Shannon Takushi was born and raised in Manila, Philippines where she grew up speaking English and Japanese. Her background growing up in a multi-cultural environment has molded Shannon’s interests in cultural diplomacy, cross-cultural relations, and communications. She has a BA in International Relations and Economics from the University of Richmond and a Master’s in Public Diplomacy from the University of Southern California. Currently Shannon enjoys promoting the US-Japan relationship at her job as Chief of Staff of the USC Shinso Ito Center for Japanese Religions and Cultures. Together with Duncan Williams, Shannon played a major role in bringing mixed-race Japanese people together at the Hapa Japan Festival in Los Angeles.