United States Department of State
Since the publication of National Research Council 1999 report titled The Pervasive Role of Science, Technology, and Health in Foreign Policy: Imperatives for the Department of State, our agency has made significant strides in strengthening science and technology (S&T) capabilities within the Department that have in turn expanded our international scientific cooperation efforts. Among our achievements are public recognition by our leadership of the importance of S&T in achieving foreign policy objectives, the appointment of a Science and Technology Adviser to the Secretary, and the expansion of AAAS and Jefferson Fellows programs.
As a result of the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, the Department has reorganized its S&T assets placing the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs and the Office of the Science and Technology Advisor under Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment which I oversee as Under Secretary. This conscious effort to frame these issues within our economic statecraft priorities highlights how they have evolved to become an integral part of our smart diplomacy toolkit and are recognized as instrumental for achieving our economic, security and political goals.
I believe the Department would benefit from a new unbiased assessment by the National Academy of Sciences of the changed environment for the role of science and technology in diplomacy over the past decade. Some areas where your input could help the Department would be recommendations on incentives for officers, especially in the foreign service, to follow career tracks that include international science engagement; how to reap the most benefit from scientific exchange programs; how to best incorporate S&T principles into our work fostering democracy and economic advancement; and how the Department can leverage the science community to help strengthen relations between countries and to increase the role of S&T in policy decisions of foreign governments.
Recommendations that take a broad look at diplomacy etYorts of both governmental and non-governmental organizations, taking into account the importance we now place on partnerships to help us achieve our goals, would be of particular benefit. We envision a product that would be useful for the next Secretary of State and other officials in the Department as well as leaders of foreign affairs agencies across the United States government and leaders of foreign governments looking to us for guidance on how to incorporate science into their foreign policy endeavors.
I hope you will consider our request positively. My staff and I are available to discuss this idea further. We look forward to hearing from you.
Robert D. Hormats
Ralph J. Cicerone,
President, National Academy of Sciences,
The National Academies,
500 Fifth Street, NW,
Washington, DC 20001