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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Science Envoy Travels to Vietnam

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
February 6, 2012


U.S. Science Envoy Rita Colwell is traveling to Vietnam February 4-11, 2012, on her third Envoy trip. In Vietnam, she is meeting with senior government officials and representatives from the scientific, education, nonprofit, and business communities to discuss cooperation on global health, climate change, as well as women and youth in science.

President Obama announced the Science Envoy Program in Cairo on June 4, 2009. Since the program’s inception, six of America’s finest scientists have traveled to 17 countries on behalf of the United States to build international partnerships through scientific exchange. This interaction deepens our relationships by promoting collaboration and cooperation in science and technology.

Dr. Colwell was named Science Envoy in September 2010 along with Dr. Gebisa Ejeta and Dr. Alice Gast. Dr. Colwell has traveled as a U.S. Science Envoy to Malaysia and Bangladesh. Her previous trips as an Envoy also focused on women in science and on global health.

A former director of the National Science Foundation, Dr. Colwell was chosen for her technical expertise and renown as a microbiologist and infectious disease specialist. She currently serves as President and CEO of CosmosID and is a Distinguished University Professor at both the University of Maryland and The Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health. Additionally, Dr. Colwell has won many awards including the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star, bestowed by the Emperor of Japan; the 2006 National Medal of Science awarded by the President of the United States; and the 2010 Stockholm Water Prize presented by the King of Sweden.


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