Meril Dobrin Fujiki

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Seminars Program Coordinator, Professional Development Program
FujikiM [at] EastWestCenter.org
Phone: 
808.944.7352
Fax: 
808.944.7600

Meril Fujiki coordinates the planning, development, and implementation of East-West Center programs that focus on the dynamics of the urban transformation in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region and the United States with special emphasis on the role of smart technologies in creating more resilient and sustainable urban environments. Ms. Fujiki has over 30 years of experience organizing and managing policy-oriented programs on a broad range of issues for high-level officials and practitioners from national, state, and municipal governments; and leaders from corporate, civil society, academic, and think tank institutions in countries across the region. Program activities include short-term roundtable dialogue forums, customized city-to-city study tours and exchanges, training workshops, and other information sharing and learning opportunities. All activities are designed to actively examine the impacts of urbanization through multi-country/multi-disciplinary small group interactions. She is the founder of the Center’s Smart Cities Initiative, the Regional Urban Leaders Exchange (RULE), and the Asia-Pacific-US Urban Dialogue.

Ms. Fujiki came to the East-West Center from a varied career working for the State of New Jersey and in every island nation in the North and South Pacific. In Hawaii, she served as the education and training director for the Pacific International Center for High Technology Research, an independent nonprofit organization that introduced and tested alternative energy technologies in the Pacific islands. In this role, she established a region-wide consortium of infrastructure, education, and commercial organizations in the US affiliated and independent island nations throughout Oceania to assist in the development and delivery of in-country technical training designed to enable local workers to operate and maintain these renewable wind and solar energy hybrid systems

In New Jersey, she served as director of special projects for the New Jersey State Department of the Public Advocate – the only cabinet-level agency in the US to ensure a “government under glass” – empowered to legally represent citizens in a wide range of public interest matters. During Ms. Fujiki’s tenure she coordinated investigations into exclusionary residential zoning practices, restrictive open beach access policies, unjust payday check cashing activities, overuse of psychotropic medications in state mental hospitals, improper asbestos removal operations in the public schools, and the health effects of siting large microwave dish farms in residential communities. These investigations included reports to the Governor, Cabinet heads, and the State Legislature and resulted in both legal and administrative actions. Ms. Fujiki holds a Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning and a Bachelor’s in Urban Geography and Contemporary Ethics from Rutgers University.