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Jonathan Brewster Receives NC State’s Outstanding Extension Award

The Office of Global Engagement is pleased to announce that Jonathan Brewster has received NC State’s Outstanding Extension Award. Jonathan has been the Director of the North Carolina Japan Center (“NCJC”) since 2018 and has made significant contributions to NC State’s Extension and Outreach mission. 

The NCJC serves as a resource to all NC citizens, universities, companies, and public and private institutions in relations to Japan. Jonathan has been a key resource for the state of North Carolina as an expert in Japanese culture, helping NC win several large Japanese business investments totaling over $3.3 billion in the last few years. 

Most noticeably, Jonathan provided special help with the RFP to bring a $2 billion investment of FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies to Holly Springs, NC. In February 2021, the Honorary Consul for Japan in NC and the director of Wake County Economic Development’s Business Recruitment and Expansion team approached the NCJC to become a contributor to an RFP proposal. For this, Jonathan created bilingual materials, describing North Carolina’s Japanese community and the NCJC’s role in supporting these businesses and their Japanese expatriate employees and families.

Similarly, Jonathan was approached in August 2021 by the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina and NC State’s Economic Development Partnership to present at a meeting in September welcoming a large delegation from a Japan-owned company. As one of only two Japanese-speaking hosts, Jonathan also supported communication between the delegations. With Jonathan’s help, North Carolina won the bid for this RFP resulting in a $1.3 billion investment by Toyota to build a new battery manufacturing facility in Greensboro, NC. 

“The NC Japan Center is unique in that we exist to support and drive cultural, academic, and economic initiatives in our state specifically focused on Japan,” says Jonathan. “The relationship between North Carolina and Japan continues to be a very valuable and important one, and I’m honored to accept this award on behalf of everyone who works tirelessly to strengthen it. It’s a team effort.”

The Office of Global Engagement is proud to recognize Jonathan’s commitment to extension and NC State’s Land-Grant mission. Jonathan lives and breathes our “Think and Do” spirit and has quickly become a very valuable resource not just to NC State University but also to the state of North Carolina.