Mike Smitka is professor of economics at Washington and Lee University, an undergraduate liberal arts college in Virginia. He has a BA in East Asian studies from Harvard and a PhD in economics from Yale University. Fluent in Japanese, he has spent a total of seven years in Tokyo, with shorter stays in China, Germany, and Korea. Since 1994, he has been a judge for the Automotive News PACE supplier awards. He is in the steering committee of GERPISA, an international network of academics who work in the auto industry.