have the opportunity a few years later to reconnect when I joined the NAE Council and found him serving as foreign secretary.
I observed three dimensions of George while working with him for a few years in his capacity as NAE foreign secretary. He understood and valued the connection, the engagement, worldwide. He knew that the National Academies and the nation would benefit from forging a stronger international collaborative network. He was passionate about this. So in addition to being a kind man, mentor, colleague, and educator, George was an activist, never content with the status quo.
The first dimension I want to touch on very briefly was his role with the foreign associates of the National Academy of Engineering. Just as the US membership is elected, these individuals also are elected members of the NAE but they are not US citizens. Some live in the United States and are contributing locally, others live in their home countries. This is a cadre of individuals who are extremely talented and accomplished engineers, and George saw the need to bring their voices to the products of the National Academies. He understood not only that talent existed in lots of parts of the world but that we would benefit from hearing those voices. He not only wanted them elected, he wanted them engaged in the activities of both the NAE and the National Academies.
More broadly, during his tenure George took a number of steps not only to grow the cadre of foreign associates but also to diversify the spectrum of countries represented. Until then many of the foreign associates were from Western Europe and other countries with which we had long-standing collaborative relationships. George recognized immediately the need to reach out and identify rising talent in Asia—China, India, Taiwan, South Korea, and Indonesia, among others. He also reached out to South America, recognizing the growing talent base in countries such as Brazil. So he worked very hard at bringing a more diverse set of voices into the foreign associates cadre of the National Academy of Engineering.
Then he worked tirelessly against some fairly significant institutional impediments, asking how can we better use these voices? How can we engage them in participating in the studies and report activities of the National Academies? This was hard because of the challenges of time and distance, travel money, and language, but he made progress.
The second area I want to describe, again just very briefly, was one of George’s passions, the Frontiers of Engineering symposia series, which had a US component as well as an international component, largely started with bilateral symposia. These by-invitation events are opportunities to bring