Kazutoh Ishida, PhD

Executive Director

Kazutoh started his VIA journey in the early 1990s when he joined the American Language & Culture (ALC) program as a college student from Japan. Based on the eye-opening and transformative experience he had on this program, he started to envision a future career in which he would design and run impactful international education programs.

Kazutoh’s dream came true in 2005 when he had the opportunity to join the VIA team as senior director to manage the programs in Silicon Valley. For the past 10 years he has enjoyed directing and supporting the language & culture and healthcare programs as well as developing newer programs focused on social innovation and leadership.

As executive director, Kazutoh is very committed to working together with staff, board, alumni, and partners in the VIA community to realize the vision laid out in the VIA2020 strategic plan, which aims at building an ecosystem that will bring deeper impact to our participants and the communities they serve.

Kazutoh received his Phd degree in East Asian Languages & Literatures (Japanese pedagogy) from the University of Hawai’i. His personal interests include watching movies, hiking and traveling. In addition to his fondness of Asia, he loved traveling to Tanzania and climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro.