Dr. Makiko Ueno is the youngest daughter of the late Seiya Munakata, professor at a highly respected Faculty of Education, University of Tokyo, who spearheaded education reform after World War II. She grew up in Mejiro, Tokyo and was influenced by her father’s struggle against the government control of the public education during the 50s and 60s, and his endeavor to reform education system based on democratic principles. She earned her B.A. from Japan Women’s University and both her M.A in Engineering (Architecture), and Dr. of Engineering from University of Tokyo. As an architect, she designed and built residential buildings in and around Tokyo during the late 1960s. After several years, her interests expanded to housing and community development, especially inner city low income neighborhoods in Tokyo. Equipped with experience with architectural planning in both Japan and the US, Dr. Ueno moved on to work at The Urban Institute in Washington D.C. as a research associate for 16 years. In 2003, she returned to Japan as a professor at Graduate School of International Public Policy, Osaka University. In 2005, she became the professor at the Graduate School of Policy Studies at Kwansei Gakuin University.
Dr. Ueno's research has focused on housing policy, the nonprofit sector and independent policy research institutions, policy analysis, evaluation, and policy engineering with a special emphasis on bridging ideas between the US and Japan. She is pioneering and initiating the research on introducing and nurturing the nonprofit sector in Japan, introducing the ideas of policy research institutions: think tanks for Japan, introducing “policy analysis” and “policy engineering.” Currently She is advocating to establish CBO in Japan, and engaging in post disaster community building.
After retiring from academia, Dr. Ueno established an independent think tank, Urban Community Research Center for Asia, dedicated to the progress of democracy and civil society through research and action.
The Final Lecture of Dr./Prof. Makiko Ueno “As an Advocate of Democracy” the Journal of Policy Studies, 2013, No.43, What Is missing in Japan’s Budget Policy Debates: Institution, Policy Analysis, and Policy Analysts. 2012, No. 41.