and outstanding contribution to the promotion of friendship and mutual understanding between Japan and the UK. He also served as the International Adviser to the High Priest of the Tsubaki Grand Shrine, one of Japan’s largest and oldest shrines.
From 2009, he was the founding Chairman of The International Academic Forum (IAFOR), a Japan-based interdisciplinary research and events organisation, where he was highly active in helping nurture and mentor a new generation of academics, and facilitate better intercultural and international awareness and understanding. In the years immediately preceding his illness, he continued to lecture throughout the world, in Europe, North America, Asia and the Middle East.
He is survived by his wife, Hong Wen, and children, Fiona, Jeannette, William and Lynn.