Peter Elstrom is an executive editor at Bloomberg, responsible for technology news in Asia. Previously, he oversaw company news in the Americas and in Asia, and was an assistant managing editor for BusinessWeek. He is a recipient of the Michigan Journalism Fellowship, the Chicago Headline Club's Peter Lisagor Award for Exemplary Journalism, and the Association of Area Business Publications Awards. His reporting on immigration won the New York Press Club's Golden Keyboard Award for best investigative reporting online. While he was news director, Businessweek.com won back-to-back titles as the best business news Web site. Elstrom holds an MBA from the University of Chicago and an undergraduate degree from Northwestern University.
Isabel Reynolds has been covering Japanese government, politics and diplomacy for Bloomberg News since 2012. Before that, she worked for Reuters in Tokyo for more than a decade, writing about everything from showbiz to missile defense. Originally from the UK, Reynolds has also worked in TV news in London, covering stories across Europe and Africa. She has a BSc from the University of Manchester and a master's degree in Japanese studies from the University of Essex. She has been a Club member for about 20 years and served as president of the board from 2020-2021.
Ilgin Yorulmaz is a multimedia journalist covering foreign policy and technology for BBC World Service Turkish and other digital news outlets. She has reported on culture, human rights and ethnic minorities from the U.S., Turkey, India, Nepal, and the Philippines for HuffPost, VICE, The Guardian and Vogue. Before moving to Tokyo, she freelanced in London, Istanbul, and New York, and reported on the ground the night of Turkey's failed coup d'etat in 2016. She holds a Master's from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and a second Master's from the International University of Japan in Niigata, where she majored in International Relations. She is a 2017 East West Center Fellow and a 2016 White House Correspondents Association Scholar. She also teaches journalism at Temple University's Japan campus and joined the FCCJ in 2018.
Mary Corbett started her media career as writer/director on documentaries and news features focused on wildlife and environmental issues with partners such as Discovery, NHK and ITV. Sustainability remains a core theme in current projects, along with ongoing columns covering global health and healthcare risk management.
Mehdi Bassiri was a career diplomat with the Iranian foreign affairs ministry. He served at the Iranian Embassy in London before his posting as first secretary to the Iranian Embassy in Tokyo in charge of consulate affairs and press relations. In 1980 he resigned his diplomatic career because of disagreements with the new Iranian revolutionary regime and established his own trading company. Immediately after becoming an FCCJ member, he became involved in the Club’s social activities, first joining the Associate Liaison Committee, and organizing an annual Persian New Year Night that drew capacity bookings to enjoy Iranian food and music. He has served as co-chair of the Membership Marketing Committee, and chairman of the Wine Committee. He has also been a long-time member of the Food & Beverage Committee and has served as Treasurer since 2020.
I have been a journalist for some sixty years for The Times of London, the Far Eastern Economic Review in Hong Kong, the Singapore Business Times and now the South China Morning Post. I have been a member of the FCCJ since 199O and have served as President as well as in other BoD positions. (tentative description)
Dave McCombs is a rewriter at NHK World-Japan and founder of Julio Platforms, a startup that provides student news media programs. Between 1998 and 2021, he was an editor at Bloomberg and most recently oversaw Asia coverage of media and conglomerates, a beat that encompassed Asia's largest family-dynasty companies, sports business and entertainment. While he's dug out scoops, including endorsement deals for tennis stars Kei Nishikori and Naomi Osaka, he's also been a featured reporter on Bloomberg television broadcasts for two decades. Previously, as a staff writer at The Daily Yomiuri, he delivered a scoop about Marco Polo magazine that was followed by all major media in Japan and that led to the resignation of Marco Polo editor Kazuyoshi Hanada. McCombs has also covered Asia's bond markets, foreign exchange and commodities, including a daily column on platinum trading. He has lived in Japan for three decades, and was editor of the late Tokyo Journal magazine, a staff writer at the Los Angeles Downtown News and a copy editor for MacMillan Publishers. He enjoys tennis, live music and beer.
Raised in California, Randy Schmidt graduated from UCLA Film School in 1984 and worked at 20th Century Fox motion picture studio before moving to Tokyo in 1996. While in Japan, Randy was employed as a staff cameraman-editor at the CNN Tokyo Bureau, then for Reuters and BBC, and freelanced for all the major foreign TV news bureaus in Tokyo. In 2006, Randy joined CBS News as a cameraman-editor, based in Tokyo though covering all of Asia with over six months of international travel each year to China, South Korea, North Korea, India, Bhutan, Indonesia, Nepal, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, etc. With subject matter ranging from hard news stories to cultural features and natural disasters, Randy shoot, edits, and produces TV news pieces for “CBS Evening News,” “CBS This Morning,” “60 Minutes,” and “CBS Sunday Morning.” Randy has covered such major assignments as Japan’s 2011 earthquake-tsunami-meltdown, US Presidential trips to Asia, nine assignments inside North Korea, the COVID pandemic, and the Nagano 1998, Beijing 2008, Tokyo 2020, and Beijing 2022 Olympics. On the lighter side, Randy has shot and edited feature stories in Japan on such subjects as snow monkeys, soba noodles, vending machines, bonsai, robots, etc., etc. He has also produced award-winning stop-motion animated movies with his young son Dylan.
Joined FCCJ in May 2002, Chair person of AMLC in 2021 & 2022, currently serving as director or executive advisor at several institutions including an AI company listed in Tokyo Stock Exchange and academic institutions. Worked in Tokyo offices of a U.S. bank (JP Morgan Chase) for 28years and a French bank (Credi Lyonnais group) for 8 years, delivering to Japanese financial institutions various international financial services for their funding, investing and M&A. Assignments included stationing in the US. Since 2002, a member of Keizai Doyukai, Japan Asso. of Corporate Executive（JACE), serving in various committees therein. Education: Sophia University, Nomura Management School (Harvard Business School tie-up course, Toyo- Eiwa Junior College.
Suvendrini Kakuchi is Tokyo correspondent for University World News, a London-based news site covering global higher education issues. She is a Sri Lankan based in Japan for more than three decades and has many years of experience covering Japan-Asia relations with a focus on development topics. A 1997 Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, Kakuchi is also an author and contributor to Japanese publications.
Monzurul Huq is Tokyo Bureau Chief of Prothom Alo, the leading national daily of Bangladesh. He has served the Board in various capacities during the tenure of his membership since 2001 and was elected President of the FCCJ in June 2009.
Simon Farrell has UK and South African dual citizenship and Permanent Residency of Japan. He graduated from the London School of Journalism, the Financial Times Non-Executive Director Programme and the Board Director Training Institute of Japan. He serves as a board director of Animal Refuge Kansai and Japan Market Expansion Competition and is chairperson of the South African Chamber of Commerce in Japan and Tokyo American Club’s TAC Talk speaker series. Simon was an FCCJ board director in 2020-22 and is currently chair of the Associate Members Liaison Committee.
As co-founding publisher of Custom Media, he produces digital content such as editorial, design, videos, podcasts, events, social media and websites for local and foreign companies entering or expanding in Japan and abroad. He has spent about 25 years in Japan since 1987, including at the former Daily Yomiuri as an editor and designer of news, opinion and front pages. He previously worked as a foreign correspondent based in Cape Town, Havana and the United Arab Emirates for the UK, US and local press. He has also worked on assignment in North Korea and South-east Asia and travelled in Tibet, China and Russia. He was presented with the 2015 Japan-British Society Award by Princess Akiko of Mikasa for “significant work in the field of Japanese-British relations.” He says: “The FCCJ helped me greatly when I first joined in 2005 and has since been an inspirational source of work, people, events, knowledge, fun and privilege. As a company co-founder and career journalist, I think I have a unique blend of media and business experience that could benefit the FCCJ.”