35th "Award of Honor" Gala

Join us at our signature event of the year to celebrate U.S.-Japan collaboration!


Friday, November 19, 2021

5:30 Doors Open
6:30 Gala Dinner


War Memorial Opera House

301 Van Ness Ave
San Francisco, CA 94102

  • Attire: Black Tie
  • Due to S.F. Health Order, guests must show proof of COVID-19 vaccination to attend.

The Japan Society of Northern California 35th Award
of Honor Gala

We are proud to present our Award of Honor to Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited and Moderna, Inc., two companies that have made tremendous contributions to the lives of many people amid the Coronavirus pandemic and furthered the U.S.-Japan relationship with a deep understanding of the importance of connection. In commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the San Francisco Peace Treaty, the program will be held at the historical War Memorial Opera House where the treaty was signed.

1951年にサンフランシスコ講和条約が締結されてから今年で70周年を迎えます。これを記念し、今年のGALAは、当時の吉田茂首相が講和条約に署名した War Memorial Opera House で11月19日(金曜日)に開催することとなりました。日米関係を促進し、多大な貢献をしてくださった方々を讃えてお贈りする「Award of Honor 」は、武田薬品工業株式会社とModerna, Inc.の2社に受賞いただくことになりました。皆様のご参加を心からお待ち申し上げております。

Award of Honor

Moderna, Inc.

Stephane Bancel


Chief Executive Officer, Moderna, Inc.
(Video Message)



Stéphane Bancel has served as Moderna’s Chief Executive Officer since October 2011 and as a member of Moderna’s board of directors since March 2011. Before joining the Company, Mr. Bancel served for five years as Chief Executive Officer of the French diagnostics company bioMérieux SA. From July 2000 to March 2006, he served in various roles at Eli Lilly and Company, including as Managing Director, Belgium and as Executive Director, Global Manufacturing Strategy and Supply Chain. Prior to Lilly, Mr. Bancel served as Asia-Pacific Sales and Marketing Director for bioMérieux.

Mr. Bancel currently serves on the board of directors of Indigo. He is currently a Venture Partner at Flagship Pioneering. Mr. Bancel holds a Master of Engineering degree from École Centrale Paris (ECP), a Master of Science in chemical engineering from the University of Minnesota, and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd.

Christophe Weber


 President, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Representative Director,
(Video Message)

武田薬品工業株式会社 代表取締役 社長 CEO


Christophe Weber is President, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Representative Director of Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd. He joined the company in April 2014 as Chief Operating Officer, was named President and Representative Director in June 2014, and was subsequently appointed CEO in April 2015. Mr. Weber has focused on Takeda’s R&D transformation and globalization, creating a diverse and inclusive working environment while strengthening its ethical values and corporate governance. Through this transformation, Takeda became one of the leading global 
biopharmaceutical companies in the world.

Prior to joining Takeda, Mr. Weber spent 20 years at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), where he held senior leadership roles in Europe, Asia and the United States.

Outside of Takeda, Mr. Weber is a member of The Business Council, the World Economic Forum’s International Business Council, the Singapore Economic Development Board’s International Advisory Council, the New York Stock Exchange’s NYSE Board Advisory Council and the MIT CEO Advisory Board. He also serves on the Board of Trustees of Northeastern University.

Mr. Weber holds a doctorate in pharmacy and pharmacokinetics, master’s degrees in pharmaceutical marketing and in accounting and finance and a degree in statistics, from the University of Lyon, France.
Mr. Weber lives in Tokyo with his wife and has two children.

Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd.

Rajeev Venkayya


President of the Global Vaccine Business Unit
(In-Person Award Acceptance)


グローバルワクチン ビジネス ユニット プレジデント


Rajeev Venkayya is President of the Global Vaccine Business Unit at Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd. He leads a vertically-integrated business developing vaccines for dengue, norovirus and Zika. Dr. Venkayya serves as an independent member of the board of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) and is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Prior to joining Takeda, Dr. Venkayya served as Director of Vaccine Delivery at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Health Program and served on the board of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. Before that, he was the Special Assistant to the President for Biodefense at the White House. In this capacity, he oversaw U.S. preparedness for bioterrorism and biological threats and was responsible for the development and implementation of the National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza.

Dr. Venkayya trained in Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, where he also served on the faculty. He was a resident and Chief Medical Resident in internal medicine at the University of Michigan. He received his B.S./M.D. from the Northeast Ohio Universities College of Medicine, where he was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha honorary medical society.

Dr. Venkayya lives in Boston with his wife Viktoria and their two sons.

Izumi Nakamitsu | 中満泉

United Nations Under-Secretary-General and High
Representative for Disarmament Affairs

(Video Message)

国際連合事務次長 (ビデオメッセージ)


5:30 — Doors Open

  • Registration (Vaccination Card Check)
  • Silent Auction
  • Welcome Reception

6:30 — Dinner Program

  • Welcome Remarks – Larry Greenwood, Chairman, Japan Society of Northern California & Nobuko Saito Cleary, Gala Chair, Japan Society of Northern California
  • Special Remarks and Toast: Consul General of Japan in San Francisco Hiroshi Kawamura
  • Dinner
  • Special Video Message from the United Nations – Izumi Nakamitsu | United Nations Under-Secretary-General And High Representative For Disarmament Affairs
  • Entertainment
  • Award of Honor Presentations
    • Moderna, Inc.
      • Stephane Bancel | Chief Executive Officer – Video Message
    • Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd.
      • Christophe Weber | President, Chief Executive Officer and Representative Director – Video Message
      • Rajeev Venkayya | President of the Global Vaccine Business Unit – In-person Award Acceptance
  • Live Auction & Fund-a-Need
  • Closing Remarks – Takahide Akiyama, President, Japan Society of Northern California & Nobuko Saito Cleary, Gala Chair, Japan Society of Northern California

8:30 — Gala Ends

Sponsorship Opportunity

Sponsorships deliver the greatest impact and visibility possible leading up to, throughout, and following the Gala. A big thank you to all of our sponsors!

Japan Society Gala Committee

Takahide Akiyama

President, Japan Society of Northern California

Nobuko Saito Cleary

Gala Chair, Japan Society of Northern California

2019 Gala

Past Award Galas

33rd Award of Honor Gala Thumbnail
32nd Gala Image
31st Gala Image

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