World Campus International Staff

Prior to the launch of World Campus International, Inc., our team members spent between
10 – 20 years working in a variety of operational and educational capacities with the international student programs of the Up with People organization (an American 501(c) 3 non-profit, not affiliated with any political or religious institution) including the WorldSmart Leadership Program. We all have extensive international work experiences and networks, particularly in North America, Europe and Japan.

Hiro Nishimura – Chief Executive Officer

Hiro Nishimura

Hiro was born and raised in Arao, Kumamoto, located on Kyushu Island in western Japan. This seaside region is well-known for its especially warm and outgoing people. Hiro earned a degree in Education at the University of Kumamoto. He spent 20 years with the Up with People programs, serving in various capacities for the organization while developing his distinctive and influential management philosophy. As the Chief Operation Officer, Hiro has worked in both program implementation and company management throughout North America, Europe and Japan. One of his most impactful experiences was helping to implement part of the United Nation's Global Forum on Environmental Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Hiro led the implementation of 9 international student programs in Japan. Well respected and well connected in a variety of Japanese networks, this was done in part through his successfully collaboration with national, prefectural and city governments, major and local corporations and organizations. Hiro was the recipient of 4 company awards from Up with People, including the Presidents Award. After living in Denver, Colorado, USA for many years along with his Norwegian wife, Kristin, and their three children: Markus Yuki, Daniel Masami and Anna Mikako, they moved to Japan where WCI operates their international programs twice a year. Contact him at

Maki Honda - Operations Manager

Maki Honda

Maki Honda worked as one of the World Campus Local Organizing Committee staff members in Kumamoto for many years and also worked for the program as a program counselor for two years.

She was born and grew up in Kumamoto, Japan where some of the World Campus - Japan participants get to visit every year! When she was a university student, she met the program and organized activities with some of her friends in Kumamoto city. She not only learned about other cultures from the people from various countries, but also rediscovered her own country and herself by exploring a familiar sight with different points of view, interacting and exchanging cultures with them. Those experiences had a huge impact on her. It was only one short week but quite long enough to change her whole life. This experience made her decide to get involved in World Campus International in a long term.

As the Operations Manager, she is working for all the logistics for the program and the translation/interpretation needs. She an be reached at

Hideto Yasui – Advisor

Hideto Yasui

Born in Nagoya, raised in Sapporo and currently living in Tokyo, Hideto considers himself a "city boy". In university he studied International Economics but broke away from a "traditional Japanese life plan" by traveling with Up with People for one year. Since graduation, half of his almost 20 years of a career has been in international development work as a consultant for official development assistance projects and the other half in community design and enhancement work in Japan. After extensive travel in the USA, Europe, the South Pacific, Central America, South and Southeast Asia, his primary focus today is life in his home country. Hideto wants to introduce the wonderful people of Japan to fascinating people from around the world in an effort to strengthen community ties and the web of humanity. He is eagerly waiting for you to come to Japan and can be reached at

Ben Hufford – Advisor

Ben Hufford

Though currently living in Japan, Ben was born and raised in California, USA. From a young age, Ben has always found international cultures fascinating and in particular Japan. Right after high school he joined an international program where he traveled to Japan for the first time with a group of 90 people from 23 different countries. During this time in Japan he quickly fell in love with the people, ancient culture and traditions. After the end of this program he decided to come back to Japan and work for World Campus-Japan as a staff member of the Summer 2007 and Spring 2008 programs before officially moving to Nagoya in Aichi Prefecture. Though he was not an official staff member after he moved to Japan, Ben assisted in recruiting and enrollment in Japan for World Campus International. Ben is very excited to share World Campus-Japan with anyone as it is a program that changed his life in so many good ways. He can be reached at

Yoshimi Hufford – Advisor

Yoshimi Hufford

Yoshimi comes from Nara, Japan; a former ancient capital of the country. Before attending college in Osaka where she majored in English Studies, she was an exchange student in Petersburg, Alaska, USA. After college, she followed her passion for international student programs by getting involved with Up with People, working in many capacities, including road staff and management in the Education and Business Departments and tour management and enrollment in the Japan-based operations. Yoshimi has an enthusiasm for working with young people, as evident in her experiences in children's theater and a face-painting company at Universal Studios, Osaka, Japan. She loves to meet new people, learn about different cultures, and is highly interested in Expressive Art therapy. She can be reached at

Jay F. Kinsel - Advisor/Production

Jay F. Kinsel

Jay Kinsel comes from Texas, USA. In 1994 he traveled with the international group, Up with People, where he gained a true passion for the world and other cultures. He worked for Up with People through 2000 when he was the Assistant Director for "A Common Beat". With a degree in Directing, he did many projects, often focusing on social issues of the times. Jay has directed “The Ruin” Off-Broadway and is a member of The Stage Directors and Choreographers Society. He started creating the "Arigato Event" for World Campus International in 2009 and helped create the Teachers Initiative. He has an amazing passion for Japan and the Japanese people. World Campus has allowed him to meet people from all over the world that have enriched his life enormously. He can be reached at

Robert Sloat – Advisor

Robert Sloat

Originally from Massachusetts, USA, Bob graduated magna cum laude in Arts & Science from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and received the Senior Leadership Award. He has spent the past 10 years living and working internationally, including a memorable 3-year-stint in Leipzig, Germany facilitating cross-cultural training and teaching English as a second language. There he designed and facilitated group training courses for skill development in cultural adaptation and international communication for a variety of multinational firms including: Siemens, T-Mobile and Lilly Pharmaceutical. Bob has also worked with Up with People in operations and road staff management positions. Since 1998, Bob has made numerous visits to Japan, working with international students and local community members to implement successful educational programs in over 12 cities on Honshu and Kyushu islands. Bob now lives in Denver, Colorado, USA with his German wife, Anke. He is an enthusiastic photographer, loves to travel, and closely follows international events. Get in touch with him at

Thomas Greve – Webmaster

Thomas Greve

Thomas lives in the Hanseatic city of Rostock, Germany. Growing up in the former German Democratic Republic, he understands the critical importance of connecting diverse people to break down unnecessary barriers. Thomas spends a lot of his time as a volunteer with non–profit organizations. As the former Coordinator of Local Organizing Committee in Rostock for an international program, he led a regional team which arranged host families and program contents for international groups in his hometown. Thomas loves to work with people. With a extensive background in technology, Thomas is World Campus International’s official webmaster and advisor to all computer troubleshooting. Please be in touch with Thomas for more information about World Campus – Japan at

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