November 20, 2023

CNAS Welcomes Akira Igata and Michelle Holko as Adjunct Senior Fellows

Washington, November 20, 2023 — The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) is pleased to welcome Akira Igata and Michelle Holko to its lineup of research experts. Igata joins CNAS as an Adjunct Senior Fellow for the Indo-Pacific Security program. Holko joins CNAS as an Adjunct Senior Fellow for the Technology and National Security program.

Akira Igata is a project lecturer and the director of the economic security research program at the Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Tokyo. He is also an adjunct senior fellow at the Pacific Forum, a senior fellow at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, a non-executive director at the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China, and a director at the Japan Association for Cellular Agriculture. His research areas include economic security, human rights diplomacy, foreign information manipulation and influence, and international politics in the Indo-Pacific.

“I am thrilled to have Akira Igata contribute his expertise to the Center,” said Lisa Curtis, Director of the Indo-Pacific Security Program. “His exceptional knowledge in economic security and the Indo-Pacific region will greatly enhance the depth of our research.”

Michelle Holko is a scientist and strategic innovator working at the intersection of biology, technology, and security. She recently served in government as a White House Presidential Innovation Fellow and led projects with the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Homeland Security, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, the Department of Health and Human Services Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, and the Department of Defense’s Chemical and Biological Defense Program. Her technical expertise is in genomics, bioinformatics, biosecurity, and wearable sensor data. She also has experience in academia, government, and private companies working on solutions for cancer, pandemic preparedness and prevention, data stewardship, digital health technology, health equity, and security related to new and emerging technology in health and science. She was most recently a strategic business executive and scientist at Google Public Sector for healthcare and science. She is currently vice president of Biorisk for Airfinity, a disease forecasting company, and advisor for EveryCure.

“I'm excited to welcome Michelle,” said Vivek Chilukuri, Senior Fellow and Director of the Technology and National Security Program. “Her wealth of expertise in two critical fields, biotech and biosecurity, will be of immense value as we extend the boundaries of our work within technology and national security.”

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