National Nuclear Security Administration

DOE’s representative in Japan discusses his successes in energy and nuclear security there

October 10, 2019

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The NNSA/DOE liaison in the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo and Shinjiro Takeda, with Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry.
The NNSA/DOE liaison in the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo and Shinjiro Takeda, with Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry.

The enduring missions of NNSA and the Department of Energy (DOE) stretch many years into the future and many miles in every direction. There is a network of highly capable foreign affairs specialists stationed abroad in partner countries – including one of our closest allies – Japan.

Ross Matzkin-Bridger works hard to advance the interests and objectives of DOE throughout the island nation of Japan. He is stationed at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo.

In this role, he advances U.S. energy policy interests and promotes deeper cooperation between the United States and Japan in the fields of energy security, nuclear power, nuclear security and nonproliferation, energy trade, energy research and development, energy efficiency, and renewable energy. Because Matzkin-Bridger’s portfolio of responsibilities is quite broad and the staff is small, coordination and teamwork within the Embassy are key to his success.

Japan is poor in natural resources and relies heavily on imports – particularly U.S. energy imports

Ross Matzkin-Bridger
DOE/NNSA liaison at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo

“Japan is poor in natural resources and relies heavily on imports – particularly U.S. energy imports,” Matzkin-Bridger said as he showed a chart displaying the breakdown of energy production in Japan. He went on to explain how billions of dollars in Japanese investment support thousands of jobs in the U.S. energy sector.

Before becoming an attaché Matzkin-Bridger spent six years in NNSA’s Office of Nuclear Nonproliferation, but had a deep interest in working to further not only NNSA’s mission but DOE’s as well. “I am really passionate about the mission,” he said. Because he had previously lived in Japan and spoke the language, he knew the post would be perfect for him.

Before the job even opened he began his research, reaching out to employees and other attachés to learn more about the position. “I was going around to different offices at DOE, finding out who was working on Japan equities, and asking them if I could learn more about their work,” he said. This method not only prepared Matzkin-Bridger for the job but for the interview as well.

Matzkin-Bridger says that while the post is challenging and goes beyond the normal 9 to 5 schedule, he loves it and feels fulfilled by the work.

If you are interested in a position as a foreign affairs specialist or other positions at NNSA visit NNSA’s careers page.