Professor Hisashi Owada "is President of the Japan Institute of International Affairs (a position he has held since 1999) and Advisor to the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan. Concurrently, he is a professor of international law and organization at Waseda University Graduate School. He also serves (since 1999) as senior advisor to the President of the World Bank. Born on 18 September 1932 in Japan, Hisashi Owada graduated from Tokyo University and pursued his post-graduate studies at Cambridge University in England.
"Professor Owada joined the foreign service of Japan in 1955. He served as Private Secretary to the Minister for Foreign Affairs (1971-72) and later as Private Secretary to the Prime Minister of Japan (1976-78). Following successive overseas assignments as Minister at the Japanese Embassy in Washington (1979-81) and in Moscow (1981-84), Professor Owada was appointed Director-General of the Treaties Bureau (Principal Legal Advisor) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In 1987, he was assigned to the post of Deputy Vice-Minister of the Ministry.
"In 1988, Professor Owada was appointed Ambassador of Japan to the OECD in Paris as Permanent Representative (1988-89), and returned to Tokyo in 1989 to be nominated as Deputy Foreign Minister and then promoted in 1991 to Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan. In 1994, Professor Owada was appointed Ambassador of Japan to the United Nations in New York as Permanent Representative, a post he held until his retirement from the foreign service of Japan in 1998.
"In addition to his professional activities in the service of the Government of Japan, Professor Owada has been active in the academic field, teaching at Tokyo University (international law and international organization) for the last 25 years from 1963. He has frequently taught in the United States as well, at Harvard University as a full-time professor at the Law School (1979-81, 87, 89, 99, 2000-2001), and at Columbia University Law School as adjunct professor (1994-98) and at New York University as distinguished visiting professor of law (1994-98). He is currently on the faculty of New York University, Global Law School. He has been elected an associate member of the Institute of International Law (l'Institut de Droit International) in 1995. He is the author of numerous writings on international political, economic and legal affairs. His major publications include 'The Practice of Japan in the Field of International Law'(1984) (in English), and 'From Involvement to Engagement - New Foreign Policy Directions of Japan' (1994) and 'Diplomacy' (1996) (in Japanese).
"Ambassador Hisashi Owada was elected as a judge to the International Court of Justice (otherwise known as the 'World Court' located in the Hague, Netherlands) at its election of judges held on 21 October, 2002, at the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council. He will take up his duties for a period of nine years from 6 February 2003.
"Professor Owada is also the father of Crown Princess Masako, wife of the Emperor's eldest son Crown Prince Naruhito." ref>Hisashi Owada, East Asia Institute, accessed September 13, 2007.</ref>
- Advisory Committee, East Asia Institute
- Governing Council, Interpeace 
- Director, Better World Fund 
- Director, Nuclear Threat Initiative
- Director, United Nations Foundation