Hiromi Akiyama is a Ph.D. candidate in political science at George Mason University, studying comparative disaster recovery. Her doctoral research focuses on how different governments approach post-disaster recovery, with an emphasis on the role of civil society and social capital. Her research interests also include state-society interactions, Sino-Japanese relations and East Asian politics.

A native of Japan, she holds a master's degree in Asia Pacific Studies from the University of Leeds, UK, and a bachelor's degree in International Studies from Soka University of America. In collaboration with the Ash Center’s Program on Crisis Leadership, Akiyama has been conducting research since the summer of 2012 on Japan’s disaster response and recovery after the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami.