Letter Report on Science, Technology, and Health

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
2101 Constitution Avenue     Washington, D.C.   20418


OFFICE OF THE CHAIRMAN




September 11, 1998

The Honorable Madeleine K. Albright
Secretary of State
US Department of State
2201 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20520

Dear Madam Secretary:

I appreciate the opportunity to respond to your request for a study of the contributions that science, technology, and health (STH) can make to foreign policy, and how the Department might better carry out its responsibilities to that end. With this letter, I enclose the preliminary report that the Department has requested on this important issue.

The opportunities that the areas of science, technology, and health offer in foreign policy are dramatic. As the world leader in most STH areas, the US can build on hundreds of thousands of professional relationships that connect us to the scientific communities in other nations. By forming partnerships with foreign scientists, we enhance their status and support their values, which can do a great deal to promote democracy. In addition, spreading access to new scientific and technical advances is of course essential for providing a decent life and an acceptable environment for the world's expanding population, thereby reducing the potential for destabilizing violent conflicts.

The tasks of understanding and responding to the STH dimensions of foreign policy are daunting. Many officers in political, economic, administrative, and consular positions in Washington and abroad—as well as those with explicit STH responsibilities—must be able to recognize the STH dimensions of foreign affairs. This preliminary report is designed to provide advice on how the Department might best strengthen both its internal STH personnel resources and its utilization of external expertise in pursuing important US security, economic, and scientific goals.

In outline, the suggestions in the report are as follows:

Providing Leadership within the Department on STH-related Issues

    • The Secretary of State should provide continuing leadership for adequate consideration within the Department of the STH aspects of issues and should designate one of the undersecretaries to take the lead in ensuring that STH concerns are considered, when appropriate, during meetings and consultations involving the Secretary's Senior Advisors. This responsibility will require a staff of 2-3 positions that should be located in the office of the designated undersecretary.

    • The Department needs several additional clusters of strong STH competence, and it should provide personnel resources for sustained, operational attention to STH content in foreign policy issues.

    • The Department should incorporate the STH elements of foreign policy issues and their implications more fully into the Department's strategic planning process.

    • The Secretary should articulate and disseminate throughout the Department a policy that calls for greater attention to STH elements of issues in the conduct of foreign affairs and provides guidance as to sources of STH expertise available to both Embassies and Department offices.

Strengthening the Available Base of STH Expertise

    • The Department should provide expanded training opportunities for Department officials from the entry level to senior levels for developing and strengthening STH-related competencies.

    • Attractive career incentives are needed for FSOs to actively seek assignments involving STH-related issues at both senior and junior levels.

    • The Department should enhance the technical stature and capabilities of US Embassies in countries where STH developments are of special importance through assignment of technically trained personnel to Science Counselor and other full-time science positions.

    • The Department should systematize the exchange of personnel with STH skills with other US agencies that have strong capabilities in STH.

    • The Department should expand its pool of external experts and actively engage them in advising the Department's leadership on emerging STH issues.

Some of the Committee's interim recommendations could be put in place with little or no cost, while some involve the assignment or establishment of up to about twelve positions to STH purposes. Creating the most ambitious advisory mechanism that the Committee has so far considered might involve the expenditure of $500,000 annually. These seem modest investments given the stakes involved.

In addition to providing a broad vision for the role of STH in foreign policy, the further work of this committee will explore in more detail three sets of issues: general personnel policies and practices; the clusters of STH expertise in the foreign affairs agencies; and the STH-related international activities of other departments and agencies.

In order to best meet your needs, I would like to meet with you to receive your guidance concerning the most important aspects of these or other issues that we should address in the next phase of this study. You may also wish to identify a specific current foreign policy issue with major STH components where advice is needed. We would be pleased to assemble a small group of experts to explore -- with yourself, the committee, and appropriate State officers -- both the issue and the role of STH advice in dealing with it.

I look forward to continuing the interactions with you and your colleagues as the committee prepares more detailed recommendations and the supporting documentation for your consideration.

    Sincerely,


    Bruce Alberts
    Chairman
    National Research Council
    and
    President
    National Academy of Sciences


IMPROVING THE USE OF SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, AND
HEALTH EXPERTISE IN US FOREIGN POLICY
(A Preliminary Report)


Background

In June 1998, in response to a request from the Department of State, the National Research Council (NRC) established a committee to address two related issues: (1) "the contributions that science, technology, and health (STH) can make to foreign policy," and (2) "how the Department might better carry out its responsibilities to that end, within resource constraints" (attachments 1 and 2). In this interim report, the committee has decided to focus its preliminary suggestions on one aspect of the second issue: immediate and practical steps that the Department might take to strengthen its personnel resources in STH areas and to enhance its capability to draw on sources of STH expertise outside the Department in formulating foreign policy. The committee plans to address other aspects of its charge in its final report; that report will contain a much fuller consideration of the many important contributions that STH can make to foreign policy and an assessment of how the Department can effectively facilitate STH progress through foreign policy actions and the development and implementation of international STH programs. The Committee will also elaborate on the preliminary suggestions that are set forth below.


Contributions of STH Advice to Foreign Policy

The scientific and technical capability of many nations is in a state of flux—threatened in some, growing strongly in others, evolving in still others. In almost all countries, the international aspects of STH interests are increasing in importance; and STH challenges are now at the core of many foreign policy efforts to advance the security, economic, and scientific goals of the United States and to promote sustainable development on a broad front.

Issues with significant STH dimensions that currently are high on the US foreign policy agenda include:

    •Arms control and nonproliferation challenges

    •Globalization of industrial activities and interests

    •Expanded international transportation and communication linkages

    •World hunger

    •Emergence and spread of infectious diseases and other health threats

    •Transnational environmental threats

    •Protection of intellectual property rights of computer software, pharmaceuticals, and other technology-based products

    •Natural disasters

    •Narco-trafficking and international terrorism

There are many other areas of broad interest wherein STH capabilities can play a constructive role in achieving US foreign policy goals. For example, STH programs often contribute to regional cooperation and understanding in areas of political instability. Of critical importance to the evolution of democratic societies are freedom of association and inquiry, objectivity, and openness—traits that characterize the scientific process. Technologies offer new and exciting prospects to improve educational opportunities in many countries, and medical advances can contribute to reducing child mortality in dramatic ways. These and other topics will be considered in more detail during the committee's future deliberations.1

STH capabilities are among the greatest strengths of the United States. The research and development prowess of the nation's universities, government laboratories, and industry and its system for training future scientists, engineers, health professionals, and executive leaders are admired by industrialized and developing nations alike. At the same time, effective utilization of these capabilities in the formulation and implementation of foreign policy has long been of concern within and outside the Department. The Department, other government agencies, the US Congress, and nongovernmental organizations have initiated many assessments of attendant opportunities and problems for more than fifty years (attachment 3). During this period, the Department has undertaken a number of steps in addressing STH-related issues, with mixed results. The committee has been able to draw on those past efforts to complement the extensive background experience of its members in developing its recommendations.

Resolution of many foreign policy issues has hinged on sound scientific assessments. Examples of such issues at multilateral forums include negotiation of the comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty and related arrangements, development of international agreements to limit discharges of ozone-depleting chemicals and to protect biodiversity, allocation of radio frequencies for a multitude of uses, determination of appropriate international food safety standards, and agreements to protect the Arctic and Antarctic regions. Similarly, in bilateral relationships, scientific judgments are often central to reaching satisfactory arrangements. Acrimonious debates over acid rain were for many years a critical aspect of US-Canadian relations. Convincing Argentina of the benefits of peaceful scientific cooperation was very important in preventing efforts to proceed with a nuclear weapons program. In Peru, drug eradication and crop substitution efforts depend on sound assessments of agricultural processes. And South Korea's industrial growth has been fueled by American advice over several decades as to how science and technology can lead to profitable exports.


STH Capabilities of the Department of State

At its initial meetings, the committee met with a large number of senior Department officials and with other government officials and nongovernmental specialists. In addition, NRC staff consulted with many other officials of the Department and other agencies (attachment 4). In these meetings and consultations, a clear theme emerged: STH-rich issues permeate the agendas of many offices of the Department and of most US ambassadors.

Specialized offices within the Department have important capabilities in some areas of STH (e.g. nuclear nonproliferation, telecommunications, fisheries). However, the Department has limited technical capabilities in a number of other areas.

For example, the Department cannot effectively participate in some interagency technical decisions concerning important export control issues; participation is essential in resolving conflicting interagency views on issues such as sales of satellite technology to China and supercomputers to Russia. The Department has little appreciation of the existence, significance, and implications of many of the hundreds of collaborative arrangements between the Department of Defense and researchers in the former Soviet Union and other important countries. The Department has not addressed the international dimensions of alternative US energy policies that must take into account a variety of technologies being developed throughout the world. Nor does it have the expertise to pursue an active policy that builds on collaborative opportunities in the fields of international health and agriculture in addressing biological and chemical weapons terrorism. In addition, only because of last minute intervention of the scientific community did the Department recognize the importance of access by researchers to data bases that were the subject of draft legislation and international negotiations with regard to intellectual property rights.

Recent trends strongly suggest that other important STH-related issues are not receiving adequate attention within the Department. The position of Assistant Secretary for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OES) has been vacant for many months. OES has shifted most of its science-related resources to address international environmental concerns with reduced capability to address the 35 active bilateral science and technology agreements, let alone the opportunities for new bilateral STH relationships and the challenges posed by the rapid globalization of many aspects of science and technology. The positions of Science and Technology Counselors have been downgraded at important US embassies, including embassies in New Delhi, Paris, and London. The remaining full-time science, technology, and environment positions at embassies are increasingly filled by FSOs with very limited or no experience in technical fields. Thus, it is not surprising that several US technical agencies which the committee consulted have reported a decline in the support they now receive from the embassies; the committee plans to consult further with the agencies on this critical concern. Also, the Department has sent a strong negative signal as to the importance of STH-related issues throughout the Foreign Service by eliminating the personnel cone for science and technology without offering alternative career-enhancing opportunities for FSOs with experience and interests in STH developments.

There are encouraging signs that senior official of the Department are attempting to reverse such trends and bring STH considerations more fully into the foreign policy process.. As examples of the Department's recent efforts to respond to STH-related challenges and opportunities, the leadership of the Department noted the extensive attention that they are giving to a number of highly important global issues such as climate change, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and health aspects of refugee migration. They pointed out that STH initiatives have helped promote regional policy objectives: for example, scientific cooperation in addressing water and environmental problems that contributes to the Middle East peace process. Also, they stressed that collaborative STH projects often support broad bilateral political and economic agendas (e.g. current Vice President-level forums with Russia, Ukraine, Egypt, South Africa, and China; earlier scientific cooperation with India; and the long-standing US-Japan Common Agenda). At the same time, they readily acknowledge that overall the Department is not well equipped to assess effectively the STH aspects of many issues.

While emphasizing that the Department is prepared to take steps to address this shortcoming, the Department's leadership underscored the resource constraints within the Department due to a substantial reduction of the overall foreign affairs budget during the past five years. Also, they pointed to the increased competition for available funds resulting, for example, from the establishment of new embassies in the former Soviet Union and from demands for strengthened security measures at embassies in a number of countries. Thus, they caution that expectations of major diversions of existing funds to new initiatives are unrealistic.

Compelling as these arguments are, it may not be possible to reduce the major STH-related problems without reprogramming some existing resources or obtaining at least limited amounts of new resources. Of course the Congress plays a critical role in the budget process, and the committee plans to obtain additional insights into Congressional views that are relevant to STH concerns.


Preliminary Conclusions and Suggestions

To deal effectively with complex technical issues such as those identified above, the Department needs to have internal resources to integrate STH aspects into the formulation and conduct of foreign policy and a strong capability to draw on outside resources. There is no shortage of technical advice that could be mobilized by the Department. A major need is to ensure that there are receptors in dozens of offices throughout the Department capable of identifying valid sources of relevant advice and of absorbing such advice. This is a daunting task. Some senior Department officials have stated that the current recognition within the Foreign Service of the importance of STH aspects of foreign policy is at a low level, perhaps comparable to the level of acceptance of the field of economics as a central aspect of foreign policy about 15 years ago. However, there is a difference. Whereas recognition of the importance of economics has been steadily growing in recent years, recognition of the importance of STH developments as a core foreign policy concern comes and goes. Any further delay in giving adequate attention to the significance of the STH aspects of foreign affairs will be seriously detrimental in view of the speed and pervasiveness with which technologies are affecting international relations throughout the world.

Of key importance, the sources of advice on STH-related issues must be knowledgeable about both world-wide STH developments and foreign affairs and must be able to relate STH factors to policy issues faced by the Department. That, too, is a daunting task. As has been demonstrated in the field of arms control, the goal can be best achieved through a continuing process of interaction between the members of the STH communities and the relevant offices of the Department. Such interactions should take advantage of contacts between American scientists and engineers and their foreign colleagues.

The committee's immediate suggestions are few, but critical. They provide initial steps in a significant shift in the Department's handling of the STH-dimensions of foreign policy. They fall into two groups as follows:


Providing Leadership within the Department on STH-Related Issues

Strengthening the Department's ability to deal with STH-related issues will require leadership at the highest levels of the Department. There are several steps that should be taken.

1. The Secretary should provide continuing leadership for adequate consideration within the Department of the STH aspects of issues and should designate one of the undersecretaries to take the lead in ensuring that STH concerns are considered when appropriate during meetings and consultations involving the Secretary's Senior Advisors. This responsibility will require a staff of 2-3 positions that should be located in the office of the designated undersecretary. Many Department offices are involved in STH-related issues. There is occasional uncertainty as to responsibilities for newly emerging issues, and many issues involving STH cut across organizational lines. Thus, the five undersecretaries and the Counselor of the Department constitute an appropriate forum where issues identified by the Secretary, the undersecretaries, or the staff as needing attention are considered. Such high-level attention should stimulate steps throughout the Department to improve capabilities and incentives to deal with the STH aspects of issues.2

2. In addition, the Department needs several clusters of strong STH competence, and it should provide personnel resources for sustained, operational attention to STH content in foreign policy issues. Although the committee has not examined the activities of the entire Department, there are clear needs for clusters of STH expertise within several bureaus and offices, including the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs (PM), the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs (EB), the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OES), the Policy Planning Staff (S/P), and the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR). The size and responsibilities of these clusters (e.g. liaison, analysis, negotiations) will vary significantly.

An increase in the OES staff, which now has 130 positions, of about six new positions devoted to international health issues, scientific cooperation, and globalization of advanced technologies is certainly warranted. Also, a single officer with experience in STH issues assigned to S/P, which has about 15 analysts and direct linkages to the leadership of the Department, would enhance capabilities to address issues that should command high-level attention.3 A group of two or three STH-oriented analysts within INR, which has more than 125 analysts and close connections to the intelligence community and to external advisory sources, could also enhance the Department's planning and analysis capabilities in a significant fashion.4 The Department should to the extent possible make the needed adjustments within available resources. Also, if necessary, the Department should seek new resources for this purpose, recognizing that an initial internal commitment of resources is an important step to support resource advocacy discussions with the Office of Management and Budget and the Congress.

3. The Department should incorporate the STH elements of foreign policy issues and their implications more fully into the Department's strategic planning process. The first government-wide United States Strategic Plan for International Affairs is a step forward in bringing together the diverse interests of many government agencies into a coherent set of foreign policy objectives and in relating the allocation of budgetary resources to these objectives. More explicit incorporation of the STH elements into the Strategic Plan would both highlight the issues for Department and Embassy officers and would allow the planning process to address related resource implications more completely. The documents prepared in connection with the Summit of the Americas are excellent examples of the opportunities for incorporating STH considerations into such a process. The Department should work with the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and other federal agencies in reviewing the STH aspects of the Strategic Plan in anticipation of its next revision. Appendix 5 presents the committee's initial review of the opportunities for more explicitly including STH factors in the Strategic Plan.

4. The Secretary should articulate and disseminate throughout the Department a policy that calls for greater attention to STH elements of issues in the conduct of foreign policy and provides guidance as to sources of STH expertise available to both Embassies and Department offices. A policy statement by the Secretary is an essential step in heightening awareness of the importance of STH elements in the formulation and conduct of foreign policy and in encouraging officers to devote sustained attention to these issues. In 1996, the previous Secretary issued a Memorandum on Integrating Environmental Issues into the Department's Core Foreign Policy that triggered actions throughout the Department. A comparable, although more far-reaching, STH statement is warranted. However, the statement will have little lasting value unless coupled with other actions such as those recommended herein.


Strengthening the Available Base of STH Expertise

Given the pervasiveness of issues involving STH developments within the foreign policy agenda and the continuing advances in STH throughout the world, a broadly based systemic approach to upgrading and maintaining relevant skill levels of many Department officers is essential. The Department's efforts should provide both incentives and opportunities for FSOs, civil servants, and specialists on temporary assignments to the Department to develop competencies needed for effectively relating STH developments to foreign policy. Also, the Department should have adequate mechanisms in place for drawing, as needed, on outside experts to provide insights and advice on STH issues in a form that can be easily understood and used within the Department. The following steps would be useful in this regard:

5. The Department should provide expanded training opportunities for Department officials from the entry level to senior levels for developing and strengthening STH-related competencies. All FSOs should become increasingly familiar with the interactions between advances in STH and political, economic, and social developments in different regions. The initial orientation training for incoming FSOs should include an introduction to the ways that STH are influencing governments and shaping world affairs. Such an early orientation for incoming FSOs would be an important first step toward building an STH-sensitive culture in the foreign service. Taking time off from operational assignments for formal training in STH-related areas at the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) later in a career should be viewed by both the Department and FSOs as career-enhancing and appropriate incentives should be established. The STH-related courses offered by FSI have very useful content but should be expanded to provide more intensive training for larger numbers of FSOs and other Department officers as appropriate. FSI should also provide STH-related continuing education opportunities for interested employees in Washington and abroad through electronic systems. In addition, the Department should consider training opportunities at US universities which have developed relevant programs for executives involved with STH-related activities. Finally, with regard to STH specialists on lateral entry into the Department, FSI might develop a general foreign policy orientation course.

6. Attractive career incentives are needed for FSOs to actively seek assignments involving STH-related issues at senior and junior levels. The recent abolition of the career cone for science, technology, and environmental specialists has been interpreted by some FSOs to signal that specializing in these areas is no longer a desirable career option. They doubt that even a single STH-related assignment would be advisable as preparation for future mainstream assignments. Consequently, the most promising FSOs with multiple assignment options will be hesitant to accept STH-related assignments. The committee will consider in the future whether concentrating a few FSOs in a specialized personnel cone is an appropriate approach, given the need for a large number of FSOs to have STH competencies. In any event, the current efforts of the Department to provide some recognition in the promotion and assignment processes to interests and achievements in technical fields is an important step, in view of the increasing need for such expertise on a world-wide basis; and special STH expertise achieved through education, training, and/or experience should be clearly highlighted in the personnel records that are used in connection with assignments. Also, the Department's award for excellence in reporting on STH developments is important.

The views of the American Foreign Service Association concerning FSO specialization within the Foreign Service are of considerable interest, and the committee will explore these views during its future deliberations that will address many relevant aspects of the FSO personnel system.

Building on the experience of the regional bureaus in providing advocacy and support for geographic area specialists, the Department should establish a focal point to provide support and mentoring for FSOs with interests and capabilities in STH activities. This focal point should provide assistance in identifying STH-related assignment opportunities throughout the Department and possibilities for detailing FSOs to other government agencies with STH interests. Also it should assist FSOs serving in STH-related positions in finding future career-enhancing assignments in other fields. Senior Department officials, and particularly senior FSOs, must be personally engaged in this effort if it is to be taken seriously by both the personnel officers of the Department and by the FSOs themselves.

7. The Department should enhance the technical stature and capabilities of US Embassies in countries where STH developments are of special importance through assignment of technically trained personnel to Science Counselor and other full-time science positions. STH concerns (such as nuclear policy, export control, technological competition, infectious diseases) are important elements of US foreign policy in a number of critical countries. Embassies in these countries would benefit considerably from sound analyses by Embassy staff reflecting understanding of STH developments, particularly on local aspects of global issues. Related professional interactions of the Embassies with STH leaders of host countries are also increasingly important, particularly in regard to techno-economic reporting. Further, the coordination of programs of US technical agencies is increasing in complexity. In some US Embassies, such as Embassy Tokyo, the Science Counselors have served as coordinators of the activities of overseas representatives of technical agencies, and this pattern of coordination should continue. However, as FSOs with limited STH experience fill the Science Counselor and other full-time science positions, their leadership roles in coordination efforts become more difficult. Further, the willingness of technical agencies to agree to meaningful coordination is linked to the STH experience of the coordinator.

8. The Department should systematize the exchange of personnel with STH skills with other US agencies that have strong capabilities in STH. For many years, the Department has relied on detailed personnel from other agencies to fill highly specialized positions in Washington on a short-term basis. Also, the technical agencies have been important recruiting grounds for filling Science Counselor positions. The Department appears to be reducing its reliance on detailed personnel with STH skills whereas the need for sustained interactions between the Department and many agencies with expanding international activities is increasing. Thus, the Department should encourage selected agencies, such as NSF, DOD, HHS (particularly CDC and NIH), DOE, USDA, NASA, EPA, Interior, Commerce, and Transportation, to identify appropriate specialists who would be available for rotation through STH-related assignments in the Department and overseas, including Science Counselor positions. The leadership of the Department must participate in efforts to arrange for regular two-way exchanges. They should encourage the agencies to share the costs of supporting detailed personnel working within the Department where they would have new opportunities to place individual agency interests in a broader national perspective. Both the Department and the cooperating agencies should consider exchange assignments as career-enhancing. The committee will explore whether in the long run a system of "rotators" from the private sector, analogous to the approach of the National Science Foundation, might also be appropriate.

9. The Department should expand the pool of external experts and actively engage them in advising the Department's leadership on emerging STH-related issues. There are many mechanisms for mobilizing STH expertise that have been used by US government agencies. Three of these mechanisms, in increasing order of cost, that should be considered by the Department are as follows:

    •A roster of experts in a variety of STH fields with strong linkages to well-informed colleagues in the United States and abroad could be established with the experts granted security clearances as consultants to the Department, to be called upon individually or in small groups as necessary. Designated offices of the Department would be responsible for keeping the experts current on developments within the Department and other agencies so that when called upon, they would be able to address issues without a lengthy educational process and present their suggestions in a form usable by the Department.

    •A US scientific organization could be tasked to mobilize expertise on selected subjects as needed, and specialists from both the private and public sectors could participate. Of course the need for quality, credibility, and balance of interests of the participants should be paramount in establishing such an advisory mechanism. Also, the Department must ensure that studies that are undertaken address issues that would be of interest to officials within the Department; without a receptive audience, the results would be of little use.

    •A formal advisory committee could be established, perhaps modeled on the Defense Science Board (DSB). While it should formally report to the Secretary, its interactions with the Secretary's Senior Advisors would be the key to a useful activity. The committee would be on a smaller scale than the DSB. The DSB has been an important source of advice for the Department of Defense (DOD) because of the strong emphasis on continuous involvement of committee members in addressing important areas of interest to DOD. There has been specificity in the choices of topics to be considered in depth and serious involvement by senior DOD officials in the committee's deliberations. A DSB-like committee could provide important inputs to the Department of State in developing STH-related policies and strategies. The cost of such an activity, in addition to the time commitments of senior officials and other government participants, would be significant. For example, $500,000 plus staff costs incurred by the Department's participants would support (a) a two-week summer study to address many aspects of a broad field of emerging interest such as biotechnology or the security dimensions of international development, and (b) several meetings of an expert panel to prepare an in-depth assessment of a topic of priority concern such as the impact of the Internet on foreign policy or the prospects for and implications of oil wells in ever deeper ocean water. At the same time, the committee could serve not only as a source of advice but also as a planning mechanism for the Department and as a training ground for FSOs who would participate in the activities.


Resource Implications and The Future Agenda

The foregoing recommendations are intended to provide a portion of an interim framework for elevating consideration of STH-related issues within the Department. They underscore that STH-related issues are pervasive and cannot be dealt with by any single office, or indeed by a limited set of offices. Further, they emphasize that the Department will only be able to use the vast pool of STH talent within Washington and throughout the country to the extent that it has an internal capacity and the incentive to draw effectively on external sources of expertise.

At the same time the personnel implications of about a dozen new positions and other costs of up to $500,000 per year seem modest given the stakes involved. Should the list of STH-related requirements expand as the committee considers in greater detail the strengths and weaknesses of the Department, the committee will of course give greater attention to priorities among its recommendations.

Building on the initial recommendations, the committee will consider in its future deliberations steps that will help to institutionalize approaches to integrating STH concerns and opportunities into the foreign policy process even if future leaders of the Department have less of a personal interest in this topic than the current leaders.




Robert A. Frosch
Chairman
NRC Committee on the Science, Technology, and Health
Aspects of the Foreign Policy Agenda of the United States




NOTES

1A more detailed discussion of the interrelationships between STH developments and foreign policy is included in Science and Technology in US International Affairs, Carnegie Commission on Science, Technology, and Government, January 1992, pages 21-28.

2The committee is aware of the pending appointment of a GS-15 level science advisor to the Assistant Secretary for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OES), although the responsibilities of the science advisor have not been clearly defined. While this position should be of help to OES and the Department, it will not substitute for measures recommended by the committee. The committee has discussed the possibilities of a senior science advisor or advisors within the Department, but is not yet prepared to make recommendations on this issue.

3During the 1970s, an officer in S/P had the science and technology responsibility and made important contributions in several areas.

4Until recently, INR had a small capability to address STH issues.


Attachment 1


United States Department of State

The Counselor

Washington, D.C. 20520


Dear Dr. Alberts:

Before he left the Department, Tim Wirth shared with Secretary Albright your candid and constructive discussions regarding the role of science, technology and health (ST&H) in U.S. foreign policy. As you know, the State Department takes its responsibilities in the area of ST&H very seriously. Science is critical to many areas of our foreign policy, as it contributes our international health, environmental quality, national security, economic success, and to meeting global needs for food, water, and energy. It also serves as the basis for many of our bilateral and international programs, such as the U.S.-Japan Common Agenda and scientist exchanges.

Nonetheless, we may not be doing as much in the science, technology and health areas as we can. As part of our ongoing efforts to ensure that these issues are reflected in our foreign policy in the best possible manner, the Secretary has asked me to request that the Academies collaborate with the State Department to study the contributions ST&H can make to foreign policy, and how the Department might better carry out its responsibilities to that end, within its resource constraints. I should note that the Office of Science and Technology Policy is aware of this request and supports this initiative.

The Academies have a long history of scientific excellence and international engagement, and is particularly suited to carry out such a study. I hope you will give this idea serious consideration.

Please contact Melinda Kimble, Acting Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, at (202) 647-1554 to discuss this idea further. We look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Wendy R. Sherman


Dr. Bruce Alberts,
President,
National Academy of Sciences,
2101 Constitution Ave., NW,
Washington, DC 20418.


Attachment 2


NRC COMMITTEE ON SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, AND HEALTH ASPECTS
OF THE FOREIGN POLICY AGENDA OF THE UNITED STATES


Robert Frosch, Chair, Harvard University

John Axtell, Purdue University

Harry Barnes, Emory University

Gail Cassell, Eli Lilly & Co.

Sue Eckert, Institute for International Economics and Brown University

Robert Fri, The Smithsonian Institution

David Hamburg, Carnegie Corporation of New York

Ronald Lehman II, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Thomas Lovejoy, The World Bank

David Newsom, University of Virginia

Roland Schmitt, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Eugene Skolnikoff, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Philip Smith, McGeary & Smith

Robert White, The Washington Advisory Group


David Challoner, Foreign Secretary, Institute of Medicine (ex-officio)

Harold Forsen, Foreign Secretary, National Academy of Engineering (ex-officio)

F. Sherwood Rowland, Foreign Secretary, National Academy of Sciences (ex-officio)


John Boright, Executive Director for International Affairs

Kelly Robbins, Program Officer

Glenn Schweitzer, Study Director


Attachment 3


SELECTED STUDIES ON SCIENCE,
TECHNOLOGY, AND FOREIGN AFFAIRS


Studies Sponsored by Department of State

Science and Foreign Relations, International Policy Survey Group, Department of State, 1950 (referred to as "The Berkner Report").

Glennan, T. Keith, Technology and Foreign Affairs, Department of State, 1976.

Science, Technology, and Foreign Affairs, four volumes, Foreign Service Institute, 1984.

Jones, Teresa C., Science Attaches Now and Tomorrow, Department of State, September 1, 1991.

Amenson, Pat, "Umbrella Science and Technology Agreements," Department of State, August 12, 1996 (draft report).

Environmental Diplomacy: The Environment and US Foreign Policy, Department of State, April 1997.


Studies Sponsored by US Congress

"The Management of Global Issues," Commission on the Organization of Government for the Conduct of Foreign Policy, vol. 1, appendix B, US Government Printing Office, June 1975.

Science and Technology in the Department of State: Bringing Technical Content into Diplomatic Policy and Operations, Subcommittee on International Security and Scientific Affairs, Committee on International Relations, US House of Representatives, prepared by Congressional Research Service, 1975.

Science, Technology, and Diplomacy in the Age of Interdependence, Subcommittee on International Security and Scientific Affairs, Committee on International Relations, US House of Representatives, prepared by Congressional Research Service, 1976.

Science, Technology, and American Diplomacy, Committee on International Relations, US House of Representatives, 3 volumes, prepared by Congressional Research Service, 1977.

International Science, National Science Policy Study, Committee on Science, US House of Representatives, report in preparation, 1998.


Studies of Academy Complex

Scientific Communication and National Security, National Research Council, National Academy Press, 1983 (referred to as "The Corson Report").

Wallerstein, Mitchel B. (ed.), Scientific and Technological Cooperation among Industrialized Countries: The Role of the United States, National Research Council, National Academy Press, 1984.

Keatley, Anne G. (ed.), Technological Frontiers and Foreign Relations, National Research Council, National Academy Press, 1985.

The Embassy of the Future: Recommendations for the Design of Future US Embassy Buildings, National Research Council, 1986.

Strengthening US Engineering through International Cooperation: Some Recommendations for Action, National Academy of Engineering, National Academy Press, 1987.

Balancing the National Interest: US National Security, Export Controls, and Global Economic Cooperation, National Research Council, National Academy Press, 1987.

The Revolution in Information and Communications Technology and the Conduct of US Foreign Affairs, National Research Council, National Academy Press, 1988.

Muroyama, J.H. and H. G. Stever (eds.), Globalization of Technology: International Perspectives, National Academy of Engineering, National Academy Press, 1988.

Guile, B. R. and H. Brooks (eds.), Technology and Global Industry: Companies and Nations in the World Economy, National Academy of Engineering, National Academy Press, 1988.

Finding Common Ground: US Export Controls in a Changed Global Environment, National Academy Press, 1991.

Proliferation Concerns: Assessing US Efforts To Help Contain Nuclear and Other Dangerous Materials and Technologies in the Former Soviet Union, National Research Council, National Academy Press, 1997.

America's Vital Interest in Global Health, Institute of Medicine, National Academy Press, 1997.

The Future of US Nuclear Weapons Policy, National Academy of Sciences, National Academy Press, 1997.

Maximizing US Interests in Science and Technology Relations with Japan: Committee on Japan Framework Statement and Report of the Competitiveness Task Force, National Research Council, National Academy Press, 1997.

Global Economy, Global Technology, Global Corporations: Reports of a Joint Task Force of the National Research Council and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science on the Rights and Responsibilities of Multinational Corporations in an Age of Technological Interdependence, National Research Council, National Academy Press, 1998.

Internet Counts: Measuring the Impacts of the Internet, National Research Council, National Academy Press, 1998.

Nelson, Joan M., Charles Tilley, and Lee Walker (eds.), Transforming Post-Communist Political Economies, National Research Council, National Academy Press, 1998.


Other Studies

Skolnikoff, Eugene B., Science, Technology, and American Foreign Policy, MIT Press, 1967.

Pollack, Herman, "Science and Technology Advice to the Secretary of State," 1988.

Science and Technology in US International Affairs, Carnegie Commission on Science, Technology, and Government, January 1992.

International Environmental Research and Assessment: Proposals for Better Organization and Decision Making, Carnegie Commission on Science, Technology, and Government, July 1992.

Partnerships for Global Development: The Clearing Horizon, Carnegie Commission on Science, Technology, and Government, December 1992.

Science, Technology, and Government for a Changing World, Carnegie Commission on Science, Technology, and Government, April 1993.

Skolnikoff, Eugene B., The Elusive Transformation: Science, Technology, and the Evolution of International Politics, Princeton University Press, 1993.


Attachment 4


US GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS AND OTHER SPECIALISTS
WHO MET WITH COMMITTEE


US Department of State

Strobe Talbott, Deputy Secretary of State

Thomas Pickering, Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs

Bonnie Cohen, Undersecretary of State for Management

Wendy Sherman, Counselor of the Department of State

Edward Gnehm, Jr., Director General of the Foreign Service

Princeton Lyman, Assistant Secretary of State for International Organizations

Julia Taft, Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration

Melinda Kimble, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OES)

L. Craig Johnstone, Director for Resources, Plans, and Policy, Office of the Secretary of State

Thomas Fingar, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Analysis, Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR)

William Wood, Director, Office of the Geographer and Global Issues, INR

Richard Brown, Senior Summit Coordinator, Summit of the Americas

Steven Aoki, Director, Office of Regional Nonproliferation, Bureau of Political-Military Affairs (PM)

Michael Rosenthal, Chief, Nuclear Safeguards and Technology Division, Nonproliferation and Regional Arms Control Bureau, Arms Control and Disarmament Agency

Richard Stratford, Director, Office of Nuclear Energy Affairs, PM

Zachary Teich, Deputy Director, Office of Export Control and Conventional Arms Nonproliferation Policy, PM

Ruth Whiteside, Deputy Director, Foreign Service Institute

Lisa Fox, Director, Economics Training Program, Foreign Service Institute

Todd Greentree, Senior Advisor, Office of Resources, Plans, and Policy, Office of the Secretary of State

Kenneth Thomas, FSO-1, OES

Cathleen Enright, GS-14, OES

Pamela Pearson, FSO-2, OES

Deborah Zamora Grout, FSO-4, OES


Other Government Offices and Agencies

Kerri-Ann Jones, Acting Director, Office of Science and Technology Policy

Joy Riggs-Perla, Director, Office of Health and Nutrition, AID Bureau for Global Programs, Field Support, and Research

Richard Ries, Division of International Programs, National Science Foundation


Other Specialists

Justin Bloom, former Science Counselor

Jerry Whitman, former Science Counselor

Lawrence Kanarek, Human Resources Specialist, McKinsey & Company



OTHER OFFICIALS CONSULTED BY NRC STAFF


U.S. Department of State

Stuart Eizenstat, Undersecretary of State for Economic, Business, and Agricultural Affairs

John Holum, Director, Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, and Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs

Alan Larson, Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs

Phyllis Oakley, Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research

Ruth Davis, Director, Foreign Service Institute

Peter Romero, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of Inter-American Affairs

E. Michael Southwick, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Organizations, Bureau of International Organization Affairs

Rust Deming, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State (designate), Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs

Witney Schneidman, Senior Advisor, Bureau of African Affairs


U.S. Agency for International Development

Sally Shelton Colby, Assistant Administrator, Bureau for Global Programs, Field Support, and Research

Mark Schneider, Assistant Administrator, Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean

Carol Peasley, Assistant Administrator Designate, Bureau for Africa

Donald Presley, Acting Assistant Administrator, Bureau for Europe and the New Independent States

Leonard Rogers, Acting Assistant Administrator, Bureau for Humanitarian Response

Ann Van Dusen, Deputy Assistant Administrator, Bureau for Asia and the Near East


Other

Pierre Perrolle, Director, National Science Foundation Division of International Programs, and his staff

Tony Chavez, Bruce Sasser, and Sheryl Anderson, Office of Management and Budget

Michael Champness, Committee on Science, U.S. House of Representatives


Attachment 5


STH CONTENT OF FOREIGN POLICY GOALS
(Preliminary Analysis of United States Strategic Plan for International Affairs)


This analysis involved judgments as to whether each of the 107 strategies articulated in the Strategic Plan has a significant STH component. For the purpose of presentation, the 107 strategies are grouped into the seven areas of national interests set forth in the Strategic Plan. This analysis is quite subjective. However, a degree of systematization has been adopted by applying a four-part classification of the interactions of STH concerns and foreign policy as indicated in the attached summary table. Several results of this analysis are as follows:

    •While STH concerns are relatively important in four national interest areas—National Security, Economic Prosperity, American Citizens and Border Security, and Global Issues—they play a limited role in the strategies for each area. STH content is most prevalent in National Security, with relevance in six of the eleven strategies.

    •STH hardly appears in the other three areas—Law Enforcement, Democracy and Human Rights, and Humanitarian Response. While there would appear to be significant STH content in these three areas, the Strategic Plan as written does not provide much opportunity for STH contributions.

    •STH seems to be considered largely as a handmaiden of policy in the areas of National Security and American Citizens and Border Security. That is, STH capabilities are a vehicle for implementing non-STH policy objectives, and support of STH activities is not itself an objective of policy.

    •STH considerations play a broader role in the areas of Economic Prosperity and Global Issues. However, even in these areas, its handmaiden role is important.

The analysis suggests that STH factors are integral to foreign policy on a broad basis. STH considerations should be in the mainstream flow of operations in the bureaus of the Department of State and in the overseas missions where policy is formulated and implemented. This intimate interaction is required both to ensure that STH capabilities are accessible when foreign policy officials realize that they need support and to enlighten officials about opportunities to use STH capabilities to achieve their objectives.

The Strategic Plan suggests that foreign policy officials give a low priority to international STH policy per se. Issues such as international collaboration on mega-science projects are not addressed in the strategies. Even if such issues are not considered to be a part of an overall foreign policy strategy, the role of foreign policy officials in representing such interests should be clarified.


SUMMARY OF STH CONTENT OF THE
UNITED STATES STRATEGIC PLAN FOR INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

STH Content
National Interest Area Total Number of Strategies in Area Total Number of Strategies With STH Content Vehicle Support Object Understanding
National Security
11
6
5
3
0
1
Economic Prosperity
27
8
8
6
5
7
American Citizens and Border Security
15
5
0
5
0
0
Law Enforcement
20
0
0
0
0
0
Democracy and Human Rights
4
1
1
0
0
1
Humanitarian Response
8
0
0
0
0
0
Global Issues
22
8
3
3
3
4
TOTALS
107
28
17
17
8
13


The STH content categories are defined as follows:

  1. Vehicle: STH is a tool in implementing a non-STH strategy
  2. Support: The strategy relies on technology hardware or software for implementation (e.g., bomb detection technology).
  3. Object: STH is itself integral to policy formulation (e.g., climate change)
  4. Understanding: An appreciation of the role of STH in modern society is desirable, but specific technical competence is not.

More than one category may apply to a single strategy.


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