Dirk D. Russell
- Executive Officer, Head of Claims Services Division
- Chubb Insurance Japan
Hometown: La Crosse, Wisconsin
Number of years in Japan (cumulative): 11 (as of September 2018)
I was moving from Taiwan back to the U.S. and had the opportunity to visit Japan and see the 1985 International Exposition in Tsukuba. After that, I knew I always wanted to return. My opportunity came in 2007 and I have been here since then, enjoying the challenges and satisfaction of working as a foreigner in Japan.
My motto in life would have to be, “Today is the best day of my life. I can’t wait for tomorrow.” This might be a bit optimistic, but as long as you look for the positive aspects of each day, when you find the negative ones, they will be much easier to work through. Even if today is great, tomorrow will always be better.
Overall, there are two achievements I am most proud of. The first is my family and the second is helping people. In claims, that is what we do — we help people who need our help. The most significant event would be the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. For claims people, that was our call to duty, we knew what we had to do and we did it.
My goals during my time in Japan, my current position and life would be continuing to learn and explore the world. In Japan, that focuses on Japanese people and culture. I have spent more than half my life outside the U.S. and my goals really haven’t changed. Be where you are, learn what you can and teach what you know.
I think foreigners must appreciate Japan and that it is truly a unique place. Just because people learn Japanese, does not mean they understand Japan. Respect and understand the differences, and understand you will not change them. Enjoy each day, as one day will certainly be your last day in Japan. Never look back; keep moving ahead.