Khatharya Um Named a Laureate of the Fukuoka Prize

Khatharya Um, associate dean of diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and justice for the Division of Social Sciences and an associate professor of ethnic studies at the University of California, Berkeley, was recently named a laureate of the distinguished Fukuoka Prize. She is being honored for her notable contributions in the fields of political science, Southeast Asian studies, and global education – especially her work on the history of Cambodia.

The Fukuoka Prize was established by Fukuoka City, Japan, in 1990 to honor individuals, groups and organizations that preserve and foster Asian cultures. The prize aims to foster and increase awareness of the value of Asian cultures and to institute a broad framework for exchange and mutual learning among the people of Asia.

“I am extremely humbled by this honor and profoundly grateful for this recognition,” said Dr. Um, who was born in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and relocated to the U.S. in 1975 during her country’s civil war. “As a refugee studies scholar, I see this as a recognition not only of my scholarly contributions but of the critical nature of the issues that we engage as scholars and global citizens, which are among the most pressing of our time.”

Dr. Um joined the faculty at the University of California, Berkeley in 1995. She is the author of From the Land of Shadows: War, Revolution, and the Making of the Cambodian Diaspora (New York University Press, 2015).

Dr. Um holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in political science from the University of California, San Diego. She earned a Ph.D. in political science at the University of California, Berkeley.

Dr. Um will receive the award at a ceremony in Japan on September 12.

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