Jordan Heiber joined MUFG Bank, Ltd. as Deputy Representative of the Washington, DC office in 2014. A self-described “Asia hand,” he previously spent almost 10 years working on Asia policy in the U.S. government, first with the Department of State and subsequently in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. Jordan has also worked as an English teacher in rural Japan and aboard the “Peace Boat,” an NGO/cruise ship that operates out of Japan and embarks on three-month global voyages. Jordan received his master’s degree in Asian Studies from the Elliott School in 2006. While at the Elliott School, he was a recipient of Blakemore Freeman Fellowship and the Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship and served as co-chair of the Graduate Student Forum. Jordan and his wife recently became the ‘parents’ of a cat named Tom.
When did you realize you wanted an international career?
Immediately after undergrad, I moved to rural Japan to teach English. I’d previously traveled overseas but it was my first time living abroad on my own. It was a transformative experience for me, and I returned to the U.S. a couple years later convinced that I wanted to work in international relations, building bridges between the U.S. and Asia.
Describe your current position and what are your primary responsibilities?
I am the Deputy Representative in Washington, DC for Japan’s largest bank, MUFG Bank Ltd. I manage a team of analysts who examine trends in U.S. domestic and foreign policy. We’re sort of like a small internal think tank for the bank. It doesn’t matter where in the world you work, what happens in Washington reverberates and impacts the business environment everywhere.
What are the current trends driving the future of your career field and what advice would you provide an Elliott School graduate student that is interested in your field of work?
The financial industry overall is being changed and challenged by technological advancements, “fintech.” In terms of policy analysis, the U.S. has historically been seen as a force for stability in geopolitics. These days, much of the uncertainty is emanating from Washington. My advice to job seekers is to get your foot in the door somewhere, even if it isn’t your dream job. It’s always easier to move around (and up) once you’re on the inside.
How does your current position compare to what you thought you would be doing when you first started your degree at the Elliott School?
When I started at Elliott, I wanted to be a diplomat—and I did spend about eight years with the State Department working on Asia issues after getting my graduate degree. As much as I loved it, life is unpredictable and goals change. I miss my diplomatic passport (among other things) but am very happy with the path that led me to where I am today.
If you could travel anywhere in the cosmos outside of earth, where would you go an why?
Pluto, to solve the planet vs. dog debate once and for all.
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