Kirk Zeller :
US - Japan Collaboration
Council Leader, U.S.-Japan Council (NPO)
Board Member, US Japan MedTech Frontiers (NPO)
Council Member, US Japan MedTech Council
Partner, Co-Founder, Nichibei MedTech Advisors, LLC
Board Member, Co-Founder, MedMarket Access, LLC
Kirk has been facilitating collaborations between the US and Japan for over 30 years. In the 1980s
the topic of US Japan relations was prominent in the media and caught Kirk's attention as he
listened to the news while working on the family farm in Nebraska. Kirk became fascinated by the cultural differences and was determined to understand how to bridge the gap. He spent much of his undergraduate degree and part of his doctorate studying in Japan. Through NHK's Seishun
Message Kirk had the opportunity to meet Emperor Naruhito (at the time Crown Prince) and this experience increased Kirk's passion and dedication for maintaining US Japan relations.
Kirk started his career as a heart valve sales rep in Japan and as his technical expertise grew so
did the demand for his support of the collaboration between US and Japanese medical device companies. As his career developed Kirk had the opportunity to be involved with launching a wide range of medical devices in Japan and began to be recognized as an expert in this space.
He partnered with a Nanzan University classmate, David Smith, who pursued a similar career path, to
form MedMarket Access, LLC (AMMA) and begin offering Japanese market access services. Their
expertise and passion led them to begin supporting the activities of the non-profit, US-Japan. MedTech Frontiers (USJMF) and help to create the annual MedTech Week Japan series of conferences. Prime Minister Abe's 2012 Revitalization Strategy was the genesis of USJMF and USJMF works closely with US and Japanese government organizations as well as industry and academia.
In 2020 Kirk was appointed to the U.S.-Japan Council as a Council Leader. The U.S.-Japan Council
brings together leaders from the United States and Japan to foster a stronger U.S.-Japan
relationship. The U.S.-Japan Council supported Japan's recovery from the Great East Japan
Earthquake through the TOMODACHI Initiative which is a joint public-private partnership between
the U.S.-Japan Council and US Embassy in Tokyo with support from the Government of Japan.
Kirk continues to be very passionate about US Japan relations and spends much of his time doing
what he can to support continued good relations. Kirk is a frequent speaker at conferences on
US Japan related topics as well as international market access.