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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

STEM: Embassy Science Fellows Program 2014

Expanding U.S. bilateral relationships through joint projects in science, technology, and innovation.

  • The Embassy Science Fellows Program provides U.S. embassies access to the expertise of U.S. Government officers in science and technology fields.
  • U.S. Embassies request Fellows to assist on science, technology, environment, or health issues. They recommend projects that will have significant positive impact on their host countries and our bilateral relationship.
  • The work of Embassy Science Fellows has contributed to policy development and collaboration with host governments, universities, and other organizations.
  • The program is active throughout the world, and in 2013 received 55 technical proposals from 43 U.S. missions in 40 countries.
  • Fifteen U.S. Government science agencies participate and, on average, the Embassy Science Fellow Program places 25 scientists per year. Almost 300 Fellows have participated in the program since its inception in 2001.

The work of the program has included managing dry lands in Africa, developing regional drinking water systems in Latin America, researching climate change mitigation efforts in Europe and the Caribbean, and preparing for disaster response in East Asia. The impact on bilateral relations can be as straightforward as providing an assessment of policy options for decision-makers regarding the development of new collaborative partnerships.

Examples of Recent Projects by Embassy Science Fellows:

Working on Coastal Development Issues

An Embassy Science Fellow collaborated with the Republic of the Marshall Islands Environmental Protection Authority to expand capacity in surveying and mapping. President Obama recently signed a drought disaster declaration for the Marshall Islands, which is considered among the most vulnerable regions in the world. The Fellow’s work helped to ensure that environmental sustainability informs coastal development and it directly supported disaster risk resilience in the region.

Inspiring the Next Generation of Scientists

An Embassy Science Fellow in Hong Kong focused on air quality issues, a major concern in the region. The Fellow reinvigorated the dialogue with scientist counterparts on air quality and next-generation air monitoring, and engaged in outreach to the public and students. Her visit was pivotal in advancing bilateral cooperation on air quality with the Hong Kong Government.


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