E6-S3 The “Jackie Chan” of Peace. The extraordinary life and career of Dr. Tatsushi Arai

Summary & Key Takeways

The “Jackie Chan” of Peace. The extraordinary life and career of Dr. Tatsushi Arai

Episode 6 Season 3

From selling his car in order to purchase a plane ticket to Rwanda to teach to post-genocide survivors; to suffering malaria many times, to working for peace in Nigeria (and half the planet). Dr. Tatsushi Arai has built an extraordinary career as a seasoned U.N. adviser; peacebuilding academic and practitioner. Dr. Tats career trajectory, his academic and practitioner credentials, his global practice should be the standard by which conflict resolution scholars and social change professionals should be measured. Listen to the closing episode of Season 3 to learn more about the life and (career) of Dr. Tats.

*This episode was recorded in the Fall of 2018

Episode 6 of Season 3 is brought to you by The Rotary Peace Fellowship.


In this episode we discuss: 

  • Where exactly does Dr. Tats lives and why he has a tri-national household
  • On Dr. Tats Japanese origins in mountainous japan with ice-cold water fishing heritage
  • How learning from survivors of Hiroshima influenced  Dr. Tats, especially their ability to forgive
  • How Dr. Tats made a life-long promise to Hiroshima victims
  • In 1997, Dr. Tats traveled to post-genocide Rwanda as a permanent lecturer who came from a non-African context
  • How Dr. Tats bartered French skills in order to learn the language to be useful in Francophone Africa
  • How he sold his car to buy a ticket to Rwanda and how he negotiated his “pay” in the University of Rwanda for $250 dollars a month (local salary)
  • Tats or “Jackie Chan” the guy taught who genocide survivors and got malaria many times
  • Why he couldn’t explain mass graves and why he left Rwanda to pursue a PhD (where he was my classmate!)
  • How Dr. Tats fund his PhD (Hint: it took him two years)
  • Tats take on what a PhD can provide you for your career (both academically and as a practitioner)
  • On how Dr. Tats became a UN mediator for the U.N Department of Political Affairs (a standby team of mediation experts)
  • Tats solution on how to solve the dilemma of how to gain Track 1 (government to government) experience to work at the U.N.
  • Tats and the importance of building connections
  • How to get our “fingers wet” in the world of training
  • Tats best career advice he has been given
  • Tats stories on failure and how he got the paparazzi
  • Tats three top tips for a career of impact



University of Rwanda

U.N Department of Political Affairs

Dr. Tats TedX UCSD

School for International Training (SIT) Graduate Institute


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This episode was brought thanks to the Rotary Peace Fellowship

Are you an existing or emerging peace leader looking to take your career to the next level? You might be eligible to receive full funding to pursue a MA or professional certificate in peace & conflict studies. Learn more about Rotary Peace Fellowships at www.rotary.org/peace-fellowships





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