Masayo Nagai is chairman of the Asia region for APCO Worldwide. She has more than 20 years of experience in public relations and public affairs and previously served as managing director of APCO’s Tokyo office where she is based. Both at APCO and throughout her career, Ms. Nagai has built a track record of helping global companies and brands to establish their presence, to navigate the culture, to mitigate and respond to crises, to advocate for social and policy change, and to realize new opportunities in the world’s third largest economy. She has also supported various national governments, international organizations and foreign trade missions on a range of communications assignments.
Since 2017, Ms. Nagai has organized a study group designed to facilitate best practice sharing and to professionalize public affairs as a discipline in Japan. This group is open to all but generally comprised of a close-knit network of women working at domestic and international companies as well as other agencies. Ms. Nagai also teaches professional courses at the Public Relations Society of Japan (PRSJ) and contributes to the Society’s PR Planner Certification program. In recognition of these contributions as well as the dynamic culture and diverse team that she has built for APCO’s Tokyo office, Ms. Nagai was shortlisted for Campaign’s 2019 Women Leading Change Award in the Business Leader category. She was the only Japanese woman to be recognized that year. In 2023, she was named a governor of the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ)
Prior to joining APCO, Ms. Nagai provided public communication services to organizations such as the World Bank, Japan Bank for International Corporation, the Cabinet Office, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and several national and regional governments. She was an advisor to local governments to support their marketing communications efforts.
Before working as a communications expert, Ms. Nagai served with the Lower House of Diet as a legislative aid. She graduated from Ochanomizu University with degrees in education and Chinese literature and holds a master’s degree in public administration from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. In 2020, she was honored with The Prospect Gold Standard Award for Professional Excellence by PublicAffairsAsia for her outstanding achievement in public relations and public affairs.