Ray Asada is a research fellow at JICA Ogata Research Institute. She is interested in the long-term impact of development policies, and particularly the interaction between growth, urban, and rural living and the meaning of development. Inspired by the problem of the depopulation of rural areas in Japan after its period of ‘miraculous’ growth and economic development, her research considers what kind of policies and social conditions would allow countries and regions to develop whilst maintaining rural as well as urban areas. She received her PhD from the Graduate School of Public Policy at the University of Tokyo. She has conducted detailed fieldwork to discover the impact of Sri Lanka's development policies on rural development. Prior to her academic career, she spent several years working on development assistance projects as a project manager in Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Afghanistan.