Ms. Kobayashi is the co-founder and Chair of the Board at International School of Asia, Karuizawa (ISAK), a residential high school that will be opening in Karuizawa in 2014. ISAK aims to bring together top students from around the world with the aim of developing leaders who are eager to work for positive change in their countries and communities.
Ms. Kobayashi’s passion for education began during her studies at a residential high school in Canada, and continued to develop over the years. Before returning to Tokyo in 2008 to launch the ISAK project, she spent two years working for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in the Philippines, where she worked to program non-formal education projects for street children.
Prior to UNICEF, Ms. Kobayashi worked at the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC). Ms. Kobayashi began her career at a U.S. investment bank and holds an MA in International Education Policy Analysis from Stanford University and a BA in Development Economics from the University of Tokyo. More recently, Ms. Kobayashi was honored with the title of “Young Global Leader 2012” by the World Economic Forum, and was selected as a “Changemaker of the Year 2013” by Nikkei Business, one of Japan’s top business magazines.