Emerging and Transformational Technologies

Science & Technology (S&T) are critical elements for many aspects of U.S. diplomacy. The speed of S&T progress can be challenging for policymakers to keep pace with; as such, STAS works with American and international science and technology leaders to understand the potential impacts of emerging technologies, and reports these findings to the Department. For instance, STAS engages the U.S. National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine and other institutions to host dialogues with academia and the private sector, that inform senior leadership about issues at the intersection of STI and diplomacy. By leveraging the knowledge of the external STI community in emerging fields, such as computational propaganda, neurotechnology, synthetic biology, blockchain, quantum computing, and artificial intelligence, among others, the Department is well prepared to develop its foreign policy priorities. E/STAS and its partners analyze and advise how this strategic foresight can inform real time decision process.

Science and Technology Policy Fellowships

STAS manages a variety of Science and Technology (S&T) policy fellowship programs that bring Ph.D.-level scientists and engineers to work at the Department for 1-2 years. The aim is to foster technically informed, evidence-based policy and practice by bringing on scientists and engineers from a broad range of disciplines, backgrounds, and career stages who then contribute their knowledge and analytical skills to the federal government. The 2010 Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) recognized the need to marshal technical expertise to solve 21st century problems through expanded fellowships, such as these Science Fellow Programs.

Network of Foreign Ministry Science and Technology Advisers (FMSTAN)

The Network of Foreign Ministry Science &Technology Advisers (FMSTAN) is designed to cultivate a strong and durable international network of science advisers to foreign ministers, to promote closer linkages between the Science and Technology (S&T) and foreign policy communities. The Network recognizes that traditional diplomacy increasingly impacts – and is impacted by – broader trends in science, technology, and innovation, and engaging nations through science diplomacy is an important component of any nation’s foreign policy strategy. FMSTAN focuses on four areas: 1) Raising awareness of the importance of enduring S&T advisory capabilities in foreign ministries; 2) Sharing best practices and lessons learned in building S&T advisory capacity; 3) Strengthening S&T advisory capacity in foreign ministries with activities; and 4) Coordinating respective S&T diplomacy initiatives.

Science Diplomacy

STAS coordinates with the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OES), as well as other topical, regional, and public diplomacy offices, to engage with publics both domestic and abroad on issues of science, technology, and innovation. Science engagement is an indispensable tool of U.S. diplomacy to build relationships and strengthen ties with countries and regions viewed as foreign policy priorities. Science & Technology policy fellows have been recruited to add speaking engagements to their international travel, and STAS and its partners are working to offer speaking opportunities to more of the U.S. scientific and engineering communities.

Networks of Diasporas in Engineering and Science (NODES)

NODES is a partnership that seeks to support science and engineering diaspora networks by sharing best practices and knowledge, convening diaspora groups, and catalyzing their growth by linking them with useful institutions and tools so that these knowledge networks can have greater impact in their country of origin and in the United States.

U.S. Department of State

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