Japan External Trade Organization Names Ralph Inforzato Chief Executive Director of its Chicago Office (JETRO Chicago)

CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--#JETRO--The Chicago Office of the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO Chicago), announces the promotion of Ralph Inforzato to Chief Executive Director. Mr. Inforzato is the first ever non-Japanese to be appointed to this top position of any JETRO office worldwide. “I would like everyone to understand how remarkable this is, as JETRO is a governmental organization. I am honored that history has been made in our Chicago office, and I believe his appointment proves the extent to which economic relationships between Japan and the Midwest is an interdependent, two-way street,” said Ichiro Soné, former Chief Executive Director of JETRO Chicago.

Mr. Inforzato brings a multitude of deep experience to his new position. As Chief Executive Director, he oversees JETRO Chicago’s activities designed to facilitate trade and investment between Japan and 12 Midwestern states served by JETRO Chicago.

Mr. Inforzato has served as Executive Director, Business Development, at JETRO Chicago since 2015. In this position he worked to implement JETRO’s team-based projects to directly engage in assisting US business expansion to Japan. He initiated in-bound and out-bound technology collaboration for US & Japanese small and medium sized companies, which has resulted in numerous business agreements. He also sustained the relationships that JETRO Chicago has with business, state government and university leaders.

For the last 33 years at JETRO Chicago, Mr. Inforzato has been involved in significant JETRO related business development projects, including the Japan–US Biotechnology Initiative (2002-2010), which has sent more than 500 representatives from North American life sciences companies, universities and research institutes to Japan, enabling them to initiate research collaboration and business development in the Japanese biotechnology and pharmaceutical communities. In addition, he was directly involved in the teams that implemented JETRO’s Japan service robotics business development projects and JETRO’s Monozukuri program, a series of seminars focused on Japanese manufacturing philosophies for engineers in North American technology companies.

Mr Inforzato served as Director of Business Development for JETRO Chicago from 1998-2015, and prior to that, he began his JETRO career as Assistant Director of Research from 1984-1998.


JETRO (Japan External Trade Organization) is a non-profit organization funded by the Japanese government for the purpose of supporting trade, investment and business expansion into Japan, as well as supporting Japanese companies looking to enter foreign markets. JETRO has 74 offices in 55 countries worldwide, with six locations in the US: Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco. JETRO Chicago serves 12 states within the Midwest Region: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.


Kelly Jo Highland
Assistant Director
JETRO Chicago
TEL 312-833-6022
FAX 312-832-6066
EMAIL Kelly_Highland@jetro.go.jp