Frances Colón, (Acting) Science and Technology Adviser to the Secretary of State
Joyce Brown, Staff Assistant
Genya Dana, Senior Science Policy Officer
Nancy Jackson, Franklin Fellow
Lawrence Lin, Foreign Affairs Officer
Elizabeth Lyons, Senior Adviser
Elizabeth Prescott, Counselor and Strategic Advisor
Afua Riverson, Foreign Affairs Officer
Office of the Science and Technology Adviser
Room 3240, Department of State
2201 C Street NW.
Washington, DC 20520
Tel: (202) 647-8725
Fax: (202) 647-5136
For general information or assistance, please e-mail us at:
Dr. Frances Colón is the Deputy Science and Technology Adviser to the Secretary of State at the U.S. Department of State where she promotes integration of science and technology into foreign policy dialogues; global scientific engagement for capacity-building; advancement of women in science; and innovation as a tool for economic growth around the world. Previously, Dr. Colón served the U.S. Department of State as the Science and Environment Adviser at the Western Hemisphere Affairs Bureau where she was responsible for advising on environmental and scientific issues that affected the U.S. Government's foreign policy objectives in the Americas. During that time, Dr. Colón coordinated climate change policy for the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas announced by President Obama in 2009. As a AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow (2006-2008), Dr. Colón led the OES Bureau’s program for Muslim world outreach through K-12 science and math education cooperation. Dr. Colón earned her Ph.D. in neuroscience in 2004 from Brandeis University and her B.S. in biology in 1997 from the University of Puerto Rico.
Joyce Brown has worked at the U.S. Department of State since 1999, and has served as an staff assistant in the Office of the Science and Technology Adviser to the Secretary since 2007. Mrs. Brown performs a variety of office management and administrative tasks in support of the STAS office.
Genya V. Dana is currently a Senior Science Policy Officer in STAS, where she covers Africa science & technology issues, emerging biotechnologies, the post-2015 development agenda process, and manages the AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowships and the Jefferson Science Fellows Program for the Department. She was previously a AAAS Fellow in the Department’s Office of Conservation and Water. Her scientific training is in ecological risk assessment of emerging technologies (particularly biotechnology) and stakeholder engagement in risk governance.
Prior to her AAAS fellowship, she split her time between an Oak Ridge Institute for Science Education (ORISE) postdoctoral fellowship at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, where she assisted with stakeholder engagement in nanotechnology research strategy development, and an appointment as a public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, where she tested methodologies for evaluating the environmental risks of synthetic biology applications. She was also a Christine Mirzayan Science & Technology Policy Fellow at the National Academies of Science in 2011. She completed a Ph.D. in ecological risk assessment and M.Sc. in science, technology and environmental policy at the University of Minnesota’s Conservation Biology Program and Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, respectively.
Dr. Nancy Jackson is a Franklin Fellow in STAS where her portfolio includes energy and LAUNCH. Nancy is also contributing to ISN-Threat Reduction where she is working on the Global Partnership. Nancy is on leave from Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she was the manager of the International Chemical Threat Reduction Department. At Sandia she did cooperative threat reduction work with chemists and chemical engineers in the Middle East and North Africa and Southeast Asia. Her chemical threat reduction efforts collaborated with university professors, industries, professional societies and industrial associations. Prior to her nonproliferation work she did many years of energy-related research.
Nancy has a BS degree in chemistry from George Washington University and a PhD in chemical engineering from the University of Texas, Austin, where she did research on alternative processes for creating liquid fuels. Nancy was president of the American Chemical Society in 2011. She is an ACS and AAAS fellow and won the AAAS Award for Science Diplomacy in 2013.
Lawrence Lin is a foreign affairs officer in the Office of the Science and Technology Adviser to the Secretary (STAS) at the Department of State and was formerly an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Fellow in the same office. Prior to his current assignment, Lawrence was a Mirzayan Fellow at the National Academy of Sciences where he worked on the initial phases of a comprehensive energy technology study titled America's Energy Future.
Lawrence completed his Ph.D. in physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara in June of 2006. His graduate research involved the use of simplified elastic models of biological membranes in theoretical calculations and computational simulations as a means for studying the role of membrane undulations in various biophysical processes. He completed his undergraduate studies at Brown University where he wrote a thesis in the area of cosmology and large scale structure of the universe.
Elizabeth E. (Libby) Lyons is a senior adviser at the Department of State, where she splits her time between the Office of the Science and Technology Adviser to the Secretary (STAS) and the Bureau of Oceans and International and Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OES). In STAS she works primarily to strengthen international science, technology, and innovation engagement by U.S. universities. In OES, Libby works in the Office of Conservation and Water, primarily to enhance the U.S. scientific community participation in the newly established Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). She is on detail from the National Science Foundation having spent more than 16 years in its International Office (most recently running the PIRE Program) and its Directorate for Biological Sciences.
Before joining NSF, Libby was a faculty member at Northwestern University and Amherst College for ten years. She received her undergraduate degree in sociology from Harvard University in 1979 and a master's of forest science from Yale University in 1981. She had a National Institutes of Health Traineeship while earning her Ph.D., awarded in 1986 in botany and genetics from Duke University. Her graduate work involved the phylogeny, population genetics, and ecology of different flower types of mustard plants in the genus Leavenworthia.
Dr. Elizabeth “Libbie” Prescott works at the intersection of science and international relations at the U.S. Department of State and as adjunct faculty at Georgetown University’s Edward A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. She currently serves a Special Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources Heather Higginbottom and as Counselor and Strategic Adviser to the Science and Technology Adviser to the Secretary of State E. William Colglazier. Previously, she served as the Science and Technology Advisor to the Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt M. Campbell. She has also served as the Practice Head for Biosecurity at Eurasia Group; a AAAS Science and Technology Congressional Fellow working with the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions for Senator Edward M. Kennedy; and a Research Fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies-US. She spent time with the National Academies Board on Science, Technology & Economic Policy and consulted for the Strategy Division of the National Health Service in the United Kingdom. Libbie has her doctorate in molecular biology from the University of Oxford, Balliol College and dual degrees with high honors in Economics and Molecular & Cell Biology from the University of California, Berkeley.
Afua Riverson is a Foreign Affairs Officer, under the Pathways Program who currently covers the NeXXt Scholars Program, which equips the next generation of young women scientists from countries with Muslim majority populations to pursue science; technology, engineering, and math (STEM) undergraduate degrees at U.S. women’s colleges. Ms. Riverson also manages public outreach efforts around science diplomacy and the co-leads the Africa portfolio for the STAS Office. Previously, Ms. Riverson served in the Office of Environment and Global Climate Change and the Office of International Health and Biodefense, on outreach efforts on global health, climate change related grants and interagency agreement compliance. Afua again, assisted in the creation of the first-ever secure electronic hub of Bureau wide official documents ensuring 24/7 access for all 55+ bureaus of the Department of State by providing documents, data, and research of health related issues to contribute to the hub.
Afua has a BS degree from Virginia State University and is currently completing a Masters in Public Policy – International Affairs at George Mason University. Ms. Riverson serves on the Executive Board for the Executive Women at State affinity group and is an avid volunteer.