[House Hearing, 110 Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
INTERNATIONAL SCIENCE AND
SUBCOMMITTEE ON RESEARCH AND
COMMITTEE ON SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED TENTH CONGRESS
APRIL 2, 2008
Serial No. 110-89
Printed for the use of the Committee on Science and Technology
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COMMITTEE ON SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
HON. BART GORDON, Tennessee, Chairman
JERRY F. COSTELLO, Illinois RALPH M. HALL, Texas
EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON, Texas F. JAMES SENSENBRENNER JR.,
LYNN C. WOOLSEY, California Wisconsin
MARK UDALL, Colorado LAMAR S. SMITH, Texas
DAVID WU, Oregon DANA ROHRABACHER, California
BRIAN BAIRD, Washington ROSCOE G. BARTLETT, Maryland
BRAD MILLER, North Carolina VERNON J. EHLERS, Michigan
DANIEL LIPINSKI, Illinois FRANK D. LUCAS, Oklahoma
NICK LAMPSON, Texas JUDY BIGGERT, Illinois
GABRIELLE GIFFORDS, Arizona W. TODD AKIN, Missouri
JERRY MCNERNEY, California JO BONNER, Alabama
LAURA RICHARDSON, California TOM FEENEY, Florida
PAUL KANJORSKI, Pennsylvania RANDY NEUGEBAUER, Texas
DARLENE HOOLEY, Oregon BOB INGLIS, South Carolina
STEVEN R. ROTHMAN, New Jersey DAVID G. REICHERT, Washington
JIM MATHESON, Utah MICHAEL T. MCCAUL, Texas
MIKE ROSS, Arkansas MARIO DIAZ-BALART, Florida
BEN CHANDLER, Kentucky PHIL GINGREY, Georgia
RUSS CARNAHAN, Missouri BRIAN P. BILBRAY, California
CHARLIE MELANCON, Louisiana ADRIAN SMITH, Nebraska
BARON P. HILL, Indiana PAUL C. BROUN, Georgia
HARRY E. MITCHELL, Arizona
CHARLES A. WILSON, Ohio
Subcommittee on Research and Science Education
HON. BRIAN BAIRD, Washington, Chairman
EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON, Texas VERNON J. EHLERS, Michigan
DANIEL LIPINSKI, Illinois ROSCOE G. BARTLETT, Maryland
JERRY MCNERNEY, California RANDY NEUGEBAUER, Texas
DARLENE HOOLEY, Oregon DAVID G. REICHERT, Washington
RUSS CARNAHAN, Missouri BRIAN P. BILBRAY, California
BARON P. HILL, Indiana RALPH M. HALL, Texas
BART GORDON, Tennessee
JIM WILSON Subcommittee Staff Director
DAHLIA SOKOLOV Democratic Professional Staff Member
MELE WILLIAMS Republican Professional Staff Member
MEGHAN HOUSEWRIGHT Research Assistant
C O N T E N T S
April 2, 2008
Witness List..................................................... 2
Hearing Charter.................................................. 3
Statement by Representative Brian Baird, Chairman, Subcommittee
on Research and Science Education, Committee on Science and
Technology, U.S. House of Representatives...................... 8
Written Statement............................................ 9
Prepared Statement by Representative Vernon J. Ehlers, Ranking
Minority Member, Subcommittee on Research and Science
Education, Committee on Science and Technology, U.S. House of
Prepared Statement by Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson,
Member, Subcommittee on Research and Science Education,
Committee on Science and Technology, U.S. House of
Prepared Statement by Representative Russ Carnahan, Member,
Subcommittee on Research and Science Education, Committee on
Science and Technology, U.S. House of Representatives.......... 11
Statement by Representative Randy Neugebauer, Member,
Subcommittee on Research and Science Education, Committee on
Science and Technology, U.S. House of Representatives.......... 10
Written Statement............................................ 11
Dr. John H. Marburger, III, Director, Office of Science and
Oral Statement............................................... 12
Written Statement............................................ 14
Dr. Arden L. Bement, Jr., Director, National Science Foundation
Oral Statement............................................... 17
Written Statement............................................ 19
Dr. Nina V. Fedoroff, Science and Technology Advisor to the
Secretary of State, U.S. Department of State; Administrator of
Oral Statement............................................... 26
Written Statement............................................ 27
Mr. Jeff Miotke, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Science, Space,
and Health, Bureau of Oceans, Environment, and Science, U.S.
Department of State
Oral Statement............................................... 33
Written Statement............................................ 34
Mr. Michael F. O'Brien, Assistant Administrator for External
Relations, National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Oral Statement............................................... 46
Written Statement............................................ 47
Appendix: Answers to Post-Hearing Questions
Dr. John H. Marburger, III, Director, Office of Science and
Technology Policy.............................................. 78
Dr. Arden L. Bement, Jr., Director, National Science Foundation.. 79
Dr. Nina V. Fedoroff, Science and Technology Advisor to the
Secretary of State, U.S. Department of State; Administrator of
Mr. Jeff Miotke, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Science, Space,
and Health, Bureau of Oceans, Environment, and Science, U.S.
Department of State............................................ 81
INTERNATIONAL SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COOPERATION
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 2, 2008
House of Representatives,
Subcommittee on Research and Science Education,
Committee on Science and Technology,
The Subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 10:06 a.m., in
Room 2318, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Brian Baird
[Chairman of the Subcommittee] presiding.
SUBCOMMITTEE ON RESEARCH AND SCIENCE EDUCATION
COMMITTEE ON SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
International Science and
wednesday, april 2, 2008
10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
2318 rayburn house office building
The purpose of the hearing is to examine the mechanisms by which
federal priorities are set and interagency coordination is achieved for
international science and technology cooperation, and to explore the
diplomatic benefits of such cooperation.
Dr. John H. Marburger, III, Director, Office of Science and Technology
Dr. Arden L. Bement, Jr., Director, National Science Foundation.
Dr. Nina V. Fedoroff, Science and Technology Adviser to the Secretary
Mr. Jeff Miotke, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Science, Space
and Health, Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and
Mr. Michael F. O'Brien, Assistant Administrator for External Relations,
National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
3. Overarching Questions:
What is the scope of current efforts in international
science and technology (S&T) cooperation? What is the scope of
efforts in the Middle East and the developing world? To what
extent is S&T cooperation integrated into our diplomatic
activities in the Middle East and the developing world? What
makes S&T cooperation successful as a diplomatic tool? What
makes it unsuccessful?
What are the respective roles of the Department of
State, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the
mission agencies (such as Department of Energy and National
Institutes of Health), and the National Science Foundation in
international science and technology cooperation? How does each
agency set its priorities for S&T cooperation? What is the role
of the Office of Science and Technology Policy in fostering
international science and technology cooperation and in
coordinating federal activities?
How is interagency coordination of international S&T
cooperation currently achieved? In what ways could interagency
coordination be improved? Is there value in reinstating the
Committee on International Science and Technology under the
National Science and Technology Council? In what other ways can
the Federal Government increase and improve the use of S&T in
its diplomatic missions?
Science and technology were closely tied to American diplomacy in
the early years after the founding of the United States. In fact, the
first Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson, was also designated the
administrator of the Nation's first patent law, and the first efforts
to establish a bureau of weights and measures were also associated with
the Department of State. By the 1830's, this close relationship between
diplomats and scientists seems to have diminished. It was not until
World War II that science and technology (S&T) once again began to play
a prominent role in the State Department. Nevertheless, the U.S.
continued to engage in international science and technology cooperation
for other purposes. For example, the first International Polar Year, a
coordinated international effort to collect and analyze data about the
polar regions, occurred in 1882-83. We are currently in the middle of
the third International Polar Year.
There are a number of reasons why the United States has and will
continue to engage in international science and technology (S&T)
to strengthen U.S. science by providing our own
scientists access to the best scientists and research sites
around the world;
to enable construction of and participation in
prohibitively expensive world-class research facilities (either
on U.S. soil or foreign sites) by partnering with foreign
countries to leverage their funds and scientific talent;
to address U.S. interests in global matters, such as
non-proliferation, water resources, climate change and
infectious diseases, in part by ensuring that foreign and
international (e.g., U.N.) decision-makers have access to the
to help build technological capacity and address
health and resource crises in other countries in order to help
maintain U.S. national security and economic interests; and
to help build more positive relationships with other
countries - what is often called ``science diplomacy.''
This is certainly not an exhaustive list nor the only way to break
down the rationale for engaging in international S&T cooperation. One
former State Department official prefers the following categories:
science for science's sake; science for the decision-maker; science for
development; and science for diplomacy. The witnesses for this hearing
are likely to provide their own lists of reasons why the Federal
Government broadly, or their respective agencies specifically, engage
in S&T cooperation.
In addition to the Department of State and the U.S. Agency for
International Development (USAID), every federal agency that either
does its own research or funds academic research (or in most cases,
both) supports international S&T cooperation, including Departments of
Agriculture, Defense, Energy, Commerce (includes NIST and NOAA), and
Health and Human Services (includes NIH) as well as NASA, the
Environmental Protection Agency, and the National Science Foundation
(NSF). The Office of Science and Technology Policy advises the
President on matters of science and technology as they relate to
international issues, and provides intellectual support to the
Department of State and USAID on S&T matters. State and USAID also turn
to NSF and the mission agencies for intellectual input on S&T-related
issues that fall within those agencies' areas of expertise, such as
health, energy or water. The mission agencies, on the other hand, turn
to the Department of State for assistance in negotiating formal
agreements with other nations. A more detailed description of the
different agencies' roles is provided below.
The National Science Board (NSB) recently issued a report,
``International Science and Engineering Partnerships: A Priority for
U.S. Foreign Policy and our Nation's Innovation Agenda,'' \1\ in which
the Board makes a series of recommendations for increased coherence and
coordination of federally sponsored international science and
5. Roles of Federal Agencies
Office of Science and Technology Policy
The Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP)
is, by statute, the President's adviser on science and technology
matters for all areas of national concern, including foreign relations
and national security, as well as for ``emerging international problems
amenable to the contributions of science and technology.''
The OSTP Director, through the National Science and Technology
Council, is also responsible for interagency coordination of federal
research and development programs, which includes programs, such as the
International Polar Year, that are part of an international
partnership. But OSTP does not have an explicit mandate for
coordination of all international activities, nor does the office have
any program budget or management responsibilities of its own.
The NSB report mentioned previously calls on OSTP to take a more
active and prominent role both in setting federal priorities for
international science and engineering cooperation and in coordinating
efforts across agencies. For example, the Board recommends that OSTP
``should directly charge federal agencies to include specific
components of international R&D in their integrated programs'' and
urges the National Science and Technology Council to reestablish a
Committee on International Science, Engineering and Technology (CISET).
Staff participated in conversations in which three former high-level
officials familiar with CISET during the Clinton Administration (it was
dissolved in 2000) expressed concern that a new CISET would have the
same difficulty as its predecessor in carving out a unique role for
itself, but did add that it was a useful place for information sharing
across agencies. One of the CISET subcommittees, for example, developed
an inventory of all federal S&T programs related to developing
countries. No other organization has taken on responsibility for
updating that inventory.
National Science Foundation
The National Science Foundation (NSF) supports science for
science's sake; like the other research agencies, NSF's mission does
not include diplomacy or development, although it certainly supports
research in many areas that are critical to policy-makers across the
globe. NSF has an Office of International Science and Engineering
(OISE), housed within the Office of the Director. In addition to having
region-knowledgeable staff at NSF headquarters, OISE manages three
overseas offices in Paris, Tokyo and Beijing. The FY 2009 budget
request for OISE is $47 million, a 15 percent increase over planned
spending for FY 2008. Approximately $10 million of the OISE budget goes
to the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) to pay dues in
international organizations. The rest of the research budget goes
toward two types of international science and engineering
collaboration: support for U.S. scientists to travel to foreign sites
for collecting data and scientist-to-scientist collaboration. NSF does
not fund foreign researchers directly.
In particular, OISE supports:
International research experiences for U.S.
undergraduate and graduate students;
Doctoral dissertation enhancement projects for U.S.
students at foreign sites;
International postdoctoral research fellowships;
Partnerships for International Research and Education
(PIRE) grants of $500,000 per year for five years for the
development of models for long-term international partnerships;
International planning visits and workshops.
In addition to supporting such activities directly, OISE helps
facilitate and provide some supplementary funds for international
research collaborations supported by all NSF directorates. According to
NSF, the agency in total supports $300-$400 million annually on
research grants involving international collaborations. In addition,
NSF can support the Department of State and non-governmental
foundations (such as the Civilian Research and Development Foundation)
by helping to identify leading academic scientists and engineers (U.S.
and foreign), reviewing proposals, and otherwise providing intellectual
support and credibility.
Department of State
The Department of State has S&T diplomatic strategies related to a
number of international issues, including water management, energy,
agriculture, natural resource management, infectious diseases and
biodiversity. It also promotes international scientific cooperation
through bilateral and multilateral science and technology agreements to
``promote the precepts of sustainable development, enhancement of the
role of women in science and society, science-based decision-making,
good governance, and global security more broadly.''
The Bureau of Oceans, International Environmental and Scientific
Affairs (OES) is responsible for coordinating the formal S&T
agreements. There are currently 39 formal bilateral agreements, most of
which are not funded and some of which are inactive altogether. Some of
the newest agreements, including an agreement not yet signed with Saudi
Arabia, are part of a State Department policy to enhance relations with
the Middle East.
Distinct from OES is the Office of the Science and Technology
Adviser (STAS).\2\ Dr. Nina Fedoroff became the agency's third S&T
Adviser in July, 2007. The goals of STAS are to enhance S&T literacy
throughout the Department; build partnerships with the S&T community;
provide accurate S&T advice to the Department; and help shape a global
perspective on the emerging S&T developments anticipated to affect
current and future U.S. foreign policy.
\2\ The Secretary of State's Advisory Committee on Transformational
Diplomacy: State Department in 2025 Working Group recently issued a
report that includes a discussion of how S&T could be better integrated
into the State Department. The working group raised concerns about
having a science adviser outside of OES and without any real power of
her own, and suggested that the same person could serve as both Science
Adviser and the Assistant Secretary for OES, or alternatively that the
Science Adviser could be the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in
U.S. Agency for International Development
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is the
primary agency supporting science for development. Many USAID
initiatives on S&T related issues, such as infectious diseases, energy,
natural resources management, and agriculture, draw on or build up
local and regional S&T capacity in addition to contributing American
know-how and resources.
USAID used to have a separate Bureau for Science and Technology,
but several years ago that Bureau was dismantled and the science and
technology activities spread among the appropriate functional and
regional bureaus. However, when Dr. Fedoroff was appointed Science and
Technology Adviser to the Secretary of State, she convinced Secretary
Rice to assign to her the additional role of S&T Adviser to USAID
Administrator Henrietta Ford.
Aside from NSF, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the
USDA are the only research agencies with explicit international
programs. In fact, NIH has a separate Fogarty International Center for
Advanced Study in the Health Sciences, which addresses global health
challenges through collaborative research and training programs and
international partnerships. USDA has many international programs,
including international offices and overseas laboratories, in addition
to the Foreign Agriculture Service.
The remainder of the mission agencies also engage in international
science cooperation, but wrap those projects into their domestic
programs rather than having separate programs or offices. NASA in
particular has international partners for most of its big projects due
to the tremendous costs of building and launching into orbit the kinds
of telescopes and other research and exploration equipment required for
their mission. All of these domestic mission agencies are careful to
state that they only engage in science cooperation for the sake of
science and do not have or want a role in diplomacy or development.
6. Questions for Witnesses
What is the role of the Office of Science and
Technology Policy (OSTP) in fostering international science and
technology (S&T) cooperation and in coordinating federal
activities? What is OSTP's role relative to that of the
Department of State?
How does the Administration set priorities for
international S&T cooperation? Is there any regular, forward-
looking process by which goals are set by OSTP or by the
National Science and Technology Council (NSTC)? What is your
response to the National Science Board's recommendation to
reconstitute the Committee on International S&T under NSTC?
What is the role of the National Science Foundation
(NSF) in fostering international science and technology
cooperation? What is NSF's role relative to that of the
Department of State and of the mission agencies? To what extent
does NSF coordinate its efforts with other agencies?
How does NSF set its own priorities for international
collaboration? How does the Office of International Science and
Engineering coordinate its activities with the various research
What is the extent and nature of NSF supported
collaborations in the Middle East and in the developing world?
How can NSF best support the growth of science and engineering
research capacity in developing countries without compromising
its own rigorous merit review system? Does, or could, NSF play
any role in institution building--that is in helping to build
NSF-like organizations--in such countries?
What is the role of the Science and Technology
Adviser to the Secretary of State in fostering international
science and technology (S&T) cooperation? What is the role of
your office relative to that of the Bureau of Oceans,
Environment and Science?
How do you coordinate your efforts with other
agencies, including the Office of Science and Technology
Policy, the National Science Foundation, and the mission
agencies? How do you coordinate your efforts with non-
governmental science organizations such as AAAS and The
National Academies, and with private foundations?
What is the Science and Technology Adviser's role at
the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)? What is
USAID's role in international S&T cooperation and how does it
differ from that of the State Department?
What makes S&T cooperation successful as a diplomatic
tool? What makes it unsuccessful? To what extent is S&T
cooperation currently integrated into our diplomatic activities
in the Middle East and the developing world? How could the
Federal Government make more effective use of S&T in its
What is the role of the Department of State in
fostering international science and technology (S&T)
cooperation? What is the role of the Bureau of Oceans and
International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OES)? How
does OES set priorities for S&T cooperation?
How does OES coordinate its efforts with other
agencies, including the Office of Science and Technology
Policy, the National Science Foundation and the mission
agencies? How do you coordinate your efforts with non-
governmental science organizations such as AAAS and The
National Academies, and with private foundations?
What is the extent and nature of OES sponsored S&T
collaboration in the Middle East and in the developing world?
What benefits have you seen from your S&T efforts in those
regions? In what ways might OES better engage and leverage the
U.S. science and engineering enterprise in its diplomatic
activities, especially in the Middle East and the developing
Please provide an overview of the types of
international science and technology partnerships and
cooperative agreements in which the National Aeronautics and
Space Administration (NASA) participates. Does NASA have any
presence in the developing world?
Why does NASA engage in international science and
technology cooperation? What are the benefits to NASA and to
the broader scientific community? How and based on what
criteria does NASA set its priorities for international
What are the roles of other agencies, including the
Department of State and the Office of Science and Technology
Policy, in supporting or helping to develop NASA's
international activities? Does the process of working with the
Department of State to negotiate science and technology
agreements with other countries work well? Do you have any
recommendations for how this process could be improved?
Chairman Baird. We have been joined by Roscoe Bartlett, Dr.
Bartlett, and also, by Dr. Jerry McNerney, as well. I am
Congressman Brian Baird.
This is a topic that I am tremendously excited about. It
has a proud history in our country. It has great importance to
our future, and we have been learning a lot about the topic,
and today, we have an extraordinarily distinguished panel of
One of the reasons I am excited about this is that, if you
look at the history of America, one of the most famous
Americans, maybe the most famous worldwide American, apart
perhaps, from George Washington of course, was Ben Franklin,
and it wasn't because of Poor Richard's Almanac. It was because
of his scientific work, and I am searching the annals of Ben
Franklin's writings for a substitute quote for Tennyson up
here, because Tennyson didn't have a lot to do with U.S.
science, last I checked, but we believe passionately on this
committee, and particularly, this subcommittee, that science
and diplomacy should intermix--that they should be co-equals
and co-partners, and an essential part of the soft power
strategy of this country.
And I am sure that that is a position likely shared by our
witnesses here today. We have had a series of hearings. We had
a very productive hearing about the whole issue of visas, and
how student visas and other visas relate, and can either add to
or detract from our efforts to attract scientists, and to
collaborate with other countries.
Today, we want to hear about a different topic. We want
to--obviously related, but we want to hear about how various
departments within the government and various agencies, perform
the collaborative mission, and the mission of sharing
scientific information. As I have read the testimony, and thank
you all, it is outstanding testimony, very insightful--the take
home message for me is, on a very positive front, to be honest.
I think our country had kind of gone through periods, as
probably any effort does, but we had been, for a while, in
maybe a bit of a dip in our profile, in our commitment to
scientific diplomacy, but I think that is on the upsurge by a
darn sight. And the people here today are largely responsible
for that, and I give you great credit for it, and pledge the
support of this committee in further developing that.
But at the same time, it is fairly clear that there are
some areas that we ought to at least consider ways in which we
can further enhance this mission; issues of lines of authority
within the various agencies, issue of explicit mission, in
terms of certain agencies, issues of funding, where funding
comes from, how it is allocated, to what extent is funding able
to be used not just to fund U.S. scientists, but to fund
collaborative efforts, issues about where we may need more or
different personnel, for example, in embassies abroad. Do we
need a stronger science profile in our international embassies?
Do we need designated people at multiple agencies who are in
charge of the international exchange in scientific diplomacy?
These are some of the core questions that have emerged, as I
have looked at your testimony and others, at experts, and we
look very much forward to your comments today.
I would also say that I personally believe that science has
a role in our diplomacy, particularly in areas of the Middle
East, can be especially valuable, and my colleagues have
sometimes heard this story, but I will share it, because it was
so impressive. I was at the World Economic Forum in Sharm el-
Sheikh. I was with my good friend, and we all know, Chairman of
the Foreign Relations Committee, Howard Berman, and we were
meeting people there, and we met, I think, a woman who was
Egyptian. She had a head scarf on, and we were just doing
informal introductions, and we said this is Howard Berman. He
is from Southern California. Her response was to raise a proud
fist in the air, and say, I am a mighty Trojan. Now, she did
not say, oh, how do you do, I went to school in Southern
California. No, no, this woman was a mighty Trojan. She had
just totally internalized the commitment and the values of a
U.S. school. That sort of passion and friendship and intrinsic
understanding of our system is literally invaluable.
We can talk about where the budget lines are, and how much
we spend, et cetera, but to have people internationally who not
only know our system, but love it, and have a personal
commitment to it, is the measure, we just cannot measure the
merit of that, and I will tell you, that was one striking
example of literally thousands. And I know all of you have had
those same experiences as you've traveled the world. It is
something we must not lose in this country and in our
scientific mission. And so, this committee, certainly this
Member, is very, very committed to that.
With that, I want to introduce Mr. Neugebauer, who is
filling in as Ranking Member for Vern Ehlers. Dr. Ehlers is
very sorry he couldn't be here. As you know, he was Chair of
this committee previously, and has a long, long and strong
history of commitment to international science cooperation.
Mr. Neugebauer, thank you.
[The prepared statement of Chairman Baird follows:]
Prepared Statement of Chairman Brian Baird
Good morning. Welcome to this Research and Science Education
Subcommittee hearing on International Science and Technology
This is the second hearing that this subcommittee has held on the
role of the Federal Government in fostering international scientific
cooperation and science diplomacy. At the first hearing we focused on
how we might improve visa policy to facilitate the open exchange of
students and scholars.
More recently we hosted a roundtable on the broader topic of
international science cooperation with four distinguished former State
and USAID officials who have since left government. They were able to
provide me and our colleagues who attended the roundtable with
insightful observations about what has and has not worked, as well as
engage in creative brainstorming free from the political and time
constraints of a formal hearing. I learned a great deal and was very
impressed with the amount of international science and technology
cooperation that is already going with the assistance of the Federal
Government. We will hear more about some of this today.
Unfortunately, I also learned that we must do more to maximize the
effectiveness of science and technology cooperation. Cooperation should
not be pursued simply as a means of achieving bigger and better
science. It should also be pursued for the sake of development,
diplomacy, and informing decision-makers around the world about
critical environmental, security, economic, resource and health issues.
It seems to me that the Federal Government might need an organization
and a process dedicated to setting government-wide priorities and
overseeing implementation of those priorities. One of my goals for this
hearing is to understand how--or if--the Federal Government sets
priorities for international science cooperation, and who is or who
should be responsible for coordinating and overseeing the entire
There have been some attempts in the past--such as the creation of
a Committee on International Science, Engineering and Technology under
the President's National Science and Technology Council--to assign that
task to a dedicated organization. Some experts have suggested assigning
this task to the State Department itself. To that end, Congress created
a Science and Technology Adviser to the Secretary of State in 1999. Dr.
Nina Fedoroff is the third renowned scientist to hold that position. In
a demonstration of her commitment to better integrate science in our
diplomatic activities, Dr. Fedoroff personally lobbied Secretary Rice
to broaden her job description to include Science Adviser to the
Administrator of USAID.
While the State Department may be at the center of many of these
efforts, I would be remiss to downplay the critical role played by a
number of other agencies, including the National Science Foundation;
the mission agencies, represented here today by NASA; and the Office of
Science and Technology Policy, which has responsibility both for
advising the President on the science and technology components of
national and international issues, and for coordinating research and
development activities across the Federal Government.
Today, representatives from these agencies will tell us about
current efforts and opportunities in international science and
technology cooperation and help us understand how such cooperation
benefits the United States and the world. I want to thank all of the
witnesses for taking the time to appear before the Committee this
morning and I look forward to your testimony.
Mr. Neugebauer. Well, thank you, Mr. Chairman, and good
morning, and Dr. Ehlers is sorry he could not be here to greet
these esteemed--to hear these great witnesses today, and hear
their testimony, but he is giving his own testimony before a
committee this morning, and cannot be here. Hopefully, we will
have the benefit of his presence shortly, but in the meantime,
I ask unanimous consent that his opening statement be inserted
into the record.
Chairman Baird. Without objection.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Ehlers follows:]
Prepared Statement of Representative Vernon J. Ehlers
International diplomacy can be crafted through a variety of
mediums. Science and technology as a vehicle of diplomacy has been
explored by our nation, but I believe it is currently underutilized.
This hearing will help us understand both the established foundation of
science diplomacy and how we might build upon it.
While I share the concern about the fiscal year 2008 omnibus and
its impact on the ITER agreement, this is only one symptom of a greater
problem: the perceived worth that scientific collaboration has to our
foreign affairs. While it is hard to gauge the return on investment in
international science and technology cooperation, it is much easier to
realize the cost of not investing in these types of endeavors.
Furthermore, the U.S. will not remain globally competitive in science
and technology unless we are able to work with international partners
on large facilities that simply cannot be financed by individual
nations. In many fields, U.S. researchers would be crippled by lack of
participation in these activities.
I am very pleased that Dr. Fedoroff is testifying today and I
believe that the Science and Technology Advisor position at the
Department of State has helped build the profile of science and
technology diplomacy. Thank you for your attendance, and I look forward
to testimony from our panel today.
Mr. Neugebauer. The issue of international science and
technology cooperation is one of importance to this nation.
This committee spends a significant amount of time talking
about American science and technology developments and
improvements in terms of global competitiveness. That is as it
should be, and is necessary if we are going to remain ahead of
the innovation curve.
We do not spend as much time talking or hearing about
global cooperation and collaboration when it comes to science
and technology, but we are actively involved in these equally
important endeavors, and I commend the Chairman for his
interest in this topic, and for calling this hearing today. I
am pleased to see that we have such a distinguished panel
before us this morning to give us an update on what their
agencies are doing and any challenges or obstacles that they
may be facing when it comes to international cooperation.
I thank you for coming, and I look forward to your
testimony, and I yield back the balance of my time.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Neugebauer follows:]
Prepared Statement of Representative Randy Neugebauer
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and good morning.
Dr. Ehlers is sorry he cannot be here to greet these esteemed
witnesses and hear their testimony, but he is giving his own testimony
before another Committee this morning and cannot be here. Hopefully, we
will have the benefit of his presence shortly, but in the meantime, I
ask unanimous consent that his opening statement be inserted for the
The issue of international science and technology cooperation is
one of importance to this nation. This committee spends a significant
amount of time talking about American science and technology
developments and improvements in terms of global competitiveness. That
is as it should be and is necessary if we are to remain ahead of the
We do not spend as much time talking or hearing about global
cooperation and collaboration when it comes to science and technology,
but we are actively involved in these equally important endeavors, and
I commend the Chairman for his interest in this topic and for calling
this hearing today.
I am pleased to see that we have such a distinguished panel before
us this morning to give us an update on what their agencies are doing
and any challenges or obstacles they may be facing when it comes to
international cooperation. I thank you for coming; I look forward to
your testimony; and I yield back the balance of my time.
Chairman Baird. Thank you, Mr. Neugebauer. If there are
Members who wish to submit additional opening statements, your
statements will be added to the record at this point.
[The prepared statement of Ms. Johnson follows:]
Prepared Statement of Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson
Good morning. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for holding today's hearing
on international collaborations in science and technology.
In addition to my service on this committee, I also lead an
International Woman's Peace Initiative that is dedicated to improving
peace through the empowerment of women.
I will be interested to know how our federal science enterprise is
reaching out to other nations and utilizing scientific collaborations
to strengthen ties to them. Specifically, S&T outreach to the Middle
East is of interest to me.
I have also had the opportunity to travel to Cuba several times. I
know that the United States has medical students who are there, trying
to earn their medical degrees.
International scientific collaborations with Cuba have decreased
dramatically under the current Administration. This stricture has
robbed American citizens of important medical breakthroughs, simply
because our diplomats don't want to do business with Cuba.
Scientific collaborations, when pursued, can serve as salve in old
wounds, to speed their healing. When those bonds are loosened or
broken, harm may be done.
I want to thank today's panelists for your presence here today and
for the information that you are about to share. Members of this
committee want to ensure that international collaborations are
sustained and are well-coordinated.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I yield back.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Carnahan follows:]
Prepared Statement of Representative Russ Carnahan
Mr. Chairman, thank you for hosting this important hearing on
international science and technology.
As a Member of both the Subcommittee on Research and Science
Education and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, I am pointedly
interested in the coordination of international science and technology
diplomacy. The United States has a central role in science diplomacy,
building more positive relationships with other countries through
science. We also understand that the U.S. can better affect U.S.
national security and economic interests by helping to build
technological capacity in other countries. I am particularly interested
in the role that the Department of State plays in the effort and look
forward to hearing more details.
I would like to thank today's witnesses, Dr. Marburger, Dr. Bement,
Dr. Fedoroff, Mr. Miotke, and Mr. O'Brien for coming before the
Committee. I look forward to hearing their testimony.
Chairman Baird.At this time, it is my great privilege to
introduce our witnesses. Dr. John Marburger is the Director of
the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and in that role,
serves as the President's chief science advisor. Dr. Arden
Bement is the Director of the National Science Foundation, one
of only three research agencies with explicit international
programs. Dr. Nina Fedoroff recently became the third Science
and Technology Advisor to the Secretary of State, and the first
to serve also as S&T Advisor to the Administrator of USAID. Mr.
Jeff Miotke is the Deputy Assistant Director of State for
Science, Space and Health in the Bureau of Oceans and
International Environmental and Science Affairs, and Mr.
Michael O'Brien is the Assistant Administrator for External
Relations of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration,
and responsible for managing NASA's international agreements
across its mission directorates.
As our witnesses know, spoken testimony is limited to five
minutes, but we are fairly flexible on this committee. And
then, we will follow with five minutes of questioning on each
side. And at this point, we will hear from our first witness.
Mr. Marburger, Dr. Marburger, please, thank you for being
STATEMENT OF DR. JOHN H. MARBURGER, III, DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY POLICY
Dr. Marburger. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, Ranking
Member Neugebauer, Members of the Subcommittee. I am quite glad
to be here. Having served on the faculty of University of
Southern California for many years, and a Dean there, I think
of myself as a Trojan, as well.
In your invitation, you asked two multi-part questions that
I have answered somewhat implicitly in my written testimony,
and in my oral remarks this morning, I want to address those
specific questions very succinctly, and I would be glad to
provide more detail in response to your questions.
My written testimony responds mainly to question 1: ``What
is the role of OSTP in fostering international science and
technology cooperation, and in coordinating federal
activities?'' And also: ``What is OSTP's role relative to that
of the Department of State?'' These are important questions,
and we try to be clear about them in my office.
In brief, OSTP provides support to agencies with respect to
their international science and technology activities, and to
the Department of State, with respect to its overall
responsibility for coordinating all international activities.
We do not seek to duplicate or replace the State Department in
this responsibility, nor does OSTP establish diplomatic
priorities or objectives, and we actively discourage other
agencies from taking actions that may infringe upon the State
Department's responsibility in this regard.
On the other hand, I actively discourage the Department of
State from taking actions that imply or entail commitments with
international partners that require expenditures within other
departments and agencies without prior consultation and
arrangement with those departments, and agreements about the
source of funds and the responsibility for the programs. The
State Department does this, and I think they do it well.
The second question asks how the Administration sets
priorities for international science and technology
cooperation, and is there any regular forward-looking process
by which goals are set by OSTP, or by the National Science and
Technology Council, NSTC, that you referred to. And then,
finally, what is my response to the National Science Board's
recommendation to reconstitute a Committee on International
Science, Engineering, and Technology, under NSTC.
Well, as I explained in my written testimony, science is
intrinsically internationally, and the Administration expects
each agency to include such international components in its
programs as are appropriate to their objectives. The current
annual priority guidance to departments and agencies from my
office and OMB specifically refers to international activity in
a bulleted priority, and I am quoting from that document, ``to
encourage interdisciplinary research efforts on complex
scientific frontiers, and strengthen international partnerships
to accelerate the progress of science across borders.'' That is
currently an Administration priority to the agencies.
OSTP does not consider the international dimension of
science and technology as distinct or separable from specific
technical areas, such as nanotechnology or nuclear physics or
planetary science. We look to other countries for help in
achieving our missions and goals for those kinds of areas. The
Administration does not set priorities for international
cooperation independently of priorities in the various areas of
science, except to achieve diplomatic objectives, and that
priority is established by the State Department.
OSTP assists the State Department in identifying agencies
and topics appropriate for achieving diplomatic objectives on a
case by case basis. Agencies are responsible for determining
what international capabilities are appropriate to seek in
support of agency goals, and all agencies with significant
science capabilities do have international offices.
So, in the view that I have described, the question of
goal-setting takes a somewhat different significance than your
question implies. The only appropriate top-down goal-setting
for international programs is either very broad, as in
international collaborations are viewed very positively, or
they are related to foreign policy objectives which are
promulgated by the State Department, in which case, they do not
necessarily refer specifically to science topics.
In my view, more specific top-down goal-setting is
counterproductive, and encourages the making of international
commitments that are mismatched to agency budgets and programs,
and consequently, I do not agree with the recommendation to
form a Committee on International Science, Engineering, and
Technology under the NSTC. The meetings and products of such a
committee would be duplicative or existing, of existing topic-
specific activities that are conducted in connection with the
current vigorous program of international collaborations.
I met with the National Science Board Committee that made
this recommendation, and advised strongly against it. While I
agree with much in that National Science Board, I do not agree
with this recommendation.
So, in conclusion, I want to emphasize that science is
strongly international almost by definition, and federal
departments and agencies do participate broadly and actively in
international collaborations. It is appropriate to fund science
programs to achieve diplomatic objectives, and those objectives
are defined by the Department of State, and the programs are
carried out by agencies consistent with their roles and
My office acts as a broker to support State in these
objectives, and as a coordinator of the technical component of
official activities, such as science and technology agreements
and joint commissions. Resources and staffing does exist to
perform these functions, and I believe they are being performed
So, I thank you for the opportunity to make these remarks,
and refer you to my written testimony, which I would request be
made part of the record.
[The prepared statement of Dr. Marburger follows:]
Prepared Statement of John H. Marburger, III
Chairman Baird, Ranking Member Ehlers, and Members of the
Subcommittee, I appreciate this opportunity to appear before you to
discuss International Science and Technology Cooperation. Science has
always been an international activity, and ``strengthening
international partnerships to accelerate the progress of science across
borders'' is an important and explicit priority for Executive Branch
departments and agencies.
The National Science and Technology Policy Organization and
Priorities Act of 1976 (Public Law 94-282) requires the OSTP Director
``[to] assess and advise on policies for international cooperation in
science and technology which will advance the national and
international objectives of the United States.'' OSTP manages this
responsibility through an active program coordinated by a full time
Assistant to the Director for International Relations. The Assistant to
the Director works with the Department of State and all agencies
engaged in international science programs, and particularly with the
international offices of the National Science Foundation (NSF),
Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Health and Human Services
(HHS) (including its National Institutes of Health (NIH) ), and the
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). She maintains
current knowledge of the international issues and activities of these
agencies, maintains contact with offices such as the National Security
Council within the Executive Office of the President, and meets
routinely with the Science Counselors from other countries at the
Embassies located in Washington, D.C. Under her coordination, OSTP
staff reviews all international Science and Technology agreements.
OSTP is a staff office within the Executive Office of the
President, and does not fund domestic or international programs. Such
programs are developed and funded by agencies in accordance with the
needs and objectives of their missions. Just as science is an intrinsic
component of many of those missions, international science cooperation
is an intrinsic component of science, and not a separate objective.
U.S. diplomatic objectives are established and coordinated by the
Department of State. Each agency has its own international affairs
officer who maintains contact with the State Department, in most cases
with the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and
Scientific Affairs (OES) currently headed by Assistant Secretary
Claudia McMurray and with the Bureau of International Organization
Affairs (IO) currently headed by Assistant Secretary Kristen
Silverberg. OSTP provides policy guidance and technical support to all
departments including the Department of State.
Science policy is necessarily based on input from the science
community which comes to Executive Branch policy offices through the
agencies that fund their work. The function of the OSTP-staffed
National Science and Technology Council (NSTC), among other things, is
to ensure that this information is incorporated systematically in
agency plans and programs. The OSTP international program balances this
``bottom up'' practice with ``top down'' coordination of formal multi-
agency interactions with other countries as described in more detail
below. Agencies manage their collaborations and fulfill their
commitments under umbrella S&T agreements through their individual
During the past six years, OSTP has experimented with various
arrangements for coordinating agency international science and
technology programs. The most successful approach has been one that
draws together agencies in meetings focused on specific science topics
such as nanotechnology or genomics, or on specific countries such as
China or Brazil. The former meetings occur naturally in the NSTC
context, the latter occur on the schedule of high-level bilateral
commission meetings to review progress under the S&T agreements. The
agencies are satisfied with this arrangement, which has been very
productive. Nanotechnology provides an excellent example of a
successful internationally coordinated program. Through the NSTC
Subcommittee on Nanoscale Science, Engineering, and Technology (NSET),
OSTP collaborated with the Department of State to establish a Working
Party on Nanotechnology within the OECD to advise on emerging issues in
science, technology and innovation related to nanotechnology. Today 27
countries participate in this working group. The NSET Subcommittee also
facilitates U.S. participation in the OECD Working Party on
As described in more detail below, OSTP is actively involved in
international science and technology affairs in all corners of the
globe. OSTP senior management participates in numerous bilateral and
multilateral meetings that support U.S. priorities and policies. And
OSTP staff maintain strong ties with key technical personnel in other
G8 Science Ministers and Advisors: I meet twice per year with Science
Ministers and Advisors from the G8 countries plus the European Union in
a format originally proposed by the Carnegie Commission (the meetings
are referred to as ``Carnegie Meetings'' of the Ministers). The
meetings are small and informal, and we exchange information on our
science, technology and education plans and priorities. We provide
updates on relevant government activities within our countries, and
address international project coordination or provide direction as
Joint Committee Meetings: In cooperation with the Department of State,
OSTP leads bilateral meetings with countries that have high priority
for United States objectives. In recent years I have led meetings with
China (2006), Japan (2006), Brazil (2006), and Russia (2005 and 2008).
A Joint Commission Meeting with India is pending. These meetings bring
together senior officials from U.S. technical agencies and their
counterparts to discuss joint scientific collaboration. They take
measure of what has been accomplished, discuss impediments to
cooperation, and outline future opportunities for joint collaboration.
OSTP arranges coordination meetings prior to these events, and ensures
that agency input is relevant to the aims of the collaboration.
Bilateral S&T agreements are highly valued in the international S&T
government community, but not necessarily because they provide funding
to the international partner. Rather, they bring focus to the partner's
S&T activities and encourage additional funding by foreign governments
to their science agencies.
UNESCO: I am a Member of the U.S. National Commission for the United
Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
The U.S. re-joined UNESCO during this Administration. The National
Commission is a Federal Advisory Committee administered by the
Department of State with 93 members from government, academia, NGOs,
and industry. OSTP staff support me and the Commission in its science
activities. I have also represented the U.S. on each of our delegations
to UNESCO General Conferences since U.S. re-entry, 32nd (2003), 33rd
(2005), and 34th (2007). I have served in prominent roles at each of
OECD: I am equally active in the Organization of Economic Cooperation
and Development (OECD) where I have spoken at forums and meetings most
recently in March. OSTP leads the delegations to OECD's Global Science
Forum, an organization that deals with international cooperation on
major science facility projects, among other things.
United Nations: I served as the U.S. Minister-level representative to
both phases of the United Nations World Summit on the Information
Society (WSIS). Phase I took place in Geneva (December 2003) and the
second phase took place in Tunis, Tunisia (November 2005). At the WSIS,
the U.S. successfully advocated to keep the Internet independent and
effective as a tool for democracy, economic development and social
progress. By agreeing to a Declaration of Principles and Plan of Action
in Geneva and Tunis, the U.S. reaffirmed its commitment to the
importance of the use of Information and Communication Technologies to
promote peace, security and stability and to enhance democracy, respect
for human rights, open and transparent government and the rule of law.
Fulbright Program: In April 2006 I traveled to Israel to celebrate the
50th anniversary of the Fulbright Exchange Program. While there, I met
with Israeli academics and Palestinian researchers and supported
cooperation between Israeli scientists and independent Palestinian
researchers and other scientists throughout the Arab World. At that
time I also traveled to Jordan where I discussed the Synchrotron Light
for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East (SESAME).
SESAME is an important scientific endeavor created under the auspices
of UNESCO in 2004 that involves Israel, the Palestinian Authority,
Jordan, Pakistan, Turkey, Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, and Bahrain. I also
received a briefing by the Director at the Alexandria Library
(Bibliotheca Alexandrina) in Egypt, which is an outstanding example of
a center that provides a cultural focus for regional discussions on
topics ranging from medical research, to peace, to ethics and culture.
I have advocated support for such centers in presentations to
Department of State sponsored meetings.
IPCC: In 2007, OSTP's Associate Director and Deputy Director for
Science, Dr. Sharon Hays, led the U.S. delegation to three important
plenary sessions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
(IPCC). In January, Dr. Hays led the U.S. delegation to the 10th
Plenary Session of Working Group I, held in Paris, France, during which
the Summary for Policy-makers was negotiated and approved for the IPCC
report ``Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis.'' This report
was the contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report
of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. In April, Dr. Hays
led the delegation to the 8th Plenary Session of Working Group II, held
in Brussels, Belgium, during which the Summary for Policy-makers was
approved for the Working Group II report ``Climate Change 2007:
Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability.'' And in November, Dr. Hays led
the U.S. delegation to the 27th Plenary Session of the IPCC, held in
Valencia, Spain, during which the Summary for Policy-makers was
negotiated and approved for the overall ``Climate Change 2007:
Synthesis Report.'' These reports are important resources for climate
policy formation for all nations, including the U.S.
Earth Observations: The United States plays an international leadership
role in Earth Observations, and OSTP supports this activity through the
NSTC and the direct involvement of senior officials. Dr. Hays
participated at the Group of Earth Observation Ministerial Summit in
Cape Town, South Africa in December 2007. I spoke on behalf of the
Administration at the inauguration of this program in 2003, and
participated in the GEO Summit in Japan in 2004. The U.S. is also a
partner in the UNESCO Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS).
WRC: OSTP's Associate Director and Deputy Director for Technology,
Richard Russell, was the U.S. Ambassador to the 2007 World
Radiocommunication Conference. This UN/International Telecommunications
Union meeting brought together all countries of the world plus
Nongovernmental Organizations and private industry to review and revise
the treaty that governs the use of spectrum globally. The U.S. goals
for the conference, all achieved, were to avoid harmful interference to
allow systems to work, and to create significant synergies, which
reduce the cost of technology and promote the rapid deployment of new
technologies and services.
Mr. Chairman, most of the issues OSTP deals with in its role of
policy formation, guidance and coordination have an international
component. International issues are managed routinely and
systematically with substantial interagency communication and
coordination, and with the full engagement of the Department of State.
I believe the U.S. engagement in international science is intense,
productive, and highly successful. I would be pleased to provide more
information either now or in greater detail in writing in response to
Biography for John H. Marburger, III
John H. Marburger, III, Science Adviser to the President and
Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, was born on
Staten Island, N.Y., grew up in Maryland near Washington D.C. and
attended Princeton University (B.A., Physics 1962) and Stanford
University (Ph.D., Applied Physics 1967). Before his appointment in the
Executive Office of the President, he served as Director of Brookhaven
National Laboratory from 1998, and as the third President of the State
University of New York at Stony Brook (1980-1994). He came to Long
Island in 1980 from the University of Southern California where he had
been a Professor of Physics and Electrical Engineering, serving as
Physics Department Chairman and Dean of the College of Letters, Arts
and Sciences in the 1970's. In the fall of 1994 he returned to the
faculty at Stony Brook, teaching and doing research in optical science
as a University Professor. Three years later he became President of
Brookhaven Science Associates, a partnership between the University and
Battelle Memorial Institute that competed for and won the contract to
operate Brookhaven National Laboratory.
While at the University of Southern California, Marburger
contributed to the rapidly growing field of nonlinear optics, a subject
created by the invention of the laser in 1960. He developed theory for
various laser phenomena and was a co-founder of the University of
Southern California's Center for Laser Studies. His teaching activities
included ``Frontiers of Electronics,'' a series of educational programs
on CBS television.
Marburger's presidency at Stony Brook coincided with the opening
and growth of University Hospital and the development of the biological
sciences as a major strength of the university. During the 1980's
federally sponsored scientific research at Stony Brook grew to exceed
that of any other public university in the northeastern United States.
During his presidency, Marburger served on numerous boards and
committees, including chairmanship of the governor's commission on the
Shoreham Nuclear Power facility, and chairmanship of the 80 campus
``Universities Research Association'' which operates Fermi National
Accelerator Laboratory near Chicago. He served as a trustee of
Princeton University and many other organizations. He also chaired the
highly successful 1991/92 Long Island United Way campaign.
As a public spirited scientist-administrator, Marburger has served
local, State and Federal governments in a variety of capacities. He is
credited with bringing an open, reasoned approach to contentious issues
where science intersects with the needs and concerns of society. His
strong leadership of Brookhaven National Laboratory following a series
of environmental and management crises is widely acknowledged to have
won back the confidence and support of the community while preserving
the Laboratory's record of outstanding science.
Chairman Baird. Thank you, Dr. Marburger. Dr. Bement.
STATEMENT OF DR. ARDEN L. BEMENT, JR., DIRECTOR, NATIONAL
Dr. Bement. Chairman Baird and Ranking Member Neugebauer
and distinguished Members of the Subcommittee, thank you for
this opportunity to discuss NSF's role in international science
and engineering cooperation.
For more than 55 years, NSF has recognized the central role
that international partnerships play in achieving America's
research and development objectives. The Foundation has a rich
history of connecting U.S. scientists and engineers with
international collaborators across all sectors and disciplines
to leverage intellectual capabilities.
I believe through such international partnerships and
leadership with international agencies, NSF fosters trust and
understanding essential to advancing diplomatic relations.
Today, international leadership roles are prominent in my
portfolio as NSF director. I represent the United States at the
annual meeting of the heads of Research Councils for the G8
countries, and I serve as a member of the U.S. National
Commission for UNESCO. Deputy Director Olsen is also active in
UNESCO and OECD's Global Science Forum, and serves as the Vice
Chair of the Board of the Human Frontier Science Program. NSF's
Assistant Directors and Office Directors also help establish
solid working relationships with counterpart agencies and
For example, as Director of the NSF's Office of Polar
Programs, Dr. Karl Erb provides leadership in the International
Polar Year, the Arctic Council, and in consultative meetings
with the Antarctic Treaty. Through such roles, NSF leadership
interacts directly with heads of states, ministers, and other
principals, to catalyze intellectual exchange on global issues,
develop bilateral and multilateral agreements, and foster
international science and engineering capacity.
NSF leadership also provides guidance on international
research and related interagency collaborations through its
work on the National Science and Technology Council. Moreover,
NSF oversees offices in Beijing, Paris, and Tokyo, proactively
promote relations between the United States and international
science and engineering communities. NSF also fosters
international cooperation through the support of the U.S.
portion of international research and education projects.
The Foundation effectively partners with almost every
country in the world. Our range of international activities
presents what I believe is a rich portfolio. Activities range
from individual awards to student fellowships for studies,
study abroad, to centers and networks, to multinational
research programs, and to large, international research
All of NSF's Directorates and Research Offices fund
international science and engineering activities. The Education
and Human Resources Directorate also has fostered extraordinary
collaborations around STEM education and human resource
development. Additionally, NSF's Office of International
Science and Engineering, or OISE, supports several programs
that specifically fund U.S. scientists and engineers engaged in
One such program, the Partnerships for International
Research and Education, or PIRE, enables U.S. institutions to
establish partnerships with international groups. PIRE has
supported institutional level research collaborations with more
than 40 countries. For example, the PIRE Africa Array Project
brought together U.S. and African geoscientists as well as
students to study seismological and volcanic activity in
Africa. This program has now grown to include collaborators
from more than 20 U.S., African, and European universities, in
addition to large corporations, to advance the understanding of
Earth's mantle dynamics.
In recent years, OISE has expanded emphasis on linkages
between U.S. scientists and those in developing countries.
Specifically, OISE hired a new Program Manager for Developing
Countries to expand these collaborations. This Program Manager,
along with NSF leadership, has initiated dialogue with 12
domestic and 20 international institutions who can co-fund the
developing countries portion of these projects. OISE also works
with international counterpart agencies to introduce them to
the Foundation's merit review process and organizational
Many organizations, particularly those in developing
countries, look to NSF as a model on how to run a competitive
merit review research council. The United Arab Emirates, Saudi
Arabia, and China will soon send representatives to NSF to
study our methods of operation.
Mr. Chairman and members of the Subcommittee, thank you
again for this opportunity to testify on a subject of
particular importance to NSF.
[The prepared statement of Dr. Bement follows:]
Prepared Statement of Arden L. Bement, Jr.
Chairman Baird, Ranking Member Ehlers, and distinguished Members of
the Subcommittee, thank you for this opportunity to discuss
international science and technology (S&T) cooperation and the National
Science Foundation's (NSF) current international activities. NSF's
combined research and education portfolio provides rich examples of
global S&T cooperation. We believe that science collaboration and
science diplomacy are essential ingredients for America's future
progress and prosperity. I am pleased to testify on this important and
Scientists have played an important role on the front-lines of U.S.
diplomacy since the end of World War II. They have been the enablers of
larger international diplomacy efforts, from the robust scientific
exchange with China to renewed and strengthened relations with Egypt,
India, and Pakistan-all started with the peaceful beachhead of
For instance, polls indicate that people in the Middle East
generally view American S&T more favorably than other aspects of our
society. This approving attitude provides for favorable forums to
explain other aspects of American policies and actions. Our nation's
citizens also benefit directly from S&T cooperation, as it provides our
scientists and engineers with greater access to cutting-edge research
and allows us to work across geographical boundaries to solve global
In addition, globalization has amplified the worldwide competition
for ideas, science and engineering (S&E) talent, and leadership in
turning new knowledge into real-world applications. Many nations are
accelerating their investments in research and development, education,
and infrastructure in order to drive sustained economic growth. To
continue being a global leader in S&T, we must ensure that we have
access to discoveries being made in every corner of the world.
The National Science Foundation understands the global nature of
scientific discovery, and the international character of knowledge
creation and research activities are stressed in NSF's FY 2006-2011
Strategic Plan, Investing in America's Future. For more than 55 years,
NSF has connected S&E researchers and educators in academic
organizations, industry and informal science institutions, both
nationally and internationally, to leverage intellectual capabilities.
NSF has strengthened the Nation's collaborative advantage by leading or
participating in key interagency initiatives as well as by developing
innovative collaborations across all S&E disciplines.
Three categories of activities illustrate NSF's engagement in
international S&T: (1) leadership and diplomacy efforts to foster
global S&E connectivity; (2) the coordination and support of research
projects, both large and small, that have an international component;
and (3) the activities of NSF's Office of International Science and
Engineering (OISE). The following selected examples underscore the
broad influence of NSF activities.
Leadership and Diplomacy Efforts to Foster Global Science and
The exchange of scientific information and the cooperation in
international scientific research activities were identified by the
first NSF Director, Alan Waterman, as two of the major responsibilities
that Congress had given the agency. NSF embraced those responsibilities
in its first cycle of grants, supporting international travel and the
dissemination of scientific information originating overseas. NSF
recognized that a two-way flow of information and individuals between
nations resulted in both better science and improved international
In 1955, NSF took a comprehensive look at the role of the Federal
Government in international science, and warned that it was important
that ``activities of the U.S. Government in the area of science not be
tagged internationally as another weapon in our cold war arsenal.'' NSF
concluded that international scientific collaboration, based on
considerations of scientific merit and the selflessness of the United
States, could help ease international tensions, improve the image of
the United States abroad, and help raise the standard of living among
NSF has long embraced multilateral projects as an essential aspect
of its portfolio, beginning with the International Geophysical Year of
1957, and continuing with such activities as the International
Biological and Tropical Oceans-Global Atmosphere programs, and, more
recently, the International Continental Drilling Program, Gemini
Observatory, Rice Genome Sequencing Project, and International Polar
Year. The agency has also fostered bilateral partnerships in all parts
of the world. These overarching partnerships, most of which involve
extensive interagency collaboration on the U.S. side, have generated
thousands of cooperative research projects on multiple scales.
As you know, the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP)
guides and oversees the administration's international science and
technology strategies and portfolio. Through OSTP, the National Science
and Technology Council (NSTC) has a pivotal role in setting priorities
for and coordinating interagency collaborations, including those that
are international in nature. International cooperation is integrated
throughout the four committees of the NSTC, and NSF participates in
this work on many levels. I currently co-chair the Committee on Science
and serve as the NSF representative on the Committee on Homeland and
National Security. NSF Deputy Director Kathie Olsen serves as the NSF
representative on the Committee on Environment & Natural Resources and
Committee on Technology. NSF is involved in most of NSTC's
subcommittees and working groups, and leads many. For example, Dr. Jim
Collins, the Assistant Director of the Directorate of Biological
Sciences, chairs the Biotechnology Subcommittee, and Dr. Jeannette
Wing, the Assistant Director for Computer and Information Sciences and
Engineering, co-chairs the Networking and Information Technology
Research and Development.
NSF's senior management team also participates in other important
international bodies. As NSF Director, I represent the United States at
the annual meeting of the Heads of Research Councils (HORCS) for the G-
8 countries (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United
Kingdom, and the United States). These meetings provide opportunities
for international leaders to meet on a regular basis, to review
bilateral issues or problems with individual counterpart agencies, and
to propose cooperation on particular topics of common interest. In the
last few years, NSF has chaired HORCS working groups on public
understanding of science, evaluation of research results, and science
and math education in schools.
I also currently serve as a member of the U.S. National Commission
for UNESCO and as the vice-chair of the Commission's Natural Sciences
and Engineering Committee. As part of the our involvement with U.S.
National Committee for UNESCO International Hydrological Programme, NSF
is currently working with UNESCO, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS),
the Department of State, and other federal science agencies to organize
a high-level Water Science Forum to explore the potential contributions
of U.S. science to the challenges of drinking water supply and safety,
sanitation, drought, and resource management. The forum, to be held on
June 27, 2008, will involve about 80 people, including UNESCO
leadership, foreign embassies, and experts from U.S. agencies and
academia. A larger meeting, also sponsored by this group and involving
hundreds of scientists from around the world, will be held in Irvine,
CA, December 1-6, 2008. NSF also actively participates in the OSTP-led
Interagency Working Group on Science of UNESCO, which is exploring
future collaborative opportunities between the U.S. S&E community and
Additionally, NSF Deputy Director Kathie Olsen serves as Vice-Chair
of the Board of Trustees of the Human Frontier Science Program and as
co-chair of the U.S.-EC Biotechnology Task Force. NSF leadership also
represents the U.S. government on the International Group of Funding
Agencies for Global Change Research, and through multiple roles in the
activities of OECD's Global Science Forum. For example, NSF has
recently been involved in hosting workshops on the science of science
policy and biocomplexity, and the agency plays a major role in the
coordination of the U.S. role in large facilities. NSF also plays
significant roles in the consultative meetings of the Antarctic Treaty,
in the scientific activities of other United Nations specialized
agencies, such as the World Meteorological Organization, and in the
activities of the Arctic Council, where we represent the scientific
interest of all the Arctic nations. Through these activities, NSF
leadership interacts directly with heads of state, ministers, and other
principals to discuss forming new multilateral and bilateral
agreements, or to alter or extend already existing agreements. Such
leadership roles play a critical role in keeping the Nation proactively
involved in the international S&T arena.
NSF's overseas offices in Beijing, Paris, and Tokyo also
proactively promote collaboration between the United States and
international S&E communities. Staff headquartered in these offices
report on in-country and regional S&T developments and policies, serve
as resources of information on current and emerging issues in S&E and
policy, and work as liaisons between NSF and foreign organizations and
researchers. The offices also regularly support NSF's directorates' and
research offices' efforts to expand NSF programs internationally and to
finalize implementing agreements. Thus, they play an important role in
helping NSF pursue its mission of promoting U.S. research and education
excellence in a global context.
Moreover, program officers from NSF's OISE and the heads of its
overseas offices have helped establish solid working relationships with
counterpart agencies and organizations abroad. Examples are the UK
Research Councils, the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, the
National Natural Science Foundation in China, CONACyT in Mexico, the
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in France, the Deutsche
Forschungsgemeinschaft in Germany, the National Research Foundation in
South Africa, the Russian Foundation for Basic Research and the Czech
Ministry of Education. Over the years, senior officials and program
officers from these and other organizations have held numerous
discussions, participated in seminars and workshops, and funded
cooperative research projects. Since we fund the U.S. portion of
international research, these venues provide numerous U.S. S&E
researchers, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, and
undergraduates opportunities to gain important international
NSF's support of the annual U.S. contribution to the International
Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and the International
Council for Science (ICSU) via grants to the National Academy of
Sciences--the National Member Organization for both IIASA and ICSU--
also facilitates involvement of U.S. scientists and engineers in
international non-governmental organizations. This support enables U.S.
scientists and engineers to participate in global S&E projects. Of
particular interest for this hearing, both organizations concentrate on
scientific fields of policy importance, including topics focused on the
developing world, such as environmental, economic, technological, and
social issues in the context of global change.
The Embassy Science Fellows program, administered by the Department
of State and coordinated within NSF by OISE, also provides for valuable
international experience. Fellows from NSF and certain other U.S.
Government agencies spend between one and three months at foreign posts
as visiting ``scientist/engineer-consultants'' to the Embassy, working
closely with the Science Counselor and/or other embassy staff involved
in S&T issues. The fellows conduct assessments of in-country S&E
institutions, fields, and priorities, and meet with leading scientists
and science administrators.
Finally, facilitating the flow of S&E talent to the United States
is also a major concern of NSF. OISE continues to serve as a resource
on visa policies both to the scientific and engineering community at
large and to the Department of State. OISE continues to track the visa
situation, providing timely information to NSF senior management and
program officers as the policies evolve.
NSF's International Research and Education Portfolio
The U.S. portion of international S&E research and education
activities is funded by all NSF directorates and research offices.
International implications are found throughout all of NSF's
activities, from individual research awards and fellowships for
students to study abroad, to centers, collaborations, joint projects,
and shared networks that demonstrate the value of partnering with the
As a result of its international portfolio encompassing projects in
all S&E disciplines, NSF effectively partners with almost every country
in the world. The following examples illustrate the international
breadth and scope of NSF's international portfolio.
The Research Experiences for Undergraduates program, an NSF-wide
activity, gives undergraduate students the opportunity to engage in
high-quality research, often at important international sites. One of
these sites is CERN, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics in
Switzerland, and one of the world's premier international laboratories.
Undergraduate students work with faculty mentors and research groups at
CERN, where they have access to facilities unavailable anywhere else in
the world. NSF also provides support for the Large Hadron Collider
housed at CERN.
Collaborations among individual NSF-supported investigators are
also common in NSF's portfolio. Recently, scientists at the University
of Chicago created a single-molecule diode, a potential building block
for nanoelectronics. Theorists at the University of South Florida and
the Russian Academy of Sciences then explained the principle of how
such a device works. They jointly published their findings.
The Foundation's Division of Materials Research supports the
Materials World Network (MWN), a global collaborative aimed at
fostering partnerships between materials science and engineering
researchers at institutions around the globe, including institutions in
Africa, Europe, Asia, and Australia. The MWN was launched in 1995 and
further developed via a series of NSF co-sponsored workshops around the
world. Through MWN, NSF and international partner agencies jointly
solicit proposals for collaborative projects. Since 2001, NSF has
participated in funding over 180 awards. Research is targeted at
improving medical diagnosis, developing stronger materials for the
housing and transportation industries, and more.
At the ends of the world, NSF coordinates nearly all of the U.S.
scientific research in the Arctic and Antarctica through its Office of
Polar Programs. In fact, NSF was designated as the lead federal agency
for the International Polar Year (IPY) 2007-2008. During this campaign,
more than 100 countries undertook projects involving scientists,
students, teachers, and the public to increase understanding of the
Research at NSF supported-centers also has significant
international implications. For example, the NSF Center for
Sustainability of Semi-Arid Hydrology and Riparian Areas recently won
the International Great Man-Made River Prize awarded by UNESCO. The
prize ``rewards remarkable scientific research work on water usage in
arid region as well as areas subject to drought and also for the
development of agriculture for the benefit of humanity and the
environment.'' More than three dozen scientists and support staff at
another NSF-supported center recently won a different prestigious award
for their work on climate change. Researchers and staff at National
Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), as well as many other NSF-
supported researchers, were involved in reports by the U.N.
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The U.N.
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was awarded the 2007
Nobel Peace Prize along with former Vice President Al Gore.
There are also examples where NSF partners with the United States
Agency for International Development (USAID) to support international
S&T programs to facilitate capacity building. For example, the U.S.-
Pakistan Science and Technology Program, led by a coordinating
committee chaired by Dr. Arden Bement, NSF Director, and Dr. Atta-ur-
Rahman, Pakistan Minister of Education and Science Advisor to the Prime
Minister. USAID funds the U.S. contribution of the joint program and
supports other programs in Pakistan involving NIH and other agencies.
This U.S.-Pakistan S&T program supports a number of joint research
projects peer reviewed by the National Academy of Sciences and approved
by the joint S&T committee. Over the past year, the Committee has also
established sixteen S&T working groups that involve interagency
participation in Pakistan and in the United States to carry out joint
research projects of mutual interest (with direct benefit to Pakistan).
Through this collaboration, NSF just completed a network connection
of Internet 2 with Pakistan to facilitate research and education
collaborations and data exchanges under the program. This project
embodies one of NSF's top priorities, the development of the national
science and engineering cyberinfrastructure, enabling a prime role for
the United States in global research networks. NSF's goals for the
national cyberinfrastructure include the ability to integrate data from
diverse disciplines and multiple locations, and to make them widely
available to researchers, educators, and students. Already, the Grid
Physics Network and the international Virtual Data Grid Laboratory are
advancing IT-intensive research in physics, cosmology, and
In today's highly sophisticated, technology-driven science, many
international partnerships center around major, high-budget research
facilities that are made possible only by combining the resources of
more than one nation. For example, NSF's facilities budget includes
construction funds for the IceCube neutrino detector, antennas for the
Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA), and observation technologies for
the Arctic Observing Network (AON).
The IceCube Neutrino Observatory--the world's first high-energy
neutrino observatory--offers a powerful example of an international,
interagency research platform. Agencies in Belgium, Germany, and Sweden
have joined NSF and Department of Energy (DOE) in providing support for
IceCube, which will search for neutrinos from deep within the ice cap
under the South Pole in Antarctica. Neutrinos are hard-to-detect
astronomical messengers that carry information from cosmological
The Atacama Large Millimeter Array, currently under construction
near San Pedro de Atacama, Chile, will be the world's most sensitive,
highest resolution, millimeter wavelength telescope. The array will
make it possible to search for planets around hundreds of nearby stars
and will provide a testing ground for theories of star birth, galaxy
formation, and the evolution of the universe. ALMA has been made
possible via an international partnership among North America, Europe,
and East Asia, in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. NSF is the
U.S. lead on this ground-breaking astronomical facility.
As part of the aforementioned IPY activities, NSF serves as lead
contributing agency for the Arctic Observing Network (AON)--an effort
to significantly advance our observational capability in the Arctic.
AON will help us document the state of the present climate system, and
the nature and extent of climate changes occurring in the Arctic
regions. The network, organized under the direction of the U.S.
Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee, involves partnerships
with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National
Aeronautics and Space Administration, Department of Interior,
Department of Defense, Smithsonian Institution, National Institutes of
Health, DOE, and USDA. NSF coordinates AON activities across the U.S.
government, as well as with international collaborators, including
Canada, Norway, Sweden, Germany, and Russia.
Such international infrastructure projects will continue to play a
key role in advancing S&E capacity worldwide. NSF leadership and
proactive involvement in large international research projects helps
ensure that U.S. S&E stays at the frontier.
The Office of International Science and Engineering
The Office of International Science and Engineering--the
centerpiece of NSF's international activities--integrates Foundation-
wide activities and manages a broad range of programs that support U.S.
scientists and engineers engaged in international research and
education. OISE is currently leading the agency's effort to develop a
goal-oriented strategic plan that will inform the coordination of
international activities across the Foundation. In FY 2009, NSF
proposes a budget of $47.44 million for OISE.
Organizationally, OISE is comprised of five regional groups and the
three aforementioned international offices. OISE has two programmatic
priorities: (1) to enhance research excellence through international
collaboration; and (2) to serve as a catalyst for partnerships between
the U.S. and the international research community.
OISE works closely with the NSF directorates and other research
offices to co-fund innovative awards and supplements that promote
research excellence through international collaboration and develop the
next generation of globally engaged U.S. scientists and engineers. For
example, OISE and NSF's Directorate of Mathematics and Physical
Sciences co-fund the ``East-West Collaboration.'' The East-West
Collaboration supports frontier research in elementary particle
physics. This scientific interchange between a 20-university
collaboration centered at Cornell University and an 18-university
collaboration centered at the Institute for High Energy Physics in
Beijing, China has enabled a faster start-up for the first
superconducting magnet in China, advances in ``new physics,'' and for
the direct partnership of U.S. and Chinese scientists. As China
continues to invest heavily in science and engineering research, such
collaborations will foster necessary intellectual exchange for U.S.
scientists and engineers as well lead to greater connectivity between
the United States and China.
OISE also serves as an interface for NSF's directorates, offices,
divisions, and programs with multi-national organizations,
international science organizations, and national funding agencies and
ministries in other countries. OISE often works with international
counterpart agencies to educate them on the Foundation's peer review
process, organizational structure, and funding process, as many,
particularly those in developing countries, look to NSF as a model for
how to run their programs.. These efforts help align agency procedures
close to those of NSF, which can often make collaboration and science
funding more effective in these countries.
For example, the United Arab Emirates' (UAE) Ministry of Higher
Education has commissioned their scientists to establish a National
Research Foundation by early 2008. These scientists visited NSF in
January 2008 to learn about NSF procedures for support of research and
evaluation of results. Additionally, the King Abdulaziz City for
Science and Technology in Riyadh, NSF's counterpart agency in Saudi
Arabia, will send its Director of Research in August 2008 to learn
about NSF. China also sends representatives to study the NSF
experience, as their research agency, modeled on NSF, operates in a
similar fashion. Additionally, Turkey, France, and Ireland, among
others, are emulating the NSF model.
NSF's international office has implemented specific programs to
stimulate innovative international partnerships. The East Asia and
Pacific Summer Graduate Research Institutes (EAPSI), International
Research Fellowship, and Partnerships for International Research and
Education (PIRE) Programs are examples of three OISE-supported programs
that facilitate partnership across institutions and countries.
The East Asia and Pacific Summer Graduate Research Institutes
(EAPSI) Program enables U.S. graduate students to build collaborations
with scientists and engineers working in relevant research facilities
in East Asia and the Pacific region. The eight-week institute programs
are held at top research institutions in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, China,
Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore. Over 1,600 U.S. graduate
students have participated in the program since its inception in 1990.
The program fosters a U.S. S&E workforce capable of operating in a
global marketplace increasingly impacted by scientific developments in
Asia and the Pacific Region.
The research of a behavioral biology student from Texas A&M
University offers one example of the resulting increased international
connectivity. The student studied the ability of giant pandas to
recognize their kin by establishing a live web based ``Panda Cam'' at
China's Wolong Nature Reserve. This student's project not only opened
the door for researchers and the broader public to observe the behavior
of pandas in their natural habitat, but it helped develop a bridge
among China's Forestry Ministry, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and
The International Research Fellowship Program supports
approximately three dozen U.S. postdoctoral fellows for 9 to 24 months
at foreign host institutions annually. The program's objective is to
introduce U.S. scientists and engineers to cutting-edge international
research opportunities in the early stages of their careers. Fellows'
research projects involve international collaboration, the use of
overseas instrumentation, and access to unique research environments in
a wide range of fields, including biology, physics, engineering,
geosciences, computer sciences, and social and behavioral sciences.
In fiscal year 2007, 39 fellowship recipients from 21 states were
selected to conduct research in 21 foreign countries. After completion
of the fellowship, the researchers return to jobs in academia and
industry in the United States. Past fellows attest that their
experiences abroad were unparalleled career-enhancers and that the
fellowship placed them at the leading-edge of their field of research
and positioned them to build new collaborations with colleagues in
their host country. These collaborations have also led to foreign hosts
of NSF International Research Fellows joining U.S. research teams.
The Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE)
Program is an example of a larger collaborative research activity
supported by OISE. PIRE enables U.S. institutions to establish
collaborative relationships with international groups or institutions
to conduct research dependent upon international collaboration. The
program catalyzes a cultural exchange in U.S. institutions by
establishing innovative models for international collaborative research
and education. PIRE also readies U.S. students to participate in
international research collaborations.
To date, the PIRE program has supported the work of 32 institutions
in 23 states. Research collaborations with more than 40 countries have
resulted. The U.S.-China PIRE project on electron chemistry and
catalysis was listed in the Chinese media as one of the top ten S&T
developments in China for 2006. The PIRE program supports research
projects that nurture U.S. relationships with international
Another PIRE project has significantly impacted the developing
world. The ``AfricaArray'' brought together U.S. and African
geoscientists, as well as students, to study seismological and volcanic
activity in Africa. Collaborators from Penn State University, the
University of Witwatersrand (South Africa), the University of Dar Es
Salaam (Tanzania), and the National Seismological Network (Uganda) have
developed a network of seismic monitoring stations that cross the
African continent to study the origins and structure of the African
Superplume, an anomalous part of the Earth's mantle that stretches from
deep in the mantle to near the surface. To date, the NSF-supported
researchers leading AfricaArray have collaborated with more than 20
U.S., African, and European universities, in addition to large
cooperations, in order to advance the understanding of Earth's mantle
AfricaArray is only one of 15 PIRE projects involving collaboration
with scientists in developing countries. Other examples include a
project with Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines to transform a
biodiversity hot spot into a research and education opportunity as well
as a project with Argentina and Mexico to enable cyberinfrastructure
applications. In total, the 15 projects represent approximately $36
million in NSF funds, invested in U.S. collaborating institutions.
In recent years, OISE has put greater emphasis on increasing
linkages between scientists in the United States and those in
developing countries. Specifically, OISE hired a new Program Manager
for Developing Countries to expand collaborations with developing
countries. Outreach presentations have been given at 12 domestic
institutions and 20 international institutions in 10 countries. This
OISE program manager and NSF senior leadership are also initiating and
continuing dialogue with 12 funding agencies appropriate to co-fund the
developing countries' portion of S&E projects, e.g., the International
Foundation for Science, the International Rice Research Institute,
USAID, and the World Bank.
The progress of humankind will depend increasingly on the new
knowledge of science and technology. The collaborative pursuit of new
knowledge is a powerful tool for bringing people together, and OISE
activities will continue to stimulate global collaboration.
International collaboration in S&E is a necessary foundation for
the future. In order for the United States to be competitive in this
new global society, we must engage in international research. And, we
must proactively develop a workforce that is adept at working on
international research teams.
For NSF, this means a continued commitment to foster collaborations
of all kinds and to seek new forms of partnership to address today's
research challenges and opportunities. The more widely research, data,
and new knowledge are shared, the broader the resulting perspectives.
As you can see from the numerous examples above, the National Science
Foundation is committed to international partnership and collaboration
on many levels.
We will continue to leverage our broad mission to catalyze
international research endeavors in all disciplines and to train an
internationally engaged S&E workforce. We will also continue to
leverage science and engineering know-how and the NSF model to catalyze
larger diplomatic efforts.
Lastly, we look forward to any new insights that can be garnered
from the National Science Board's new report entitled, ``International
Science and Engineering Partnerships: A Priority for U.S. Foreign
Policy and Our Nation's Innovation Enterprise;'' we are currently
working with the board on their recommendations.
Thank you again for the opportunity to testify, and I would be
happy to respond to any questions.
Biography for Arden L. Bement, Jr.
Arden L. Bement, Jr., was sworn in as the 12th Director of NSF on
November 24, 2004. He had served as Acting Director since February 22,
2004. Dr. Bement heads the only federal agency that funds research and
education in all fields of science and engineering. He directs a budget
of more than $6 billion; hundreds of programs that support roughly
200,000 scientists, engineers, educators, and students across the
country; and the development of world-class facilities and
infrastructure. He oversees a robust international research program in
the polar regions and several international partnerships to build
sophisticated research and experimental facilities.
Since the White House launch of the American Competitiveness
Initiative in 2006, he has overseen numerous initiatives that
strengthen the U.S. innovation base and economic position and intensify
the training of the U.S. workforce to operate in a high-tech global
economy. His top priorities have included increasing the size and
duration of NSF funding awards; implementing electronic proposal and
grant processing at NSF; developing cyberinfrastructure that advances
research and education through expanded capabilities for networking,
data processing and storage, modeling, and simulation; and broadening
international collaborations to leverage NSF investments. He has
expanded NSF's centers of excellence program to encompass dozens of
science and engineering disciplines partnering with industries and
He serves as a member of the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO
and as the vice-chair of the Commission's Natural Sciences and
Engineering Committee. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of
Engineering, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and
a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Dr. Bement is an ex officio member of the U.S. National Science Board,
which guides NSF activities and serves as a policy advisory body to the
President and Congress. He was a member of the NSB from 1989 to 1995.
Prior to his confirmation as NSF Director in November 2004, Dr.
Bement served as Director of the National Institute of Standards and
Technology of the Department of Commerce, a position he had held since
Dec. 7, 2001. At NIST he oversaw an annual budget of about $773 million
and an on-site research and administrative staff of 3,000 employees,
complemented by a NIST-sponsored network of 2,000 locally managed
manufacturing and business specialists serving smaller manufacturers
across the United States.
He joined NIST from Purdue University, where he was the David A.
Ross Distinguished Professor of Nuclear Engineering and head of the
School of Nuclear Engineering. He has held appointments at Purdue
University in the schools of Nuclear Engineering, Materials
Engineering, and Electrical and Computer Engineering, as well as a
courtesy appointment in the Krannert School of Management. He was
Director of the Midwest Superconductivity Consortium and the Consortium
for the Intelligent Management of the Electrical Power Grid.
Dr. Bement joined the Purdue faculty in 1992 after a 39-year career
in industry, government and academia. His positions included: Vice
President of Technical Resources and of Science and Technology for TRW
Inc. (1980-1992); Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Research and
Engineering (1979-1980); Director, Office of Materials Science, DARPA
(1976-1979); Professor of Nuclear Materials, MIT (1970-1976); Manager,
Fuels and Materials Department and the Metallurgy Research Department,
Battelle Northwest Laboratories (1965-1970); and Senior Research
Associate, General Electric Co. (1954-1965). He has also been a
Director of Keithley Instruments Inc. and the Lord Corp. and a member
of the Science and Technology Advisory Comm. for the Howmet Corp., a
division of ALCOA.
He has earned numerous awards and served in diverse government
advisory roles, including: head of the NIST Visiting Committee on
Advanced Technology; head of the advisory committee for NIST's Advanced
Technology Program; member of the Board of Overseers for the Malcolm
Baldrige National Quality Award; Chair of the Commission for
Engineering and Technical Studies and the National Materials Advisory
Board of the National Research Council; and member of the Space Station
Utilization Advisory Subcommittee and the Commercialization and
Technology Advisory Committee for NASA. He has consulted for the
Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory and the Idaho
National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory.
Dr. Bement holds an engineer of metallurgy degree from the Colorado
School of Mines, a Master's degree in metallurgical engineering from
the University of Idaho, a doctorate in metallurgical engineering from
the University of Michigan, and honorary doctorates from Cleveland
State University, Case Western Reserve University, and the Colorado
School of Mines, as well as a Chinese Academy of Sciences Graduate
School Honorary Professorship. He is a retired Lieutenant Colonel of
the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and a recipient of the Distinguished
Service Medal of the Department of Defense.
Chairman Baird. Thank you, Dr. Bement. We have been joined
by Mr. Bilbray from California, and Eddie Bernice Johnson from
Texas, and I thank them for joining us. Dr. Fedoroff.
STATEMENT OF DR. NINA V. FEDOROFF, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
ADVISOR TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE;
ADMINISTRATOR OF USAID
Dr. Fedoroff. Chairman Baird--thank you--and distinguished
Members of the Subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to
discuss science diplomacy at the State Department and USAID.
My written testimony describes what we do, in response to
your questions. I take this opportunity to tell you why we do
it. New York Times columnist Tom Friedman has attracted a great
deal of attention with his declaration that the world is flat.
By this, he means that the Internet, communications technology,
and globalization have put all peoples of the world on an equal
economic footing. Yet, despite the extraordinary increase in
our ability to communicate and access information, we all know
that the world is far from flat, even metaphorically.
Countries that cannot feed their people or provide them
with economic opportunities are susceptible to extremist
ideologies, autocratic rule, and human rights abuses. The
still-growing human population, rising affluence in emerging
economies, and many other factors are pushing the global prices
of edible oils and grains to unprecedented highs. Global
climate change is expected to make matters worse.
Encouraging, and more importantly, assisting countries to
use science and technology to build food security, manage land
and water resources, and create knowledge-based economic
opportunities, are essential goals for U.S. diplomacy and U.S.
national security. Indeed, they are a central element of the
Secretary's Transformational Diplomacy Initiative.
Let me give you just one small personal example of science
diplomacy, from my experience before I came to State. I am a
plant molecular biologist and geneticist. In 2004, I published
a book on the science behind genetically modified plants,
generally known as GM crops, or GMOs. Not long after, I
received an e-mail from a junior Foreign Service Officer in the
American Embassy in Bangladesh, inviting me to come and speak
about GMOs. Bangladesh is a poor country, with a limited amount
of arable land, and a still-growing population. It badly needs
contemporary science to increase its agricultural output.
Caught between U.S. acceptance and Europe's continued rejection
of GM crops, Bangladesh had not developed its own GM policy.
The conference opened an important dialogue among scientists in
our country and theirs, diplomats and government officials, as
well as the local press, in the effort to distinguish fact from
fiction in this highly charged area and move forward.
There is a growing recognition that science and technology
are, and will increasingly be, the drivers of the successful
economies of the 21st Century. From countries to companies,
today's organizations are shaped by their expertise in science,
technology, and engineering. Improving the welfare and
stability of the poorest nations will require a concerted
effort by the developed world to address the underlying
disparities in access to the education, the science, and the
technology essential for economic growth.
The world also faces common threats, climate change, energy
and water shortages, infectious diseases, and environmental
degradation. Such threats are blind to political boundaries.
The birds that spread avian flu don't apply for visas or stop
at border crossings. Addressing global challenges necessitates
international scientific cooperation. Scientists speak a common
language, making it possible for members of ideologically
divergent societies to cooperatively address the problems
confronting all of us.
Finally, some types of science are inherently international
in scope and collaborative by necessity. The objective of the
International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, ITER, as it
is generally known, is to harness the power of nuclear fusion
as a new and viable energy source. ITER is an international
scientific cooperation among key science leaders, Japan, Korea,
China, the European Union, India, Russia, and the United
States. The recent elimination of funding for the Fiscal Year
2008 U.S. contribution to the ITER Project has made our allies
question our commitment and credibility in the international
It is perhaps important to remember that in an earlier era,
science diplomacy was an important avenue of communication
between the Soviet Union and the U.S., credited by many with
preventing a flash-over of the Cold War. In a complex, multi-
polar world, relations are more challenging, the threats
perhaps greater, and the need for engagement even more
I thank you very much.
[The prepared statement of Dr. Fedoroff follows:]
Prepared Statement of Nina V. Fedoroff
MAKING SCIENCE DIPLOMACY MORE EFFECTIVE
Chairman Baird, Ranking Member Ehlers, and distinguished members of
the Subcommittee, thank you for this opportunity to discuss science
diplomacy at the U.S. Department of State. The U.S. is recognized
globally for its leadership in science and technology. Our scientific
strength is both a tool of ``soft power''--part of our strategic
diplomatic arsenal--and a basis for creating partnerships with
countries as they move beyond basic economic and social development.
Science diplomacy is a central element of the Secretary's
transformational diplomacy initiative, because science and technology
are essential to achieving stability and strengthening failed and
S&T advances have immediate and enormous influence on national and
global economies, and thus on the international relations between
societies. Nation states, nongovernmental organizations, and
multinational corporations are largely shaped by their expertise in and
access to intellectual and physical capital in science, technology, and
engineering. Even as S&T advances of our modern era provide
opportunities for economic prosperity, some also challenge the relative
position of countries in the world order, and influence our social
institutions and principles. America must remain at the forefront of
this new world by maintaining its technological edge, and leading the
way internationally through science diplomacy and engagement.
The Public Diplomacy Role of Science
Science by its nature facilitates diplomacy because it strengthens
political relationships, embodies powerful ideals, and creates
opportunities for all. The global scientific community embraces
principles Americans cherish: transparency, meritocracy,
accountability, the objective evaluation of evidence, and broad and
frequently democratic participation. Science is inherently democratic,
respecting evidence and truth above all.
Science is also a common global language, able to bridge deep
political and religious divides. Scientists share a common language.
Scientific interactions serve to keep open lines of communication and
cultural understanding. As scientists everywhere have a common
evidentiary external reference system, members of ideologically
divergent societies can use the common language of science to
cooperatively address both domestic and the increasingly trans-national
and global problems confronting humanity in the 21st century. There is
a growing recognition that science and technology will increasingly
drive the successful economies of the 21st century.
Science and technology provide an immeasurable benefit to the U.S.
by bringing scientists and students here, especially from developing
countries, where they see democracy in action, make friends in the
international scientific community, become familiar with American
technology, and contribute to the U.S. and global economy. For example,
in 2005, over 50 percent of physical science and engineering graduate
students and postdoctoral researchers trained in the U.S. have been
foreign nationals. Moreover, many foreign-born scientists who were
educated and have worked in the U.S. eventually progress in their
careers to hold influential positions in ministries and institutions
both in this country and in their home countries. They also contribute
to U.S. scientific and technologic development: According to the
National Science Board's 2008 Science and Engineering Indicators, 47
percent of full-time doctoral science and engineering faculty in U.S.
research institutions were foreign-born.
Finally, some types of science--particularly those that address the
grand challenges in science and technology--are inherently
international in scope and collaborative by necessity. The ITER
Project, an international fusion research and development
collaboration, is a product of the thaw in superpower relations between
Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and U.S. President Ronald Reagan.
This reactor will harness the power of nuclear fusion as a possible new
and viable energy source by bringing a star to Earth. ITER serves as a
symbol of international scientific cooperation among key scientific
leaders in the developed and developing world--Japan, Korea, China,
E.U., India, Russia, and United States--representing 70 percent of the
world's current population.
The recent elimination of funding for FY08 U.S. contributions to
the ITER project comes at an inopportune time as the Agreement on the
Establishment of the ITER International Fusion Energy Organization for
the Joint Implementation of the ITER Project had entered into force
only on October 2007. The elimination of the promised U.S. contribution
drew our allies to question our commitment and credibility in
international cooperative ventures. More problematically, it
jeopardizes a platform for reaffirming U.S. relations with key states.
It should be noted that even at the height of the cold war, the United
States used science diplomacy as a means to maintain communications and
avoid misunderstanding between the world's two nuclear powers--the
Soviet Union and the United States. In a complex multi-polar world,
relations are more challenging, the threats perhaps greater, and the
need for engagement more paramount.
Using Science Diplomacy to Achieve National Security Objectives
The welfare and stability of countries and regions in many parts of
the globe require a concerted effort by the developed world to address
the causal factors that render countries fragile and cause states to
fail. Countries that are unable to defend their people against
starvation, or fail to provide economic opportunity, are susceptible to
extremist ideologies, autocratic rule, and abuses of human rights. As
well, the world faces common threats, among them climate change, energy
and water shortages, public health emergencies, environmental
degradation, poverty, food insecurity, and religious extremism. These
threats can undermine the national security of the United States, both
directly and indirectly. Many are blind to political boundaries,
becoming regional or global threats.
The United States has no monopoly on knowledge in a globalizing
world and the scientific challenges facing humankind are enormous.
Addressing these common challenges demands common solutions and
necessitates scientific cooperation, common standards, and common
goals. We must increasingly harness the power of American ingenuity in
science and technology through strong partnerships with the science
community in both academia and the private sector, in the U.S. and
abroad among our allies, to advance U.S. interests in foreign policy.
There are also important challenges to the ability of states to
supply their populations with sufficient food. The still-growing human
population, rising affluence in emerging economies, and other factors
have combined to create unprecedented pressures on global prices of
staples such as edible oils and grains. Encouraging and promoting the
use of contemporary molecular techniques in crop improvement is an
essential goal for U.S. science diplomacy.
An essential part of the war on terrorism is a war of ideas. The
creation of economic opportunity can do much more to combat the rise of
fanaticism than can any weapon. The war of ideas is a war about
rationalism as opposed to irrationalism. Science and technology put us
firmly on the side of rationalism by providing ideas and opportunities
that improve people's lives. We may use the recognition and the
goodwill that science still generates for the United States to achieve
our diplomatic and developmental goals. Additionally, the Department
continues to use science as a means to reduce the proliferation of the
weapons of mass destruction and prevent what has been dubbed `brain
drain.' Through cooperative threat reduction activities, former weapons
scientists redirect their skills to participate in peaceful,
collaborative international research in a large variety of scientific
fields. In addition, new global efforts focus on improving biological,
chemical, and nuclear security by promoting and implementing best
scientific practices as a means to enhance security, increase global
partnerships, and create sustainability.
The Office of the Science and Technology Adviser (STAS) is actively
involved in long-term strategic planning and dialogues about the
importance of science, engineering, and technology to the future
security our nation. The STAS Global Dialogues on Emerging Science and
Technology have focused on emerging technology outside of the U.S. The
most recent conference this March focused on the development of
geographic information systems for sustainable development in Africa
and will promote greater U.S.-African regional cooperation on this
Another broad Department initiative has been the Iraqi Virtual
Science Library. The Iraqi Virtual Science Library (IVSL), launched on
May 3, 2006, is a digital portal that provides 80 percent of Iraqi
universities and research institutes with access to an outstanding
collection of millions of full text articles from over 17,000 premier
scientific and engineering journals and their archives, in addition to
technical content and educational resources through an innovative open-
source Internet platform developed with Sun Microsystems. Its goal is
to help rebuild the educational and scientific infrastructure in Iraq
and reintegrate Iraqi scientists and engineers into the global
Recognizing the need to rebuild the science and engineering
infrastructure in Iraq, a group of American Association for the
Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science & Technology Policy Fellows began
the IVSL (https://ivsl.org) project in 2004. The IVSL is now an
interagency collaboration with members from the U.S. Departments of
State and Defense. The project is funded by the Defense Threat
Reduction Agency, the U.S. State Department, and the Civilian Research
and Development Foundation, the generous donations of publishing
companies and professional societies, and partnerships with the U.S.
National Academy of Sciences, other departments and agencies of the
U.S. Government, Sun Microsystems, the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology, Useful Utilities, and Vitalect Technologies.
STAS has been also closely involved in Project Horizon, in
partnership with other bureaus at State, as well as the DOD, USAID, the
intelligence community, and other U.S. technical agencies. Project
Horizon is a strategic, scenario-based planning project to focus on the
future of 21st century global affairs and transformational diplomacy.
The purposes of Project Horizon are threefold. First, it is to develop
strategic interagency capabilities in which the U.S. Government should
consider investing in to prepare for the threats and opportunities that
will face the Nation over the next 20 years, including building and
integrating our operational capacity to respond to contingencies and
support country transitions effectively. Second, it is to provide
participating agencies with a scenario-planning tool set that can be
used to support both internal agency planning and planning across
agencies. Third, it is to provide a starting point for an
institutionalized interagency planning process. Project Horizon
anticipates that the Department of State will have a critical need to
strengthen the ability of the Department to focus on shaping the
environment for our international relations. Science, technology, and
engineering are key components of the Horizon blueprint for the future
of the Department's statecraft.
Increasing Science Literacy at State
Just as we may use S&T diplomacy outside of State, it is also
important to build science literacy within the Department of State and
USAID in order to maintain our ``intellectual security.'' Our diplomats
will be called upon increasingly to exhibit science, engineering, and
technology expertise and presence in fulfillment of their duties.
As the Secretary of State's Advisory Committee on Transformational
Diplomacy noted, the Department of State should expand its investment
in science, engineering, and technology expertise in order to enhance
its presence and global engagement in the formulation of new
international laws, standards, and practices in emerging scientific
fields such as climate change, genetics, and nanotechnology. We seek to
increase the number of scientists in the Department through promotion
and coordination of the American Association for the Advancement of
Science Diplomacy Fellowships (30 fellows for 2007-2008), professional
science society fellowships (two fellows), and Jefferson Science
Fellowships (eight for 2007-2008). The Department is also actively
promoting the Embassy Science Fellows Program (37 from seven agencies
in 33 posts in 2007) to place scientists in posts overseas, and
developing science, engineering, and technology student internships at
the Department of State. These initiatives provide important technical
capacity within the Department, and STAS is actively working, in
partnership with the Bureau of Oceans, Environment, and Science (OES),
to make scientific, engineering, and technical capacity more widely
accessible to the Department and overseas embassies and missions.
The Department should expect all Foreign Service officers and other
officials of the Department and Agency for International Development to
achieve a minimum level of scientific literacy and awareness in matters
relating to foreign policy to perform their duties effectively. This is
obvious for issues such as global health, nanotechnology, space and
advanced research, environment, and energy, but comes into play in
other ways as well. Science literacy is also essential to understanding
and dealing with issues such as arms control and nonproliferation,
including chemical and nuclear weapons and their delivery systems, and
for counter-terrorism. The STAS office is working with the Foreign
Service Institute to broaden science literacy within the Foreign
Finally, STAS provides appropriate advice to policy-makers in the
Department on emerging scientific issues, and to help reach political
consensus on challenging issues. It does so by bringing together
scientists within the State Department, other agencies, the private
sector, and the academic communities.
THE ROLE OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY AT USAID
Development can directly support diplomacy and science is an
integral part of development. The foci of our foreign assistance are
building self-sustaining economies and poverty alleviation,
transforming agriculture and resolving food insecurity, solving global
health problems, climate and environment, as well as building democracy
and supporting the rule of law. Science and technology have a role to
play in all of these.
Science, engineering, and technology are eagerly desired by
developing countries and remain among the most admired aspects of
American society. Access to S&T is a key component of innovation, which
in turn, is a key component of economic competitiveness in all
countries, at every stage of development. Investments in science and
technology have long been recognized as a key element of development
strategies to lift people out of poverty and onto a path of self-
sufficiency and sustainable growth.
Enhancing Science at USAID
Nearly all aspects of development require science and technology or
would benefit from them, and this will only grow in the future. Yet
USAID has suffered steep declines in S&T capacity, staffing, and
funding, particularly in overseas missions, where such knowledge is
crucial to the development of foreign assistance programs that fully
respond to local needs. In parallel, so too has the Agency's support
for research to develop a new generation of technologies and practices
to address these emerging or deepening problems of development. These
shortfalls have hurt the Agency's ability to achieve its mission.
The State Department's Science Adviser's recent additional
appointment as the Science Adviser to the USAID Administrator
highlights the Agency's recognition of the importance of S&T to
development, and emphasizes the need to ensure that that U.S.
Government is using the best scientific and technological information
to solve the world's development challenges. Solving such challenges
pays important dividends to the American people.
To address the science and technology issues at the Department of
State and USAID and to link policy initiatives with foreign assistance
programs, the STAS office is transforming into a joint State
Department-USAID Science Diplomacy unit to more effectively engage
scientists, engineers, and a variety of technical experts in meeting
our diplomatic and development goals and unite STAS' dual roles to the
Secretary and the USAID Administrator.
The mission of this office will be to deliver the kind of
scientific and technical expertise required by a country to address the
critical challenges that threaten it. It will focus on emerging, as
well as fragile and failing states in need of technical and scientific
expertise. The office will call on the U.S. academic, industrial and
USG S&T sector, constituting working groups of scientists, engineers
and other technical personnel to address development problems. Its
purpose is to ensure that the use of science and technology achieves
our goals in public diplomacy, increases the efficacy of our foreign
assistance programs, and meets our foreign policy objectives of
transformational diplomacy and stabilization of the international
THE ROLE OF STAS RELATIVE TO OES
The State Department's Science and Technology Adviser to the
Secretary is one of the Department's principal interlocutors with the
national and international scientific community. The Adviser seeks
counsel and assistance from the community on foreign policy based
science and technology initiatives at the Department of State, but also
serves to inform the community of such initiatives, and provide a venue
STAS helps ensure that scientific issues receive attention at
senior levels of the Department, including the Secretary. The Adviser
provides accurate advice to the Department to help officials understand
emerging scientific issues and inform U.S. positions on issues, such as
biotechnology and climate change. The Adviser also ensures access for
the Department to the expertise and resources of the scientific
The Science Adviser works closely with OES and with other bureaus
and offices within the State Department on a variety of issues, from
promoting international cooperation on science, engineering, and
technology, to meeting with delegations, and crafting policy for
international meetings. STAS is both a resource and a collaborator for
OES and other and functional and regional State Department bureaus.
Most importantly, the Adviser is a conduit for scientific
information to the leadership of the Department. STAS advises and
receives policy advice from the Secretary of State, the Deputy
Secretary, the Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs (G) and
OES Assistant Secretary, on all science, environment, health,
technology, engineering, and related research and development
activities, and issues that have foreign policy implications. STAS also
provides scientific and technical advice and counsel to other Under
Secretaries, regional and functional Assistant Secretaries, and other
senior staff throughout the Department on issues that involve a
scientific, engineering, or technology component, in partnership with
STAS' ROLE IN AGENCY, NGO, & PRIVATE SECTOR COORDINATION
STAS plays a key coordination role for State in its relationship
with the NGO community on scientific, engineering, and technology
topics. STAS works actively with professional and scientific
organizations, such as the American Association for the Advancement of
Science, and the National Academies of Science, Medicine, and
Engineering. These relationships provide the Department of State and
the Agency for International Development access to the best intellects
in the field, and to the frontiers of science.
STAS also maintains close working relationships with the other USG
agencies that deal with science- and technology-based issues,
particularly, with the White House Office of Science and Technology
Policy (OSTP), the National Science and Technology Council within the
White House, the National Science Foundation, and the National
Institutes of Health, and speaks for the Department in its dealings
with those agencies. The Adviser has met with many of her direct
counterparts at the Departments of Agriculture, Energy, and Defense,
for example, to share ideas about areas of common interest and concern,
and to pursue collaborative opportunities.
Finally, STAS is an important link to the private sector, both
companies and foundations. Such partnerships leverage State Department
and USAID resources to achieve common goals.
Thank you again for allowing me to testify on this important topic.
Biography for Nina V. Fedoroff
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has named Dr. Nina V.
Fedoroff to be her new Science and Technology Adviser. Dr. Fedoroff is
the Willaman Professor of Life Sciences and Evan Pugh Professor in the
Biology Department and the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences,
Pennsylvania State University.
Dr. Fedoroff is a leading geneticist and molecular biologist who
has contributed to the development of modern techniques used to study
and modify plants. She received her Ph.D. in molecular biology from the
Rockefeller University in 1972. In 1978, she became a staff member at
the Carnegie Institution of Washington and a faculty member in the
Biology Department at Johns Hopkins University. In 1995 Dr. Fedoroff
joined the faculty of the Pennsylvania State University, where she
served as the founding Director of the Huck Institutes of the Life
Dr. Fedoroff has done fundamental research in the molecular biology
of plant genes and transposons, as well on the mechanisms plants use to
adapt to stressful environments. Her book, Mendel in the Kitchen: A
Scientist's View of Genetically Modified Foods, published in 2004 by
the Joseph Henry Press of the National Academy of Science, examines the
scientific and societal issues surrounding the introduction of
genetically modified crops.
Dr. Fedoroff is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the
American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the European Academy of
Sciences. She has served on the National Science Board of the National
Science Foundation. Dr. Fedoroff is a 2006 National Medal of Science
Nina V. Fedoroff did her undergraduate work at Syracuse University,
graduating summa cum laude with a dual major in biology and chemistry.
She attended the Rockefeller University, where she earned her Ph.D. in
molecular biology in 1972. Both her undergraduate research at Syracuse
University and her graduate research on RNA bacteriophage at The
Rockefeller University were supported by grants and fellowships from
the National Science Foundation. Following graduation from The
Rockefeller University, she joined the faculty at the University of
California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and carried out research on nuclear
In 1974 Fedoroff received fellowships from the Damon Runyan-Walter
Winchell Cancer Research Fund and the National Institutes of Health
(NIH) for postdoctoral work, first at UCLA and then in the Department
of Embryology of the Carnegie Institution of Washington in Baltimore.
Working in the laboratory of Donald Brown, Fedoroff pioneered in DNA
sequencing, determining the nucleotide sequence of the first complete
gene. In 1978, Fedoroff became a staff member at the Carnegie
Institution of Washington and a faculty member in the Biology
Department at Johns Hopkins University. Her research focus changed to
the isolation and molecular characterization of maize transposable
elements. The isolation of the maize transposons, discovered
genetically by Barbara McClintock in the 1940s, was achieved in the
early 1980s. In subsequent years, Fedoroffs lab showed that the maize
transposons were active in a variety of other plants, developed
transposon tagging systems, and studied the eipgenetic regulation of
In 1995 Fedoroff joined the faculty of the Pennsylvania State
University as Willaman Professor of Life Sciences. From 1995 to 2002,
she served as the Director of the Biotechnology Institute and she
organized and served as the first Director of the Life Sciences
Consortium (now the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences), a seven-
college organization devoted to the promotion of multi-disciplinary
research and teaching in the life sciences. In 2002, Fedoroff was named
an Evan Pugh Professor of the Pennsylvania State University and in
2003, she became a member of the External Faculty of the Santa Fe
Institute. Fedoroff's current work is directed at understanding the
genetic organization and molecular dynamics of plant stress and hormone
responses and makes use of DNA microarray expression profiling, reverse
genetics, and theoretical approaches to the analysis of large data
sets. Fedoroff has published two books and numerous papers in
Fedoroff has served on the editorial boards of the Proceedings of
the National Academy of Sciences, Science, Gene, Plant Journal and
Perspectives in Biology and Medicine and currently chairs the NAS
Council's Publications Committee. She served on the board of the
International Science Foundation and the International Scientific
Advisory Board of the Englehardt Institute of Molecular Biology in
Moscow. She has been a member of the Council of the National Academy of
Sciences, the Board of Directors of the Genetics Society of America,
the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Board of
Trustees of BIOSIS and the National Science Board, which oversees the
National Science Foundation. She is currently a member of the Science
Steering Committee of the Santa Fe Institute and the Board of Directors
of the Sigma-Aldrich Chemical Company.
Fedoroff has received several awards and honors, including an NIH
Merit Award, a 10-year research grant that supported her work from 1989
to 1999. She also received the University of Chicago's Howard Taylor
Ricketts Award in 1990, the New York Academy of Sciences' Outstanding
Contemporary Woman Scientist award in 1992, and the Sigma Xi's McGovern
Science and Society Medal in 1997, and Syracuse University's Arents
Pioneer Medal in 2003. She is a member the American Academy of Arts and
Sciences, the European Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of
Microbiology and the National Academy of Sciences.
Chairman Baird. Thank you, Dr. Fedoroff. Mr. Miotke.
STATEMENT OF MR. JEFF MIOTKE, DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR
SCIENCE, SPACE, AND HEALTH, BUREAU OF OCEANS, ENVIRONMENT, AND
SCIENCE, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Mr. Miotke. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and Ranking Member
Neugebauer, and distinguished Members of this subcommittee. I
welcome the opportunity to talk a little bit about how
important S&T is to diplomacy, although I have to say I am now
a little at a loss for words, since your own comments and Dr.
Fedoroff's have pretty much stolen my thunder.
And Dr. Marburger, as usual, has described the role of the
State Department better than I can. I am going to be asking him
to write my work requirement statement. So, I got myself in
trouble. Nonetheless, I am a diplomat. I get paid by the word,
so I am going to read my statement in any case.
My last overseas tour in Hungary was a great example of the
power of S&T to build bridges. My Ambassador there, Nancy
Brinker, who many of you may know from the Komen Foundation,
orchestrated an impressive breast cancer awareness campaign. GE
was generous in its support of the initiative, making medical
equipment and experts available. And so, at the very time that
we were working with Hungary in preparation for the coalition
forces to move into Iraq, Ambassador Brinker engineered a
massive outpouring of support for the Embassy, and I believe
that had very real implications for the level of support that
we enjoyed from Hungary.
As Dr. Fedoroff has noted also, S&T is also a fundamental
pillar of development. Most, if not all countries have realized
that to create jobs and be competitive, they must accelerate
the development of their knowledge and technology sectors. Our
cooperation with them supports the establishment of science-
based industries, encourages investments, highlights the
importance of education, and promotes international dialogue on
issues of global import. By hearing our expertise in an area of
comparative strength, the United States demonstrates to other
nations that we are interested in seeing them develop and
flourish. This helps alleviate some of the misconceptions about
Science also drives diplomacy as well. This is certainly
the case in the full range of my Bureau's issues, be it avian
influenza, persistent organic pollutants, climate change, or
nanotechnology. In each case, the scientific community alerted
us to potential problems or concerns. That awareness then
spawned an international process. As the international dialogue
proceeds, the scientific community redefines and updates the
parameters of the problem. Ideally, this ongoing scientific
process helps achieve a consensus on an issue, or at least
helps to narrow the political divide.
In the best known example, growing concern about climate
change resulted not just in the negotiations under the U.N.
Framework Convention on Climate Change, but also, in the
periodic assessment process of the Intergovernmental Panel on
The Department is applying S&T diplomacy in a strategic
manner. In July 2005, Secretary Rice approved an initiative to
increase S&T outreach to the countries in the Middle East,
North Africa, and South Asia. The goal of this strategy is to
enhance our relationships, to foster development in those
countries by engaging more fully with their science and
technology communities, and by reaching out, in particular, to
women and youth.
In approving this strategy, the Secretary recognized the
promise of S&T to both advance American national interests and
promote the freedom and dignity of others. Science and science
education can play an important role in fostering dialogue,
increasing innovation, and addressing poverty. S&T empowers
people to raise themselves up by developing their own human and
intellectual capacity. This empowerment gives hope, a natural
enemy of extremism.
I am pleased to say that S&T diplomacy has been an all-
hands effort at State. In addition to launching the Muslim
Outreach Strategy, the Secretary has signed several S&T
agreements, including Bulgaria and India, just to name a
couple. Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global
Affairs, Paula Dobriansky, was the architect of our Muslim S&T
Outreach strategy, and she has led a number of S&T delegations,
including the first to Libya since that country renounced
nuclear weapons. OES Assistant Secretary Claudia McMurray has
led S&T delegations to Morocco and Libya as well. Ambassador
Reno Harnish, the OES Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, has
been extremely active speaking on S&T issues in the United
States and abroad. And Dr. Fedoroff, of course, has been an
invaluable addition to the S&T team at State.
I thank you again for this opportunity, and I look forward
to any questions you might have.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Miotke follows:]
Prepared Statement of Jeff Miotke
Mr. Chairman and Members of this committee, thank you for giving me
the opportunity to address the important topic of international science
and technology cooperation.
The Department of State (DOS) engages governments, business,
universities, non-governmental and international organizations, and
individuals from every region in the world to promote scientific
cooperation and education. To accomplish this, DOS applies a suite of
diplomatic tools including: formal bilateral science and technology
(S&T) cooperation agreements that facilitate international
collaboration by USG technical agencies, promotion and support of S&T
entrepreneurs and innovators, scientist and student exchanges,
workshops, conferences, meetings, public-private partnerships, seed
funding for scientific programs and innovation activities, and
production of educational materials, including films, websites,
posters, and cards.
Our own activities and cooperation with other USG agencies cover a
wide range of scientific topics, including alternative energies, health
and medicine, environment and marine research, nanotechnology, space
exploration, weather, seismology, and geology among many others. In
carrying out its science diplomacy, DOS makes a special effort to
include women, youth, and emerging leaders as beneficiaries, and in
recent years, has supported programs focused on capacity building,
entrepreneurship, outreach to scientific communities in Muslim-majority
countries, and the developing world.
Bilateral S&T Cooperation Agreements
Science and science-based approaches make tangible improvements in
people's lives. Strategically applied, S&T outreach serves as a
powerful tool to reach important segments of civil society. Sound
science is a critical foundation for sound policy-making and ensures
that the international community develops reliable international
benchmarks. Science is global in nature--international cooperation is
essential if we are to find solutions to global issues like climate
change and combating emerging infectious diseases. International
scientific cooperation promotes good will, strengthens political
relationships, helps foster democracy and civil society, and advances
the frontiers of knowledge for the benefit of all.
The Bureau of Oceans, Environment, and Science (OES) in DOS pursues
such efforts through the establishment of bilateral and multilateral
S&T cooperation agreements. There are now over forty of these framework
agreements in place, or in various stages of negotiation, in every
region of the world--from Asia and Africa, to Europe, the Middle East,
and Latin America. These agreements:
Strengthen bilateral, regional, and global
Advance broader U.S. foreign policy goals
Provide for protection and allocation of intellectual
property rights and benefit sharing
Encourage public and private engagement
Foster science-based decision-making
Facilitate the exchange of scientific results and
access for researchers
Address taxation issues
And respond to the complex set of issues associated
with economic development, security, and regional stability
These bilateral agreements have significant indirect benefits
including contributing to solutions and initiatives that encourage
sustainable economic growth, promoting good will, strengthening
political relationships, helping foster democracy and civil society,
supporting the role of women in science and society, promoting science
education for youth, and advancing the frontiers of knowledge for the
benefit of all.
The agreements are instrumental in advancing our diplomatic
relationships with key countries. They bring leading U.S. Government
scientists together with foreign counterparts and policy-makers to
discuss the important role of cooperative scientific endeavors in
advancing, for example, our understanding of key elements of the
climate system. Through our bilateral relationship with Russia, to cite
one such project, we have advanced the state of research on the impacts
of climate change in the Arctic--a key system in which we are working
to address important gaps in knowledge. In bringing senior officials
together to discuss areas of common concern, the bilateral partnerships
have helped to demonstrate how much we have in common and have thereby
advanced our diplomatic relationships and helped us achieve our
Promotion of International Cooperation
The International Space Station Agreement and the International
Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) projects are multilateral
projects the Department supports that have the promise of broadening
knowledge, strengthening capabilities, and extending benefits to the
United States and our international partners. Disseminating knowledge
on the use of remote sensing capabilities in developing countries and
negotiation of nanotechnology standards for emerging products and
services in member nations of the Organization for Economic Cooperation
and Development (OECD) are included in the wide range of subjects
supported by DOS.
The Global Positioning System (GPS) is one of the greatest gifts of
the American people to the world. OES works with the USG interagency
community and foreign space-based satellite navigation providers to
promote compatibility and inter-operability of other provider's signals
and services with GPS for the benefit of users worldwide. A GPS-Galileo
Cooperation Agreement with the European Union and Joint Statements on
GPS Cooperation with Japan, India, Australia, and Russia are producing
tangible results such as common signal design and protecting United
States national security interests.
OES works closely with the United Nations (UN) Office on Outer
Space Affairs and other interested nations to form a voluntary
International Committee on Global Navigation Satellite Systems (ICG)
and related Providers Forum. This multilateral venue provides an
opportunity for discussing and resolving spectrum compatibility and
inter-operability issues, considering guidelines for the broadcast of
natural disaster alarms via Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS),
seeking ways to enhance performance of GNSS services, promoting GNSS
use among developing countries, and coordinating work among
international scientific organizations for GNSS applications worldwide.
OES also protects U.S. security and global economic growth by
promoting global health. Global health policy is firmly grounded in a
scientific understanding of the infectious, environmental and potential
terrorist threats to public health worldwide. OES works with agencies
throughout the U.S. Government to facilitate policy-making regarding
environmental health, infectious disease, health in post-conflict
situations, and surveillance and response, bioterrorism, defense of the
food supply and health security. OES works on global health with other
U.S. Government agencies, including the National Security Council,
Homeland Security Council, Departments of Health and Human Services,
Homeland Security, Agriculture, Defense, USAID, and intelligence
agencies. OES also works with the United Nations (especially the World
Health Organization) and other international organizations, the private
sector, non-governmental organizations, and foreign governments.
DOS performs an important role in coordinating United States
engagement in the scientific and technical organizations of the UN and
other multilateral fora including the Arctic Council, the International
Council for the Exploration of the Seas, and more. Often, the scope of
scientific endeavors and research interests requires DOS, due to
limited financial resources, to leverage its resources with other
governments. For example, with National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration (NOAA) leadership and DOS cooperation, the United States
hosted the First Earth Observation Summit in 2003, with 34
participating nations, to generate international support for creating a
comprehensive Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS). This
ambitious undertaking involves coordinating disparate Earth observation
systems across the world in order to improve our collective ability to
address critical environmental, economic, and societal concerns. The
now 72-member governments, including the European Commission, and 46
participating organizations of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO)
met in Cape Town in November 2007 to assess progress.
Other parts of the Department of State are similarly engaged in S&T
related cooperation. For example, the bureaus under the leadership of
Acting Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security John
Rood has, in cooperation with the Bureau for Near Eastern Affairs, have
been focused on redirecting scientists through engagement in new
programs, whether in the Middle East, North Africa or Central Asia. In
Central Asia, cooperation is focused on post Soviet demilitarization of
science infrastructure following the model of the Civilian Research and
Development Foundation (CRDF) and the International Science and
Technology Center (ISTC). Cooperation in Eurasia involves the
Department of Energy, which since 1994 has funded over 650 projects at
over 200 research institutes in Russia, Kazakhstan, Georgia, Armenia,
and Uzbekistan under its Global Initiatives for Proliferation
Prevention (GIPP) program to provide meaningful, sustainable, non-
weapons-related work for former Soviet weapons of mass destruction
scientists, engineers, and technicians through commercially viable
The GIPP program provides seed funds for the identification and
maturation of technology and facilities interactions between U.S.
industry and former Soviet institutes for developing industrial
partnerships, joint ventures, and other mutually beneficial peaceful
arrangements. The program involves the active participation of ten DOE
national laboratories and the DOE Kansas City Plant. The national
laboratories provide technical direction, project managements, and
intellectual property management assistance. U.S. industry partners
bring the resources and know-how to bring project results to market.
Industry partners are engaged in specific projects through Cooperative
Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs) with the participating DOE
national laboratories. Cooperation also is underway with and USDA in
the process of moving weapons scientists to civilian science roles.
Cooperation is also conducted with DOD in nonproliferation as well as
the destruction of nuclear missile silos.
The State Department's Public Diplomacy/Public Affairs section
supports many activities related to S&T diplomacy, especially in its
Education and Cultural Affairs bureau. Most effective have been
visitors' programs and other exchanges, the Fulbright S&T scholarships,
and more recently grant competitions for science and technology
education and women's scientists mentoring programs. They have also
provided seed money for a number of bilateral and multilateral efforts,
most notably the 2007 Kuwait Conference of Women Leaders in Science,
Technology, and Engineering.
To address trans-boundary environmental issues, and to support
officers at U.S. embassies working on OES issues, the Department
established 12 regional environmental Hubs, located in embassies around
the world. The Hub concept is based on the idea that trans-boundary
environmental problems can best be addressed through regional
cooperation. The regional environmental officer's role complements the
traditional bilateral Environment, Science, Technology and Health
(ESTH) officers stationed in U.S. embassies in many countries of the
world. Rather than dealing with a single country, Hub officers engage
with several countries of a region on a particular issue, with the aim
of promoting regional environmental cooperation, sharing of
environmental data, and adoption of environmentally sound policies that
will benefit all countries in that area. The Hubs work closely with
other USG agencies and support their efforts by raising key issues at
the diplomatic level. They also cooperate with non-governmental
organizations on environmental activities within their region. In
addition, there are ESTH officers working with the U.S. Mission to the
UN and the U.S. Mission to the EU.
OES works closely with a number of USG technical agencies on the
international aspects of climate change policy. Under OSTP leadership,
OES has played a key role in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change (IPCC) since its inception, through official contributions and
key leadership positions in IPCC report development, as well as through
the contributions of many U.S. scientists and experts. Other examples
of DOS cooperation on climate issues include:
Bilateral climate partnerships with 15 countries and
regional organizations that, together with the United States,
account for almost 80 percent of global greenhouse gas
emissions. These partnerships now encompass over 400 individual
activities with Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Central
America (Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras,
Nicaragua, and Panama), the European Union, Germany, India,
Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, South Korea, Russia, and
South Africa. These partnerships now encompass over 400
The Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and
Climate, which focuses on acceleration and deployment of clean
energy technologies, and includes Australia, Canada, China,
India, Japan, the Republic of Korea and the United States.
Oceanographic exploration in the 20th century has completely
transformed our view of the deep ocean. Today, scientists know that the
deep sea is teeming with life and that its bio-diversity is comparable
to the world's richest tropical rain forests. The advent of new
exploratory technologies is leading to the discovery of ecosystems
which are extraordinary in nature, often hosting species found nowhere
else on the planet.
For the fishing industry also, the unreachable is now within reach.
Advances in bottom fishing technology mean that it is now possible to
fish the deep sea's rugged floors and canyons. This has led to an
urgent call for action within the international community to ensure
that deep-sea bottom fishing on the high seas is monitored and
regulated to protect these unique and fragile areas. The Department of
State, in collaboration with NOAA, has facilitated science and
technology partnerships enabling more effective fishery regulation to
Outreach to the Muslim S&T Community
OES is finalizing S&T cooperation agreements with Kazakhstan and
Azerbaijan that will enable an increase in the scope of S&T cooperation
in the region. Funding, and how we successfully leverage the ability of
those countries to finance science exchange, will largely determine the
pace of activities in terms of new programs.
U.S. S&T capability remains one of the most admired aspects of
American society around the world, and this is particularly true in
predominantly Muslim countries. Public opinion polling indicates that
people view American science and technology more favorably than
American products, our education system, or even our freedom and
democracy. Young people under thirty find American S&T particularly
Secretary Rice recognizes the promise S&T offers both to advance
American national interests and to promote the freedom and dignity of
others. S&T empowers everyone to raise themselves up by developing
their own human and intellectual capacity. This empowerment gives
hope--a natural enemy of extremism.
In July 2005, Secretary Rice approved a strategic initiative, put
forward by Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs
Paula Dobriansky, to increase U.S. outreach to countries in the Middle
East, North Africa, and South Asia. The goal of this strategy is to
enhance our relationships and to foster development in those countries
by engaging more fully with their science and technology communities,
reaching out to women and youth, and increasing collaborative S&T
activities and exchanges. In approving this strategy, the Secretary
recognized the promise of science and technology to both advance
American national interests and promote the freedom and dignity of
others. Science and science education can play an important role in
fostering dialogue, increasing innovation, and addressing poverty.
A wide variety of outcomes have resulted from the implementation of
1. We have recently concluded S&T agreements with Algeria, Morocco,
Libya, and Jordan. We are now finalizing agreements with Kazakhstan,
Saudi Arabia, and Azerbaijan. We've raised our S&T relationship with
Pakistan to a higher level. With Pakistan and Egypt we have the only
two government-to-government S&T funds still in existence.
2. Under Secretary Dobriansky hosted a ``Conference of Women Leaders
in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics'' in Kuwait in
January 2007. The Conference brought together 270 women scientists and
leaders from 18 Arab countries and Turkey, including a 31-member U.S.
delegation that included university presidents, CEO's and an astronaut,
to build the capacity of Muslim majority and developing countries by
focusing on women scientists as a key human resource.
3. Following the Kuwait Conference of Women Leaders in Science,
Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, Under Secretary Dobriansky
approved a body of robust new science partnerships in a wider array of
Muslim-majority countries. We have leveraged resources with others to
begin dozens of new engagements which focus on the transformative
aspects of science diplomacy, including conferences, workshops,
training, educational materials, e-education, science films, technology
accelerators, sustainable laboratory design, and a host of other
4. The S&T cooperation agreement with Libya was the culmination of a
multi-year, multi-faceted effort to acknowledge Libya's historic
decision to renounce nuclear weapons. By forging a new, positive
relationship through science engagement, we hope to enhance our
bilateral relationship and to advance peace and stability.
The suite of agreements which now exist between the United States and
the North African countries of the Maghreb enables the United States
Government and the non-governmental science community to pursue a
vigorous science dialogue with these countries, and permits their
science establishments to reciprocate, both bilaterally and regionally,
as a group. The United States Government will use these instruments to
forge new relationships at the government-to-government level. But the
true vibrancy of a more normalized relationship with Libya comes from
the academic and private sector. We already have significant new
programs to illustrate how this effort is paying off:
Two U.S. universities have teamed up with the
University of Tunis to conduct a North Africa--wide workshop on
nano-structured materials and nanotechnology.
Scientists from the United States and across North
Africa, and around the world, came together in Libya for a
conference which that country hosted on solar and other
alternative energy technologies.
Some 3,000 delegates attended the Washington
International Renewable Energy Conference (WIREC 2008).
Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia were present along with many
government, civil society, and private business leaders from
around the world.
This month mayors and other municipal leaders from
American cities came together in Chicago for the U.S.-Arab
Cities Forum. They will share their insights on attracting
global investment, poverty eradication, clean energy
technologies, and new approaches to providing clean water to
Later this spring, Stanford University and NASA's
Goddard Space Flight Center will install monitoring devices at
Libyan universities in Tripoli and Benghazi that will enable
graduate students to join in an international assessment of
high atmospheric disturbances.
The Fulbright Academy of Science and Technology
brought together Fulbright Scholars and alumni for an annual
meeting in Boston in late February 2008 that included a number
of students from the Middle East and North Africa. A few of
these individuals received Fulbright Grants. OES will be
working with institutions here in the United States and in the
Middle East to increase the number of Arab students studying
the sciences in the United States.
5. OES supports a variety of science-based educational programs in the
Islamic World. One, a Boston-based, educational non-profit NGO,
translated its website, www.greenscreen.org with OES support into
Arabic and French. Teacher guides and other educational materials focus
on developing student skills in multiple subject areas, including
science, mathematics, and environment themes. These materials provide
step-by-step, how-to instructions on carrying out student projects and
scientific experiments to be undertaken in the classroom. The
Greenscreen web portal allows students to share their science-writing
and create linkages with peers domestically and overseas. Thus far, top
countries accessing the site have been the United Arab Emirates, Libya,
Tunisia, and Kuwait.
Stimulating Growth of the S&T Private Sector in the Middle East
The public and private sectors in the United States are respected
for sharing S&T advances and best business practices with the world.
The American way of doing business and our earnest efforts to apply
honest, best practices in business and institutional partnerships
reinforces our attraction to the Islamic World. Our public and private
sector S&T communities are perceived as reliable, non-controversial,
and beneficial to Islamic society.
Technology business accelerators provide entrepreneurs with
reliable partners, provide financial means to create market-ready
products from prototypes, assist in developing business plans, and
attract venture capital interest. The guiding principles of technology
business accelerators make them especially attractive to countries that
want a sense of ownership of the program rather than just being
beneficiaries of traditional foreign assistance programs. OES is
advocating introduction of business technology accelerators that can
provide the United States and cooperating countries with opportunities
to create partnerships that build S&T-based private sectors and
strengthen public institutional ties.
OES is currently working with Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, Algeria,
Tunisia, and Libya on the development of technology business
accelerators and hopes to expand this program to partner countries in
other parts of the world. Elsewhere, OES has on-going dialogues with
South Africa and Vietnam regarding accelerators and has raised the
subject in meetings with the OECD and APEC. Since the promotion of
technological entrepreneurship is of great interest to many partner
countries, discussions on accelerators are frequently associated with
recently signed bilateral agreements on S&T cooperation.
Business focuses aggressively on market drivers for selecting
technologies that can be developed into business opportunities. It
applies proven processes and practices to speed up growth of
technology-based enterprises that are regionally focused and globally
competitive from the outset. Business strives to overcome traditional
barriers to success including lack of access to capital and to markets
firstly by attracting investment and secondly by using innovative
proactive marketing and business development processes in key markets.
Finally, U.S. and local business partners assertively infuse the
appropriate know-how to ensure their success by transferring their
knowledge and advocating its adoption.
U.S. and host country business partnerships are desirable as a
means of sustaining S&T programs because they are guided by the
They are host country-owned and backed by U.S. public
and private partners.
They are business initiatives.
They involve stakeholders from both the governmental
and private sectors.
They are guided by both technology policy and
business development components, frequently have links to
bilateral S&T agreements, and have goals that aim to strengthen
the underlying legal, regulatory and policy framework
supporting S&T business sector development.
They offer opportunities for stakeholders to
commercialize research undertaken at local universities and
They create long-term independence through extensive
knowledge transfer and local capacity building and
infrastructure for S&T business creation and growth.
One case in point that illustrates how S&T cooperation is
integrated into our diplomatic activities in the Middle East is in the
case of Egypt. A wide array of joint United States-Egyptian S&T
research activities that have occurred have been funded under our
bilateral S&T agreement. In addition to the more tangible and pragmatic
S&T benefits observed, both countries have benefited from the cultural
understanding and goodwill these relationships foster. The agreement
continues to play a significant role in a very important bilateral
relationship for the United States. Egypt plays a key role in helping
to ensure a stable Middle East.
Establishing Priorities for S&T International Cooperation
The role of the DOS in international S&T collaboration is to
advance the objectives of the USG, the academic community, and U.S.
commercial interests. The State Department's power rests in its ability
to lay the appropriate ground rules for engagement at the government-
to-government and international level, to serve as a catalyst, and to
use its convening authority effectively. In its role as ``chair'' for
USG international science engagement, OES convenes USG interagency
working groups on S&T cooperation with specific countries. These groups
are composed of representatives from over 20 USG agencies that have on-
going, past or planned activities in those countries. Most interagency
meetings are discretionary and called when S&T policy coordination is
necessary. There are several every week over the course of the year.
Our outreach program to the Muslim world is indicative of the
Department's broad interest in seeing S&T being used as a way to build
bridges, promote development, and enhance U.S. scientific progress and
capacity. Each year the DOS reviews its priority objectives with each
of the regional bureaus to ensure that science and technology is
advancing American national and foreign policy interests and promoting
the freedom and dignity of others. This is followed up with detailed
discussions at the bureau leadership level. Input from our missions
abroad is factored into these deliberations, through the review of
mission-specific strategic planning documents.
DOS also participates on various joint subcommittees of the
National Science and Technology Council including the Joint
Subcommittee on Ocean Science and Technology, and attends meetings of
the National Academy of Sciences and National Research Council's
Studies Boards. DOS finds such mechanisms useful conduits to gather and
disseminate information on international S&T policies and collaborative
Interagency S&T coordination is achieved on both a country-by-
country and regional basis. For example, the scientific response to the
need for a tsunami early warning system in the Indian Ocean and
Caribbean basins, the implementation of a U.S. strategy on GPS, or the
mobilization of ``big science'' programs, such as the International
Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor or the International Space Station,
require coordination along thematic lines and on a regional basis.
Building science collaboration that addresses individual national
concerns and aspirations requires a more intensive effort toward
coordination of agency programs on a bilateral basis, while
concomitantly implementing the strategic vision put forward by the
Secretary of State.
Working with USG Technical Agencies
We enjoy close collaboration with the technical science agencies,
including the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), the
National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration (NOAA), the United States Agency for International
Development (USAID), the National Institutes of Health (NIH) within the
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the National Institute
for Science and Technology (NIST), the Department of Energy (DOE), and
the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) plays an
instrumental role in defining interagency programmatic priorities and
broad budget guidelines for the many global science challenges we face.
OSTP Director Dr. Marburger also serves as our ``Science Minister'' on
some bilateral S&T cooperation committees, and in some meetings with
S&T Ministers from the international community. His team leads the U.S.
delegations to the IPCC as well. The State Department promotes OSTP's
R&D Priorities for 2009 through its international partnerships. The
2009 R&D priorities ``encourage interdisciplinary research efforts on
complex scientific frontiers and strengthen international partnerships
to accelerate the process of science across borders.''
NSF works with DOS to promote S&T cooperation with a number of
countries or regions. These include:
The U.S.-Egypt Joint Fund Program, where NSF manages
nearly half of the entire portfolio of proposals for research
The U.S.-Pakistan Commission on Science and
Technology, where the Director of NSF is the U.S. Co-Chair. NSF
recently funded a linkage from the Global Research and
Education Network node in Singapore to Karachi, Pakistan, where
it connects with the large and developing Research and
Education network in that country.
NSF participated in an assessment trip in the fall of
2003 followed by a number of workshops, notably one on digital
libraries in Rabat, Morocco in January 2007, and one on
nanotechnology in Tunisia in March 2008. The workshops are
scheduled to be broadcast via Digital Video Conferencing (DVC)
to other countries in the region.
NSF staff worked with OES on developing collaboration
with Jordan, with a visit of a staff member in January 2006 and
a two-month science fellowship by another NSF staff member at
the Embassy in Amman. A new NSF funded workshop on
nanotechnology is scheduled for the fall of 2008 in
collaboration with the Government of Jordan. That workshop is
also scheduled to be broadcast via DVC to other countries in
In fulfilling their mission to understand and predict changes in
Earth's environment and conserve and manage coastal and marine
resources to meet our nation's economic, social, and environmental
needs, NOAA undertakes science and technology collaborations globally.
NOAA's science and technology cooperative efforts range across their
capabilities, and in many cases link to their contributions to the
Global Earth Observing System of Systems. Activities include collection
of data on the Earths' atmosphere and oceans, weather forecasts, severe
storm warnings and climate monitoring, fisheries management, coastal
restoration and supporting marine commerce.
Examples of NOAA's recent cooperation through bilateral science and
technology agreements include:
NOAA's National Environmental Satellite, Data, and
Information Service (NESDIS) participated in a bilateral
meeting with Brazil that has led to enhanced cooperation and
data exchange for Earth observations. Key areas of cooperation
include regional cooperation on Earth observations, data
dissemination (especially via GEO-NETCast), continuity of
moderate-resolution space-based land observation, satellite
navigation signals and Global Positioning System (GPS)
applications, weather and climate forecasting, the Pilot
Research Moored Array in the Tropical Atlantic (PIRATA)
network, research on the ionosphere and magnetic anomalies,
Earth Observation space projects, satellite reception and
dissemination, and training on the use and application of Earth
NOAA, along with the Deputy Secretary of Commerce,
participated in a visit to Libya in 2007, setting the stage for
cooperation on integrated watershed management to prevent
impacts on coastal ecosystems from land based sources of
Several NOAA offices recently participated in a
bilateral meeting with South Africa, and are discussing
opportunities for further collaboration to improve climate
change models and fill gaps in oceanic and atmospheric data
collection in the South African region.
USAID plays a significant role in integrating the products of S&T
to meet the challenges of economic, environmental, and social
development. USAID supports research primarily in the areas of
agriculture and health and is directed towards applied problems. The
technologies and results from research and development supported by
other federal agencies and the private sector is, however, integrated
across the Agency's work in areas such as information technology,
infrastructure, climate change, energy, clean water, environmental
management, social safety nets and education. Among federal agencies,
USAID has the unique mandate for applied work on the ground in more
than seventy developing countries.
USAID leverages the expertise of U.S. universities, private
companies, and other federal agencies in partnerships with governments,
research institutions, and the private sector in developing countries.
In recent years, USAID funding cuts have greatly scaled back the
Agency's support for training in science and technology compared to the
1980s. The Agency still supports modest programs of capacity building
as integral to its agricultural research and higher education
USAID is seen as an international leader in areas such as
agricultural biotechnology, contraceptives research, nutrition,
vaccines, and the application of geospatial information to climate
analysis and response. USAID is one of the only donors to support the
development of improved crops using modern biotechnology, providing
broader access to this technology by scientists, and eventually small
farmers in Africa and Asia. USAID is also a major donor to the
Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), a
network of research centers in developing countries which formed the
basis of the Green Revolution.
Rising international food prices due to rising food demands
threatens the welfare of the world's poor. USAID's leadership in the
CGIAR will be a critical component of an international effort to raise
productivity and meet this growing food demand. USAID's program to
apply geospatial information technology to improve disaster response,
weather forecasting, and monitoring of fires, ocean tides, and air
quality in Central America was highlighted as an early accomplishment
under GEOSS and is now expanding with USAID support to Africa.
USAID invests in bilateral scientific cooperation between the U.S.
and Pakistani research and engineering communities. A series of some 40
cooperative R&D efforts, involving several hundred researchers and
students on both sides, focus on areas that contribute to broader USAID
development objectives in public health, agriculture, water and the
environment, education and other sectors. The program, implemented by
the National Academy of Sciences, is a true bilateral partnership, with
USAID funding U.S. research partners and the Government of Pakistan
funding the Pakistani scientists and engineers. All of this activity is
implemented under the auspices of an S&T cooperation agreement
negotiated by OES.
Over the past several decades, the NIH has supported research and
research training programs that have resulted in the growth of a
worldwide community of global health scientists. Many of these NIH-
trained and/or NIH-funded scientists are making remarkable scientific
advances and discoveries, becoming worldwide leaders in the medical
research enterprise. Life expectancy and prosperity are generally
increasing across the developing world, in part due to the success of
biomedical advances directly or indirectly supported by the NIH.
NIH's Fogarty International Center is specifically dedicated to
advancing global health by supporting and facilitating medical research
conducted by U.S. and foreign investigators, building partnerships
between U.S. and health research institutions worldwide, and training
the next generation of scientists to address global health needs.
Although significant advances have been made through the efforts of the
NIH, there are still many unknown global health research questions that
need to be answered, before we can adequately address the immense
challenges from infectious diseases, and the growing global burden of
non-communicable diseases. These questions are particularly relevant
given the increasing incidence of infectious and non-communicable
diseases in low and middle-income countries, where science diplomacy
could be most helpful for the United States.
Because the United States is a melting pot of immigrants from every
continent, we can make substantive gains in our own nation's health
only through a better understanding of the predilection for diseases
from ancestral populations abroad. Moreover, as life expectancy and the
prevalence of life-style related chronic diseases increase in most
foreign countries, the research questions that are most relevant in the
United States are those that are also relevant in foreign countries,
often with large populations such as India or China, wherein research
findings conducted through collaborative work with U.S. and foreign
investigators can more quickly lead to biomedical breakthroughs. For
many reasons, the future health and well-being in the United States
will be increasingly dependent on strengthening existing, and
developing new international research collaborations.
NIH's extramural support for health research conducted by foreign
investigators is estimated at more than $500 million per year.
Additionally, the NIH Visiting Program provides intramural research
opportunities for non-citizen scientists to train and conduct
collaborative research at the NIH. Annually, more than 3,000 foreign
scientists from over 100 countries worldwide conduct research in the
basic and clinical science laboratories on the NIH campus in Bethesda,
Maryland, and in several field units around the country.
Likewise, we work closely with the Departments of Agriculture,
Energy, Interior, and Health and Human Services on related research,
and climate change, that permeates all of our S&T relationships, from
the ITER fusion energy large-scale collaborative project to a
widespread interest in biofuels and other renewable energy sources.
Clean coal R&D is a major interest in China and India. In all these
areas, we work closely with these agencies to promote S&T cooperation
with our foreign partners. All of these agencies and others are
important members of our technical working group that convenes
frequently to assess new S&T agreements and programmatic activities.
Additionally, we encourage initiatives such as the National Nuclear
Security Administration's unique partnership arrangement between its
Cooperative Border Security Program (CBSP) and Jordan's Royal
Scientific Society (RSS) and Cooperative Monitoring Center in Amman,
Jordan (CMC-A). CBSP partnered with RSS in 2002 to establish the CMC-A.
The CMC-A is a forum in the Middle East for regional experts and
officials to explore and adapt technology-based methodologies and
solutions for enhancing regional cooperation on security and security-
related issues. It assists official and technical experts in the Middle
East to acquire cooperative monitoring concepts and technology-based
skills and tools necessary to assess, design, analyze, and implement
projects related to Nonproliferation, Border Control, Strategic Trade
Control, Public Health, and Environmental Security. CBSP is working
directly with the CMC-A to help establish cadres of technical
specialists and experts in the focus areas of Nonproliferation, Border
Control and Strategic Trade Control.
EPA's Office of International Affairs supports several major
international partnerships and initiatives that build the capacity of
other countries to address key environmental threats and that help to
reduce the risk of trans-boundary transport of pollutants to the United
States. EPA works closely with DOS, USAID, and other USG partner
agencies to advance work under these partnerships. EPA's efforts
The Partnership for Clean Fuels and Vehicles (PCFV),
which EPA launched during the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable
Development. This multilateral partnership seeks to eliminate
the use of leaded gasoline worldwide, reduce the level of
sulfur in fuels, and promote the use of cleaner vehicle
technologies. Technical and policy cooperation under PCFV
helped move countries in sub-Saharan Africa to phase out the
refining or importing leaded gasoline as of 2006, thus
significantly reducing the exposure of 767 million people (42
percent of whom are children) to this toxic substance. As of
March 2008, only 16 countries in the world still used leaded
gasoline. The Partnership has also designed and implemented
diesel retrofit technology projects in some of the world's
largest and most polluted cities. These projects are designed
to build support for introducing low-sulfur diesel fuel and
demonstrate the emissions reductions that can be achieved in
older vehicles with retrofit technologies combined with low-
EPA has played a key role in developing and
implementing the UNEP (United Nations Environment Program)
Global Mercury Partnership. This Partnership, which began in
February 2005, promotes the protection of human health and the
global environment by reducing or eliminating mercury releases
to air, water, and land from the use of mercury in products and
processes as well as by reducing unintentional releases from
combustion and processing of fuel and ores. Under the
Partnership, EPA leads global work on mercury in chlor-alkali
production and in products, and is also active in work on
small-scale gold mining and cooperates with scientists in other
nations on mercury fate and transport research and analysis.
Under EPA's chairmanship, the multilateral Arctic Contaminants
Action Program (ACAP) Working Group of the Arctic Council has
helped Russian chlor-alkali production facilities reduce
consumption and release of over two tons of mercury. In the
small-scale gold mining sector, EPA helped West African miners
who use mercury to amalgamate gold learn adopt inexpensive
(less than $5.00), locally constructed hand-held retorts which
can reduce mercury releases. By the end of 2007, miners using
these retorts had captured more than 24.5kg of mercury. EPA
also helped develop a low-cost, locally manufactured technology
to capture mercury emissions from vent hoods during small-scale
gold processing in gold refining shops; this technology is
capable of keeping 80-90 percent of the mercury emissions from
this process out of the atmosphere, thereby reducing demand for
new stocks of mercury. This technology, piloted in Brazil, can
be adapted for use in shops in over 55 countries which further
refine gold from artisanal miners in the field.
EPA's technology transfer and training efforts under
the ACAP Working Group of the Arctic Council have substantially
reduced the trans-boundary transfer of Persistent Organic
Pollutants (POPs) to the Arctic. EPA has led efforts to
inventory, analyze, and safely store of over 3000 metric tons
of obsolete and prohibited pesticides from the Arctic and sub-
Arctic regions of Russia, thereby preventing the potential
transport of these chemicals to the U.S. Arctic. It has also
implemented a model cleaner production program at one of the
world's largest emitters of air pollutants, Norilsk Nickel
Company, located in the Russian Arctic. This technology
cooperation project has resulted in annual reductions in fresh
water consumption by 7.9 million cubic meters; reduction of
waste discharge by 3.4 million cubic meters; reduction in
electrical energy use by 14.9 million kWh; and reduction in
discharge of heavy metals and their oxides into the atmosphere
by 850 tons. EPA also led the creation of the Indigenous
Peoples Community Action Initiative within ACAP, a model
environmental justice and indigenous community empowerment
program. This ACAP initiative has enabled indigenous
communities in the Arctic Rim countries to manage their local
sources of hazardous contaminants, and has already resulted in
removal and safe storage of over 1.1 tons of PCBs and POPs
pesticides from five indigenous villages in Alaska and northern
Russia. The State Department provided funding to this
EPA Partnered with Norway and the Russian Federation
in building Russian capacity to treat low-level liquid
radioactive waste from decommissioned naval submarines, which
ultimately facilitated Moscow's decision (May 2005) to formally
accede to London Convention ban on ocean disposal of all
radioactive waste (October 2005). Through this technical
cooperation effort, Russia completed design, construction and
testing of the first cask conditioning system for long-term
safe storage of highly radioactive spent nuclear fuel from
decommissioned Russian submarines. This project allows safe
transport of spent nuclear fuel away from the Arctic and Far
Eastern coasts and helps meet the joint U.S. and Russian
objectives under the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.
We are fortunate to have very constructive relationships with the
American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), as well as
the National Academies of Science (NAS). The Academies of course, play
a vital role in informing us of the state of the science in key
international issues, as well as in identifying emerging science
issues. NAS has also been extremely generous helping to host bilateral
S&T discussions, most recently with Viet Nam. Similarly NAS has been
helpful in choosing the scientists that participate in the Jefferson
Fellows program, managed by Dr. Nina Federoff. NAS is also able to
access some communities that DOS cannot reach. NAS is actively working
to build ties to the Iranian scientific community. In some case, NAS
has been able to convey key messages to overseas audiences.
A NAS delegation, for instance, was able to speak for the American
scientific community to the government of Libya on the issue of the
Bulgarian nurses who were accused of intentionally infecting children
with HIV. NAS made the compelling argument that American scientists and
health professionals would be reluctant to work in a country where
science was misused to imprison foreign collaborators. Along the same
lines, NAS has been very active in strengthening counterpart Academies
aboard. It was instrumental, for instance, in helping its South African
colleagues in the production of an objective assessment of the causes
and appropriate treatments of AIDS. NAS has also provided valuable
information tools to U.S. embassies, such as the multi-language website
(www.drinking-water.org) and a CD on providing safe drinking water, and
free access to all NAS reports and publications to all users in
The AAAS has been no less helpful. We are working together to
organize an APEC workshop on linking research to innovation. AAAS has
also worked with some of the posts in Africa to distribute our science
on a stick to science institutes in Africa. This program puts content
from Science magazine on USB drives for countries with limited Internet
broadband access. State has participated in the AAAS annual meeting at
senior levels. Dr. Federoff gave the keynote speech this year. The AAAS
also co-sponsored the 2007 ``Conference of Women Leaders in Science,
Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics'' in Kuwait and has been a
valuable advocate in the importance of S&T in diplomacy. Finally, the
AAAS Diplomacy Fellowship, also managed by Dr. Federoff, is a crucial
contributor to the Department's science literacy.
We have been the beneficiaries of the work being done by others as
well. Ambassador Harnish and I have participated, for example, in
several events organized by the science and technology program of the
Saban Center at the Brookings Institute. While we are collaborating
with AAAS and NAS fairly closely, we could interact more with the
private sector, academia, and a variety of other non-governmental
S&T is universally perceived as apolitical. This inherent
characteristic makes S&T an excellent means for engaging societies,
such as those in the Middle East, where the United States has become
progressively more unpopular. While there has been no definitive study
on the topic of what makes science diplomacy effective, we have learned
through years of engagement that some of the key elements are:
finding areas that break new ground, sometimes in a
neglected area of science or development
finding areas that are educationally and
developmentally transformative, that are highly motivational
for the participants
finding areas that address core developmental issues
of poverty and human development
finding areas that promote sustainable uses of
finding programs that stimulate job creation and
private sector investment
finding collaborative projects that bear tangible
The appeal of American science and technology creates a more
favorable atmosphere in which to explain other American policies and
interests. S&T allows the United States to engage in mutually
beneficial dialogue with foreign nations, and creates a foundation for
international exchange of ideas, scientists, data, and students.
Science education provides opportunities for upward mobility for youth
worldwide. S&T empowers individuals, in America and around the world,
to find dignified, independent solutions to pressing social, economic,
and environmental problems.
We are proud of the work we are doing to strengthen our S&T ties
with other nations. Nonetheless, there is a lot more that could be done
to further harness the soft power of S&T. Last month, the Secretary of
State's Advisory Committee on Transformational Diplomacy recommended
that the DOS ``expand its investment in Science, Engineering, and
Technology expertise, presence, and global engagement. This includes
expanding the Department's engagement in global science, engineering,
and technology networks through exchanges, assistance, and joint
research activities addressing key issues.'' I look forward to hearing
from the Committee how we might work together to broaden our
international cooperation on science and technology.
Thank you for this opportunity to testify and I would be pleased to
respond to any questions you may have.
Biography for Jeff Miotke
Jeff Miotke is a Foreign Service Officer currently serving as the
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Science, Space and Health.
Previously, Mr. Miotke was the Chief of Staff for the Under Secretary
for Democracy and Global Affairs, Paula J. Dobriansky. As the Director
of the Office of Global Change, he was a senior negotiator on climate
change. He has also been the Deputy Director of the Office for
Development Finance in the State Department. Overseas, he served as the
Deputy Chief of Mission in Lesotho, Economic Counselor in Hungary,
Economics Officer in Guatemala and Consular Officer in the Dominican
Republic. He has received eleven Honor Awards as well as the Frank Loy
Award for Environmental Diplomacy.
Prior to joining the Foreign Service in 1986, Mr. Miotke managed
the overseas users' groups for Hewlett-Packard, edited biostatistical
reports for Syntex Labs, served as a management consultant for SRI
International, and taught math and science as a Peace Corps Volunteer
He has a Bachelor's degree in Biology from Dartmouth College, a
Master's in Public Policy from the Goldman School at the University of
California in Berkeley, and a Master's in International Policy Studies
from Stanford University.
He speaks Spanish and Hungarian.
Chairman Baird. Thank you, Mr. Miotke. Mr. O'Brien.
STATEMENT OF MR. MICHAEL F. O'BRIEN, ASSISTANT ADMINISTRATOR
FOR EXTERNAL RELATIONS, NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE
Mr. O'Brien. Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member Neugebauer, and
Members of the Subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to
appear today--there we go. Sorry.
For 50 years, NASA has enjoyed the benefits of
international cooperation, the direction for which is found in
legislation that created NASA in 1958, and more recently, in
the U.S. Space Exploration Policy signed by the President in
NASA's international cooperation has involved thousands of
agreements, not only with space-faring nations, but also, with
an increasing number of other countries that rely on the unique
vantage point of space for their day to day activities, such as
resource management and disaster warning.
International cooperation, for NASA, is mission-driven, and
pursued in accordance with guidelines that we have developed
over the years. For example, such activities must have
technical merit and demonstrated programmatic benefit to NASA,
provide access to unique capabilities, or improve mission
redundancy, and certainly, in all cases, they must be
consistent with U.S. foreign policy objectives.
Now, international cooperation in our four Mission
Directorates covers a broad spectrum of activities. Currently,
two thirds of our roughly 300 active international agreements
support the Science Mission Directorate, with more than half of
nearly 50 current missions on orbit including some level of
international participation. In earth science particularly,
international cooperation is absolutely essential as we strive
to understand the planet as an integrated system of land, sea,
and atmospheric processes.
In space operations, the premiere example of international
cooperation is obviously the International Space Station. This
15-nation partnership has worked for two decades on what may be
the most complex international science and engineering project
in history. Regarding future robotic and human exploration,
NASA welcomes participation by other countries, and in fact, we
expect it. We have already partnered with 13 space agencies to
develop a global exploration strategy that expresses a shared
vision among those participating in the agencies, of the
importance of space exploration to individual and national
I think it is safe to say that NASA's international
activities also promote foreign policy interests. For example,
the invitation to Russia, to join the existing Space Station
Partnership in 1993 had an important U.S. foreign policy
component. Over the years, the Partnership has overcome a
number of significant challenges, including the tragic loss of
Space Shuttle Columbia, and now plays an ongoing positive role,
in my view, in the relationship between the United States and
its Space Station partners, one benefit of which certainly is
their willingness to cooperate with the United States on future
space exploration endeavors.
Less dramatic international cooperation, and I guess that
includes everything other than the International Space Station,
can also have foreign policy benefits. In the area of remote
sensing applications, for example, in collaboration with USAID
and several other organizations, NASA supported the
establishment of the SERVIR operations facility in Panama.
SERVIR is a regional system used to monitor ecological changes
and forecast severe events, such as forest fires, tropical
storms. Eight countries participate, and discussions are
underway now for potential use of this particular model in East
NASA carefully coordinates with other government agencies
during the conceptual development and negotiation of
international agreements. We believe we have an excellent basis
for this coordination, due to our longstanding, effective
relationships with OSTP, the Department of State, other
agencies within the Executive Branch. And in the vast majority
of cases, such as bilateral agreements with our traditional
partners, the consultation and approval process is
straightforward and relatively streamlined, in my view. In
cases or potential cooperation with nontraditional partners,
such as India, Korea, Ukraine, perhaps in the future, even
China, NASA clearly recognizes a requirement for detailed
interagency and Congressional coordination to ensure that
overall U.S. Government interests and any potential legal
restrictions are fully addressed.
In summary, international cooperation will continue to be
fundamentally important to NASA, as we seek opportunities for
mutually beneficial cooperation around the world. Let me add
that we are extremely proud at NASA of our international
cooperation. It benefits NASA programs. It benefits the
programs of our partners, has a positive impact around the
world, on the relations between the United States and those
governments with whom we participate and cooperate in space.
I would be pleased to respond to any questions that you
might have. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
[The prepared statement of Mr. O'Brien follows:]
Prepared Statement of Michael F. O'Brien
Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee, thank you for the
opportunity to appear today to discuss NASA's international science and
technology (S&T) cooperation.
The National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958, as amended (42
U.S.C. 2451, et seq.) directs NASA to conduct its activities so as to
``contribute materially to. . .cooperation by the United States with
other nations'' and effect ``the widest practicable and appropriate
dissemination of information concerning its activities and the results
thereof.'' As a result, since the Agency's inception, NASA has enjoyed
significant benefits to almost all of its major programs through some
level of international cooperation. Since 1958, NASA's international
cooperative activities have involved more than 3,000 agreements with
over 100 nations or international organizations. While the majority of
NASA's cooperation is accomplished with space-faring nations, an
increasing number of other nations are now relying on the unique
vantage point of space for day-to-day activities such as urban
planning, resource management, communications, weather forecasting, and
navigation. As a consequence, NASA's international partnerships have
continued to grow in diversity and importance, as the Agency engages
both developed and developing nations in a wide range of mutually
Throughout NASA's extensive history of international cooperation,
the Agency has developed a series of guidelines to govern its
international activities. First, cooperative activities must have
scientific and technical merit and demonstrate a specific programmatic
benefit to NASA. These benefits are often achieved through the pooling
of resources, access to foreign capabilities or geographic advantage,
addition of a unique capability to a mission, increased mission flight
opportunities, or enhanced scientific return. In almost all instances,
each Partner funds its respective contribution and the cooperation is
conducted on a ``no exchange of funds'' basis. These cooperative
activities are always structured to protect against unwarranted
technology transfer, take into account U.S. industrial competitiveness,
and establish clearly defined managerial and technical interfaces to
Currently, international cooperative activities are underway in
each of NASA's four Mission Directorates (Science, Space Operations,
Exploration Systems, and to a limited extent, Aeronautics Research)
involving hundreds of active agreements. This cooperation includes
joint mission planning and development of human space flight systems
such as the International Space Station (ISS); flight of foreign
astronauts on NASA's Space Shuttle; flight of NASA instruments on
foreign spacecraft (and vice-versa); close coordination of independent
space activities with similar mission objectives; suborbital campaigns
and field research (e.g., measurements from sounding rockets, balloons,
aircraft and ground-based measurements); cooperative tracking and space
communications inter-operability support; and scientist-to-scientist
data exchanges with joint analysis, interpretation and publication of
International Cooperation Related to the Science Mission Directorate
As might be expected, international cooperation in a wide range of
science and technology initiatives is most evident in NASA's Science
Mission Directorate whose activities fall broadly under the categories
of Earth science and space science. The Agency has established a robust
program of scientific research, informed by input from the global
science community, from National Academy of Sciences' studies and
decadal surveys, and from NASA external advisory committees.
International involvement in the implementation of this science-driven
program has historically been welcomed at all levels, which has ranged
from multi-million dollar contributions of instruments and spacecraft
to data analysis by individual researchers from around the world. At
the present time, two thirds of NASA's three hundred active
international agreements are for missions led by the Science Mission
Directorate. It should also be noted that more than half of NASA's 46
currently-operating science missions include international
participation. It is anticipated that this involvement will continue to
grow as NASA and international institutions with similar research
objectives seek to maximize scientific return with limited domestic
resources for mission development and operations. On an almost daily
basis, the benefits for the broader scientific community are realized
as NASA and its international partners readily make their research data
available to the global research community.
NASA's Earth science activities are inherently global as we strive
to understand the Earth as a system, from a variety of U.S. and
international platforms. In fact, some ground-based research programs
involve dozens of countries, such as the Aerosol Robotic Network
(AERONET), an optical, ground-based aerosol-monitoring network and data
archive system in which over 40 countries/regions participate. NASA is
a major U.S. contributor to the International Polar Year (IPY) 2007-
2008. IPY will involve a wide range of research disciplines, but the
emphasis will be interdisciplinary in its approach and truly
international in participation. NASA is also a leader in international
mechanisms such as the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites
(CEOS), which coordinates the civil space-borne missions of nearly 50
space agencies and associated national and international organizations
that observe and study the Earth. Global participation in these
activities is a necessity.
Certain examples of space science missions with international
involvement are well known, such as the Hubble Space Telescope, which
includes cooperation between NASA and the European Space Agency, and
its follow on mission-in-development, the James Webb Space Telescope,
in which NASA, ESA and the Canadian Space Agency are partners. For
robotic planetary missions, bilateral cooperation with multiple
international partners is generally the norm. For example, seventeen
nations contributed to building Cassini-Huygens, a cooperative mission
led by NASA, ESA and the Italian Space Agency to explore Saturn, Titan
and the other moons of Saturn. Hundreds of scientists worldwide
participate in the Cassini-Huygens science teams. Looking to the
future, NASA's Science Mission Directorate recently initiated
discussions on potential international participation in a new NASA-led
lunar network initiative. While details of the concept are still being
developed, the overall concept is to work with the international
community to place a network of landers on the lunar surface in the
International Cooperation Related to the Space Operations Mission
NASA's premier example of international space cooperation is the
ongoing assembly of the ISS. With participation from 15 nations, NASA
and its space agency counterparts have worked together to design,
develop, assemble on-orbit and operate one of the most complex science
and engineering projects in history. With the last two Space Shuttle
missions, NASA delivered to the ISS several key international elements:
the European Columbus laboratory, a portion of the Japanese Kibo
laboratory and the Canadian Dextre robotic manipulator system. As a
result, NASA continues to honor the Nation's commitment to our
international partners on the Space Station, while meeting the most
prominent milestones of the program. As NASA Administrator Michael
Griffin testified before the Committee on Science and Technology on
February 13, 2008, ``. . .its development is the largest task ever
performed by the civilian agencies of the United States or our
international partners. Such international partnerships will be an
integral part of our next steps out beyond low Earth orbit, toward what
President John Kennedy called 'this new ocean'.''
The success of the ISS is all the more remarkable due to the
necessary harmonization of complex engineering and technology
development activities among the United States, Russia, Japan, Canada
and many nations of Europe. The ISS International Partners represent
over a dozen different political systems, budgetary mechanisms, and
cultural, management and industrial approaches, that rely on the
multilingual skills of engineers, astronauts and mission controllers
around the world.
The history of Space Shuttle crew assignments clearly demonstrates
the global nature of NASA's human space flight program. Fifty-nine
international astronauts from 15 countries have flown on the Space
Shuttle a total of 89 times, representing one-fifth of the total
Shuttle Mission Specialists. As we move forward, each ISS Partner has
an allocation of future Space Station crew opportunities for the
lifetime of the program, based on its contributions to the ISS as
articulated in the Space Station international agreements.
Further, NASA enjoys significant international cooperation in
support of space communication. NASA and the international community
routinely provide back up communication services for each other. NASA
leads the development of international data standards and protocols for
such space communications, as well as participating, in coordination
with the Department of State, in International Telecommunication Union
forums to ensure that sufficient radio frequency spectrum is allocated
appropriately to all international partners. International inter-
operability is an important keystone of our joint missions. NASA also
provides communications between the U.S. and the U.S. South Pole
Station and, through this service, is supporting a number of
international science projects that were launched under the banner of
International Cooperation Related to Future Exploration Activities
In future exploration by humans beyond low Earth orbit, NASA
expects significant international cooperation. On January 14, 2004, the
President directed NASA to pursue opportunities for international
participation to support U.S. space exploration goals in the
implementation of its new vision. Since that direction was issued, NASA
has made steady progress with its international counterparts. Most
significantly, NASA and 13 space agencies from around the world
developed ``The Global Exploration Strategy: The Framework for
Coordination.'' This document, which the participating agencies
released in May 2007, expresses the shared vision of these agencies,
both large and small, on the importance of space exploration to
national objectives. The process in which 14 international space
agencies agreed on common goals for space exploration was as important
as the product itself.
For NASA, the focus on international cooperation for future
exploration can be described by two parallel paths: maintaining our
multilateral approach to information sharing and coordination while
expanding our bilateral cooperation with international counterparts to
identify new areas of space exploration. Some specific examples of
bilateral cooperation that have resulted from this process include:
NASA's ongoing cooperation with the Japanese Aerospace Exploration
Agency on its Kaguya spacecraft currently orbiting the Moon;
cooperation with the Indian Space Research Organization on its
Chandrayaan lunar mission later this year, in which NASA is providing a
Miniature Synthetic Aperture Radar to map ice deposits in the Moon's
polar regions and a Moon Mineralogy Mapper to assess mineral resources
of the Moon; and cooperation with the Russian Federal Space Agency on
Russian provision of neutron detectors for NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance
Orbiter and NASA's Mars Science Laboratory missions.
NASA International Cooperation and Foreign Policy Interests
While NASA's international cooperation is driven by its mission
objectives, such activities also promote U.S. foreign policy interests.
Two highly visible examples at different extremes of complexity and
cost include the ISS and frequent U.S. astronaut visits around the
world. The ISS partnership resulted in a robust program among 15
nations with scientific and technological benefits for all of the
partners involved. Along the way, the partnership itself survived
significant challenges such as initial delays in delivery of major
components and the tragic loss of Space Shuttle Columbia. The success
of this program has played a significant positive role in the
governmental relationship between the United States and its ISS
partners. In the case of U.S. astronauts, by virtue of their unique
human space flight experiences and genuine admiration by international
audiences, they have long been able to transcend government-to-
government issues and help to enable constructive discussion on the
peaceful uses of outer space for the benefit of all.
In addition, small, low-cost activities in partnership with other
U.S. Government Agencies and international organizations can also have
significant U.S. foreign policy benefits. Working closely with the U.S.
Agency for International Development and international organizations,
NASA has initiated a number of very successful pilot projects,
particularly in the area of remote sensing applications. An important
example of this type of cooperation is NASA's involvement in the
establishment of the SERVIR operations facility in Panama. SERVIR (both
a Spanish acronym and also a Spanish verb meaning ``to serve'') is a
regional visualization and monitoring system for Mesoamerica that
integrates NASA-provided satellite and other geospatial data for
improved scientific knowledge and decision-making. Among other things,
SERVIR is used to monitor and forecast ecological changes and severe
events such as forest fires, red tides, and tropical storms. Eight
countries in the region are members of this network and there is
international interest in using this network as a model for other parts
of the world. Discussions are already underway for potential use of
this model in the eastern part of Africa.
NASA's international activities have been a key component of the
Agency's overall mission from the beginning. While those activities are
pursued for scientific, programmatic and mission-related purposes, they
also provide significant benefits to the United States more broadly,
requiring close coordination with other government agencies during the
negotiation of the related international agreements. NASA's authority
to enter into international agreements, combined with effective, long-
standing relationships with the Office of Science and Technology
Policy, the Department of State and other organizations in the
Executive Branch, provides an effective basis for the development and
implementation of NASA's international cooperation. In the vast
majority of cases, such as bilateral agreements with long standing
traditional partners from Europe, the consultation and approval process
is straight forward and relatively streamlined. In other cases, NASA
clearly recognizes that as we explore opportunities for cooperation
with non-traditional partners such as India, Korea, Ukraine, China and
others, enhanced interagency and Congressional coordination will be
required to ensure that broader U.S. Government interests and any
potential legal restrictions are carefully addressed.
International cooperation will continue to be fundamentally
important to NASA. By direction of the President and Congress, NASA is
pursuing a bold agenda that commits the United States to complete
assembly of the ISS and retire the Space Shuttle in 2010, and also
develop the next generation of launch systems, vehicles, and other
capabilities that will carry humans and robots beyond low Earth orbit
as an integral part of a balanced program of human and robotic
exploration, science and aeronautics research. As we continue to
implement this exciting new chapter in space exploration, NASA will
seek opportunities for mutually beneficial cooperation around the
Again, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today. I
would be pleased to respond to any questions that you or other Members
of the Subcommittee may have.
Biography for Michael F. O'Brien
As Assistant Administrator for External Relations, Mr. O'Brien is
responsible for NASA's interaction with Executive Branch offices and
agencies; international relations for each NASA Mission Directorate;
administration of export control and international technology transfer
programs; the NASA History Office; NASA advisory councils and
commissions. Prior to this appointment Mr. O'Brien served as Deputy
Assistant Administrator for External Relations (Space Flight), in which
capacity he led the team that negotiated the agreements for the
International Space Station with the space agencies of Europe, Japan,
Canada, and Russia.
Mr. O'Brien came to NASA from the United States Navy. He served as
a naval aviator in command positions and in Washington on the staffs of
the Chief of Naval Operations and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of
Staff. As an advisor to the Chairman concerning political-military
policy in the Middle East, Africa, and Southwest Asia, he traveled
widely in the Persian Gulf area for bilateral discussions with the
defense forces of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and other nations in
He also served as the Deputy Director for Research at the Institute
for National Strategic Studies in Washington. O'Brien was Commanding
Officer of U.S. Naval Station Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico where he
designed and executed the $350 million repair and reconstruction
program after the station was nearly destroyed by Hurricane Hugo. As a
Navy combat pilot, he commanded a Navy carrier-based attack squadron,
and has made over 900 aircraft carrier landings in high performance jet
O'Brien graduated with high distinction from the University of
Virginia. He holds a Master of Science in Physics from Cornell
University and a Master of Science in Aeronautical Systems from the
University of West Florida. As an Olmsted Scholar, he performed
research in International Relations and Strategic Studies at the
Graduate Institute of International Relations in Geneva, Switzerland.
O'Brien is also a graduate of the French Ecole Militaire in Paris,
O'Brien's awards include the Presidential Rank of Meritorious
Executive, the NASA Exceptional Service Medal, the Defense Superior
Service Medal, two Legions of Merit and two Air Medals. He is a member
of Phi Beta Kappa.
Chairman Baird. Thank you, Mr. O'Brien. We can tell we have
a distinguished and experienced panel of witnesses. I think
everybody came in within 15 seconds of the five minute mark,
which is very rare here. We thank you for that, but we will----
Mr. O'Brien. That is what stopwatches are for.
Chairman Baird. We will enjoy a good round of questions.
And because Dr. McNerney has informed me he has to go to
another meeting at 11:00, I want to make sure we let all
Members have an opportunity to ask questions. I will yield my
time to Dr. McNerney, and then reclaim it after the Minority
Mr. McNerney. Thank you, Mr. Chair. I am not a Trojan, but
you let me take cuts in line, so I appreciate that.
Historically, the United States has been recognized as an
international scientific leader, and one of the focuses of this
committee is, then, to make sure that we retain that leadership
position, even as countries like China and India produce more
and more engineers and scientists.
Dr. Fedoroff, do you think that the United States continues
to be viewed as a scientific leader, or is our role diminishing
in some way that we should be aware of, and take strong action
Dr. Fedoroff. I think we continue to be recognized as
leaders and indeed, other countries are very much seeking
partnerships with us, while their own scientific establishments
are increasing. There is no question that the primacy of the
U.S. is not what it was. This is not a negative, but in fact a
positive. What I am experiencing as I travel is that scientists
of other countries want to be seen as partners, as
collaborators, not as recipients of our wisdom.
So, I think that is a very important point. The second
important point is that we have, for half a century, been the
prime attractor of graduate students, talented people from
around the world. We have to become aware of the fact that that
situation is changing. Countries around the world are
recognizing the importance of intellectual talent and are
competing with us. Our visa policies haven't helped us. That
aside, the value of the best and the brightest for economic
development is recognized the world around.
So, today, the challenge is more building capacity,
educational capacity, everywhere. It is not that the world is
short of people. The shortage is of highly trained people.
Mr. McNerney. Thank you for that answer. Dr. Miotke. Am I
pronouncing that correctly?
Mr. Miotke. It is most commonly pronounced Jeff, but that--
Mr. McNerney. Jeff.
Mr. Miotke. The last name is Miotke. Jeff works for me.
Mr. McNerney. All right, Jeff. Compared to other--thank
you--compared to other industrialized nations, the United
States is dragging its feet with regard to eliminating
greenhouse gas emissions, and both yourself and Dr. Fedoroff
did mention global warming as a concern. Do you think that is
hurting our international reputation as a premiere science
country, and what should we do about that, if that is the case?
Mr. Miotke. Well, I am not going to venture into Dr.
Marburger's area of expertise, but let me just say that I have
been a climate negotiator off and on since the '80s, and I
don't see that our policies on climate change have an impact on
the prestige that others assign to American scientists. On the
contrary, most of the IPCC process, and Dr. Marburger, please
correct me if I am incorrect here, is driven by American
scientists and American science.
So, I think we are on the cutting edge of pushing--we are
not the only ones who are doing this research, but certainly, I
think, we are doing more than others. And countries realize
this--across the board, I think.
Mr. McNerney. So, there is a disconnect, then, between what
the Administration is doing and what the American scientist
community is recommending. And you don't have to answer that if
you don't want, but that is implied in what you said.
Mr. Miotke. Yeah. I don't see the disconnect. I believe the
President when he says that we will learn and act, and then,
learn and act again. One of the first acts of the Bush
Administration in their first term was to turn to the National
Academies of Science, and ask for an assessment of the science
of climate change at that point. And to my mind, they have
acted accordingly, based on the information they are getting
from the scientific community. And you can see, the MEM process
that is underway, as well as a multitude of partnerships that
are based on developing new technologies, new clean
technologies, with countries that represent 80 percent of the
total greenhouse gas emissions around the world. The
administration is pretty active, and that it has been informed
by the science.
Mr. McNerney. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I have one more
question, but I think I had better yield back at this point.
Chairman Baird. Thank you, Dr. McNerney. Mr. Neugebauer.
Mr. Neugebauer. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I have two different questions, but I am going to roll it
into one question. You know, a lot of folks would ask what is
the value of our international participation in science
diplomacy? In other words, we are, are we exporting American
tax dollars? What is the value of doing that? And the
reciprocal of that, they would say, well, why shouldn't we
reserve American research dollars for American scientists?
So, how would--and that is a question that I hear a lot
about when we talk about diplomacy, and that everybody wants to
be our friend, as long as we are sending American dollars over
there. So, if we could just go down the panel here, and tell
me, in your own words, what you think the value of that is, and
what you would say to someone at Texas Tech University that is
out there competing for these research funds, and they hear
these funds are going to other parts of the world, and I will
just--Dr. Marburger, I will start with you.
Dr. Marburger. I believe that American objectives are
served, and should be served, by investments that we make in
science in other countries. Certainly, after I came to
Washington, I prepared a list of 10 reasons why we should fund
international science that I would be happy to share with the
Committee, the Subcommittee, and make part of my testimony.
To be brief, first of all, I think I had better just submit
this for the record. The important thing is----
Chairman Baird. Go ahead and expand on it a little bit. If
we need to give you more time, we will do that.
Dr. Marburger. We do have--one of the reasons is to provide
access to the frontiers of science, wherever they may be. The
U.S. doesn't have tropical forests. We don't have the South
Pole. We don't have access to the Southern Hemisphere for
astronomy, so there are good reasons for providing access to
the rest of the world.
Another is to augment our own human capital, as we have
done historically, to go out and reach out to the best talent
in the world, to find out what they can do to help us,
sometimes invite them to our countries, but we have to be out
there. To strengthen U.S. science through visits and exchanges,
and by bringing in outstanding scientists from other countries.
To increase U.S. national security, as Dr. Fedoroff pointed out
so eloquently, national security and economic prosperity, by
fostering the improvement of conditions in other countries, is
a direct benefit.
To accelerate the progress of science across a broader
front than we may wish to fund. There are some areas of science
that are very expensive, and we would like to know, but if
other countries are willing to join us in an adventure, whether
it is particle physics or nuclear physics, or space
exploration, then we should reach out to them to broaden our
own frontiers. To address U.S. interests of a global nature,
which the U.S. alone cannot afford to address. Climate change
is a good one, and the various enterprises, huge enterprises,
like the International Polar Year that we are now involved.
We can, we have a stake in these investigations, but they
are so large that we enjoy having other countries involved. To
discharge obligations in connection with treaties. And
certainly, to increase U.S. prestige and influence with our
nations. So, these are some of the things that we really do get
out of science.
And in my testimony, I emphasized the fact that my office,
OSTP, is primarily concerned with the science, and the ability
of the agencies, like the National Science Foundation, or NASA,
to do that science as well as it can be done on an absolute
global standard. So, we look to see if the agencies are taking
advantage of international assets.
When it comes to diplomatic objectives, the primary agency
would be USAID, and we are very encouraged by the fact that
USAID now has Dr. Fedoroff as a science advisor, and I hope
that practice continues in future administrations.
So, these are, this is a somewhat long answer, perhaps, and
there is more in my statement.
Chairman Baird. Dr. Marburger, we will make that available.
And I think this is such a central question that I am going to
take some discretion here, and ask other members to, of the
panel to address it if they wish.
Dr. Bement. It has already been mentioned that countries
around the world are investing more in higher education and
research and development, because they now recognize this
drives the economy in a knowledge society. It is not
preordained that scientists in the U.S. are always going to
know where the frontier is at any given time. It may be
somewhere else, in another part of the world. So, having broad-
ranging networks, where they have collaborations with
scientists around the world, is critically important.
Also, we don't have all the best research facilities in the
United States. CERN is an example, the Large Hadron Collider at
CERN. So, having access to special facilities is also
critically important. But it is also important for our
workforce for the 21st Century that we have people in
leadership positions in science and engineering to have a broad
international connection. And that is true even for our
graduate students, because those who go into industry, for
example, who have language skills, who have some
interconnection with other scientific groups around the world,
are considered to be very valuable, because most global
companies now are trying to seek where the best technology may
be that they can capture and add it to their internal
innovation system. They can add their own know how, their own
patents, and gain an advance in the marketplace.
So, just for self-serving interests, and being able to
develop our workforce for the 21st Century, having a very
strong international program is critically important.
I might add just one other thing. One of the greatest
things we contribute to developing countries in the world is
building their human resource capacity through exchanges, and
working with scientists, and getting technical assistance, and
learning how to use sophisticated instrumentation, and also, in
jointly conducting field studies, where they can share
information and knowledge, in how their natural environment is
There are many areas where we are really making a major
impact on developing countries. I might add that NSF currently,
even in sub-Saharan Africa, there are, well, in Africa
altogether, there are 57 nations. We have active collaborations
in projects with 40 out of those 57, which is just an example.
Dr. Fedoroff. We live in a single, very interconnected
world. In some measure, the violence that we see against us is
rooted in the disparities in our way of life and those of the
poorest countries. They are immediately obvious to everyone
through contemporary telecommunications. We ignore that at our
It is in our best interest to raise the educational levels
around the world, to help other countries create the kinds of
opportunities that are, in fact, the purview primarily of the
most developed countries today. We cannot afford that. We are
increasingly realizing how interconnected the entire world is.
The question of infectious diseases is a critical one
today. We can't wall ourselves off. Our best strategy is to
help others interconnect the entire world for a surveillance
system for infectious diseases and help build the requisite
capacity on the ground.
Let me just give you one example. Extremely drug-resistant
TB is a problem. It came to our attention because we had an
American citizen who took off to get married, and have his
honeymoon in Europe. But a few days ago, last week, in the New
York Times, there was an article about South Africa, which has
had a huge outbreak of XDR-TB. There are hundreds of patients
in isolation, because this is an extremely infectious disease,
and frankly, they have so little in the way of support and
personnel and drugs, that those patients know that they will
only leave that hospital dead.
They broke out at Christmas time, they broke out at Easter
time, just to be with their families. That is a problem that
can come to us. It is time to think globally in this area, as
well as many others. That is just one of them.
Mr. Miotke. Yeah. I mentioned the outreach effort in
Hungary, and I think that is a good example of how S&T
cooperation can have broader foreign policy benefits for the
United States. I won't belabor that point.
I want to add a little bit to what Dr. Fedoroff said, as
well. Pandemic flu is another example that we benefit from
international cooperation because, no pun intended, avian flu
could come home to roost. And also, I have been consistently
surprised at where we have found some cutting edge work being
done. There is an African country in particular that is doing
interesting work producing solar panels on plain copying paper.
And they are also using nanotechnology for novel ways to purify
water in mines. This is something that my people tell me is not
being done elsewhere. So, there is almost inevitably some
benefit to the United States in cooperating and in fact, mutual
benefit is one of the underlying principles of our S&T
agreements across the board.
And then finally, let me also, again, highlight something
that Dr. Fedoroff said, and that is, S&T is a fundamental
pillar of development. Without it, we are only assisting people
over the short-term, but if we are building S&T capability, we
are helping them to develop, to truly develop over the long-
And if we want to close the gaps, or if we want to prevent
the gaps between the United States and other countries from
growing larger, we have to invest in S&T with our international
Mr. O'Brien. Mr. Chairman, I would just respond to one part
of the question, which I think asks why are we sending money
overseas. Wouldn't it be better to keep it here in the United
NASA, the way we cooperate, is generally almost uniquely on
a no exchange of funds basis, so in those 300 agreements that
we have, all but a couple of them involve NASA funding its own
contribution, our partners funding their contributions, and
then reaping the collective benefits. There are only a couple
of occasions where we actually are sending money overseas, and
that is for services that we need and can't get elsewhere.
Chairman Baird. Thanks for the question. I think it is
central. I am inclined to share an analogy offered by former
Governor of Colorado, Roy Romer, and I am a little bit hesitant
with Dr. Fedoroff here, because it may not be scientifically
apt, but former Governor Romer used to describe a fellow who,
every year, his corn won the prize at the State Fair. Dr.
Bartlett may have some insights on this as well. He won the
prize at the State Fair, blue ribbon, and the very first thing
he would do is distribute the corn seed to all the farmers
around him. People said why are you doing that, because these
guys are your competition? And the reply was, you understand
that the way the wind carries pollen from corn, pollen from the
fields around my field are going to blow some of that pollen
into my cornfield, and if the guys around me don't have good
corn, I am going to have bad corn down the road. And that is
part of what you are describing.
I think the other side of it, though, that is lacking from
Governor Romer's analogy, is that sometimes, the other guy has
better corn. And if we don't collaborate in that way, and the
corn is obviously the metaphor, whether that is any aspect of
scientific research, we tend, parochially, to assume that we
are always at the cutting edge. We can gain a great deal from
other countries, and one of the fun, but also challenging
realizations, as one travels and studies international science,
is sometimes, folks are well ahead of us, and it is to our
benefit. If we don't collaborate now, when the time to
collaborate comes back the other direction, people may say hey,
you weren't there with us, and so, there is this mutual
I think it is a central question, and we all need to be
able to answer that for our taxpayers, who have every reason to
ask the question.
Dr. Fedoroff. I would like to add one thing, and that is
probably 20, 25 years ago, USAID was educating something close
to 20,000 students a year. Those individuals are now back,
often as ministers, as people in high places around the world.
Today, I think that number is less than 1,000. China is
educating 10,000 Africans. We go around the world, and we speak
English. If we do not maintain our educational support, the
next generation will not be speaking English.
Chairman Baird. I think that is very eloquently said. I
don't think most Americans are aware of those numbers, and it
is absolutely true when you travel the world.
Let me, if I may, ask a question to follow up on this. So,
if we agree that there is merit in this, what do we need to do
to further enhance this issue? How do we--what are the
obstacles remaining, what takes us to the next level and
Dr. Bement. There is a change in many countries in the
world. Until fairly recently, most of the research was done at
federally supported institutions in most nations. There is a
movement to put much more capability in universities, and to
build higher education to integrate education with research, as
we have been doing in this country traditionally for many, many
As a result, what we are finding is that many countries are
modeling the National Science Foundation, and setting up a
National Research Council that mimics the National Science
Foundation. For example, I can mention Turkey, France, Japan,
Ireland, Russia, and more recently, the United Arab Emirates,
and the King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology in
Saudi Arabia, and many more. They come to the National Science
Foundation. They--and we invite them. We have an open door for
them, to show them how we do merit review, how we operate, what
our policies are, and then, they take that back, and build it
into their programs.
Now, why do I use that as an example? The more Research
Councils around the world that are normed, if you will,
according to the National Science Foundation, the easier our
relationships are, the lower the barriers, and the more
opportunities we have for cooperative research. That is
happening at a very rapid rate.
Dr. Marburger. Sir, I would like to generalize that very
articulate answer from Dr. Bement. The idea is to have receptor
sites in the other countries. There are many countries that
would like to be our partners that don't have the capability of
doing so. I believe that one of the most valuable aspects of
the Secretary's Initiative for Transformational Diplomacy, is
that it can build receptor sites that make it possible for
these other countries to participate with us.
So, there is sort of, there is somewhat of a chicken and
egg problem here. It isn't a question of our just coming in and
dumping money in. It is necessary to have a level of
sophistication within those other countries, and a base
capacity. And this is a function of USAID, I think. It is
important, and it is one of the reasons that I am glad to see
the direction of increased science advice into USAID. I think
it will help.
Chairman Baird. I am going to actually yield, at this
point, and recognize Dr. Bartlett.
Mr. Bartlett. Thank you very much, and thank you for your
testimony. I am caught in the horns of a dilemma.
For a long number of years, the United States has been
preeminent in science, math, and engineering. The best and
brightest of the world have flocked to our universities, as
scientists and students. I think it is no accident that during
those same years, we were the world's undisputed military and
I remember a few years ago, I sat with a number of the top
scientists in the little country of Georgia, desperately poor,
and I thought, ``Gee, with the limited money that we have in
this country, wouldn't it go a whole lot further if we were
collaborating and working with these scientists, and putting
some money there?''
As you know, during the last several years, every year, we
have committed less and less of our resources to basic science
and R&D. I am a farmer. I represent farmers, and that is
exactly the equivalent of eating your seed corn. I have a lot
of farmers. None of them are dumb enough to eat their seed
corn, but that is precisely what we have been doing.
The dilemma that I face is that we are 1 person out of 22
in the world, and we have a fourth of all the good things in
the world. We use a fourth of the world's energy. Now, what do
I do? China today will graduate 6 times as many engineers as we
graduate. India will graduate 3 times as many engineers as we
graduate, and about half of our engineers are Chinese and
Indian students, aren't they?
How are we going to maintain this preeminence in the world,
where this 1 person in 22 has a fourth of all the good things
in the world? Particularly challenging, since I believe that
the world now is at the point of the maximum production of
fossil fuel energy. By the way, for everybody in the world to
live as well as you and I live, they would have to have the
equivalent of 300 people turning the cranks and running the
industry that provides the amenities that represent our quality
of life. Now, that is the amount of fossil fuel energy that
each of us consumes today, the work output of 300 people. That
energy just won't be there.
If I want to maintain, for my kids and my grandkids. . .I
have 10 kids and 16 grandkids and two great-grandkids. I would
like them to live as well as I am living. If we are going to
maintain this superiority in this country, how do we do that,
with the diminishing supply of energy, with the challenge of
science, math, and engineering in the rest of the world? How do
we do that?
Dr. Bement. We are now in a knowledge-driven economy, much
less a resource-driven. Knowledge is the sort of thing that
when you change it, it doesn't exchange, your share doesn't
deplete. It actually enhances, so that there is a tremendous
leveraging power in the exchange of knowledge.
The critical factor is what you do with that knowledge, and
how successful you are in reducing that knowledge into products
and services that are useful to society at large. And the key
to that is to have a very strong entrepreneurial and
innovation-driven system, and to have very creative people
doing the research, and finding ways to apply the research.
I think at present, we do that better than any other
country in the world. We are the teachers, but other countries
in the world are learning, and learning very rapidly, so we
have to be more agile in the future. We have to, I think, pay
particular attention to whether or not we are getting to be a
complacent society, instead of really recognizing the trends,
and doing something about it.
Dr. Fedoroff. Well, could I answer your question directly,
and that is, imagine a world in which you could live as well as
you do, using energy much more efficiently, and simultaneously,
through the kinds of knowledge building that Dr. Bement has
described, help the rest of the world live better?
Mr. Bartlett. When I drove to work this morning, more than
half the cars that shared the road with me were SUVs and pickup
trucks with one person in them.
Dr. Fedoroff. They sure are.
Mr. Bartlett. It would be really nice if we can move to a
more efficient world.
Dr. Fedoroff. We could do something about that, yes. I
think it will take cultural changes. I think it will take
technological changes, but I think we ignore learning those
lessons at our own peril.
Mr. Bartlett. We have faced some huge challenges. This is
exhilarating for me, Mr. Chairman, because there is no
exhilaration like the exhilaration of meeting and overcoming a
big challenge, and boy, do we have one. Thank you very much.
Chairman Baird. Well said, Dr. Bartlett. Eddie Bernice
Ms. Johnson. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I am sorry
I was a little late, and I would like to ask unanimous consent
to put my statement in the record.
Chairman Baird. Without objection.
Ms. Johnson. As a follow-up to the line of questioning, my
concern goes back, I guess, a little bit further. We are not
preparing an adequate number of young people for our future,
and I would like each of you to comment on what you are doing,
or what you have done to address this issue.
Dr. Marburger. So, I will go first. The--this
Administration is very concerned about the quality of
education, from preschool up throughout the lives of our
citizens, and worked very hard early in the Bush
Administration, to pass laws, such as No Child Left Behind, and
augment that initiative with further initiatives, some of which
were captured in the President's American Competitiveness
Initiative, which had a strong education component, and of
course, the President signed the America COMPETES Act, which
this committee had something, important input on, which also
had strong educational components.
I believe it is important for us to pay attention to the
quality of the education that we deliver to American young men
and women, and my office has participated strongly in
interagency programs to understand exactly which steps have to
be taken to improve the quality of the educational experience,
particularly in math and science.
We support the Department of Education in their efforts to
form panels, and study the situation, and try to identify the
best avenues for research on how children learn, and we support
agencies like the National Science Foundation, that have
systematic programs for studying the, how people learn science
and mathematics, and they sponsor pilot programs in schools to
try to learn best practices.
So, I believe that, I certainly agree that education is a
primary pillar of strength for our future national security, as
well as our economic competitiveness, and it is important for
us to continue to support these important initiatives.
Ms. Johnson. Thank you. Does the President know that No
Child Left Behind is not working?
Dr. Marburger. The President understands that we have got a
difficult problem, that will only yield to persistence. We
can't back away from the commitments that we have made to our
children. We have got to keep pushing at this until we get it
Ms. Johnson. Thank you.
Dr. Bement. Let me bring this to a more international
orientation. I think you are pretty well aware of what we are
doing in the Math and Science Partnership, in our informal
education programs, in our public education programs, involving
the Internet, the media, as well as science museums. What we
are discovering is that as we provide undergraduate students an
international experience, it generates a lot more enthusiasm
for science, and it helps in retaining them through not only
their undergraduate degree, but it encourages them to go on to
a graduate degree.
For that reason, we are also primarily concerned about the
number of students of color who participate in international
programs. And we discover that the percentage is lower than the
number that are in higher education overall. So, to simulate
that, and to help address this challenge, we have provided, or
embedded in our Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority
Participation, international activities, and--of course, is
aimed at undergraduate students.
Likewise, in our Alliances for Graduate Education, and in
our Professoriate Program, we have also embedded international
research experiences in that program, for graduates and post-
doc students as well.
Ms. Johnson. Thank you.
Dr. Fedoroff. I spent most of my life as an educator. I am
very familiar with this problem.
Before coming to the State Department, I was at Penn State
University, and one of the things that I did there, as a
director of a multi-disciplinary organization, was to support
an outreach program that went out into the schools into the
primary and secondary schools in hands-on science and
technology education, just to give people experiences.
But to come back to my present role, one of the things that
has been considerably neglected is our international investment
in tertiary education, that is, college education. And one of
the things that is happening this month is that Secretary of
State Rice, Secretary of Education Spellings, and USAID
Administrator Fore are convening a global conference of
university presidents to address precisely how we can build the
capacity in all countries for higher education.
Ms. Johnson. Thank you.
Mr. Miotke. If I can just add to that real briefly, too. We
do make a special effort to reach out to young people in our
S&T programs overseas. We are bringing a group of 16 Middle
Eastern kids to NASA Space Camp in Alabama later this summer.
We are teaching teachers in the Philippines to use GPS and
other space-based technologies to teach geography to kids. We
look for ways to reach out to youth during our S&T delegation
trips overseas. My boss, Assistant Secretary McMurray, for
instance, spoke to a group of kids in Morocco, and tried to
excite them about science. We are bringing a group of kids in
from TJ to participate in the Earth Day in the State
Department, where the focus this year is going to be on science
and technology working for the environment.
Ms. Johnson. And Mr. O'Brien, in addition to your comments,
I would also like to know what you are doing to be sure that
NASA has prepared persons in the future. NASA in particular.
Mr. O'Brien. Thank you. As far as education is concerned,
NASA does have an education component that is largely
domestically focused, and be glad to give you a much more
detailed response to that for the record.
On the international aspect of that, we do partner with
international counterparts on occasion. An example of that
would be that over at, the Dutch, in cooperation with NASA and
the European Space Agency, have replicated a NASA program that
we call the Explorer School Program. There are a series of
schools around the United States for which NASA, for a three-
year period, provides scientific education materials, trains
the teachers through a three-year period, that they can focus
on space science types of disciplines.
Now, your second question, I am sorry.
Ms. Johnson. I am wondering what type of investment or
leadership does NASA engage in, to be sure that you have the
adequately prepared persons for the program?
Mr. O'Brien. For NASA?
Ms. Johnson. Yes.
Mr. O'Brien. Well, we--I have to say that I can't really
answer that directly. I can tell you that we at NASA have no
problem getting educated people in NASA, and I will give you an
example. In our organization, which manages international
cooperation, occasionally, we are allowed to hire somebody, and
we have a very bright group of about 50 people managing a lot
of things at NASA. The last time that we were able to hire more
than one person, we hired two, we had 450 applications. So, we
don't have a problem, in my view, at least in my area,
attracting highly qualified, educated people to populate the
Ms. Johnson. Well, thank you. I know a couple of years ago,
there was real concern, because most of the people there were
nearing retirement age, and they didn't feel that was a----
Mr. O'Brien. Well, that is another issue. There are a lot
of old people, like me, in NASA, too, but----
Ms. Johnson. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Baird.
Chairman Baird. Thank you, Ms. Johnson. Mr. Bilbray.
Mr. Bilbray. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I guess, Mr.
Chairman, first of all, to sort of answer Dr. Bartlett's
question about how do we do this, I think we start off by
saying what we don't do. We don't burn the world's food,
consuming more energy than it produces, and call it green.
We don't abandon international, long-term strategies for
energy, clean energy independence, like ITER, which has been
abandoned over the last two Administrations, since '92, while
the entire crisis of climate change has been talked about, on
one hand, by an Administration, while at the same time they
were abandoning the long-term answer to addressing the problem.
And the other issue we don't do, is we don't continue to
pay math and science teachers the same as a history teacher or
a coach, just because union rules preempt the wellbeing of this
Nation's future in science. In D.C., and now, let us just face
this, in D.C., we talk about education across this country.
Washington, D.C. is our responsibility, like it or not. We may
delegate authority, but not responsibility. Still, in D.C., a
science teacher does not get a bonus, does not get an incentive
to stay in the educational institutions. And we sit here and
talk like we are concerned about it, but we are not willing to
cross that political boundary of saying we are going to
implement the responsibility here in D.C., and lead through
example, rather than cry about how bad the world is in the
So, now that I have gotten that off my chest, I have just
got to say, Doctor, your comment about ITER, I appreciate it. I
do have to say one thing to you. I think it is an illusion by
science to think that the language of the world is based on
what science talks about. There was a period in the 19th
Century the Germans would be dominating, and if anybody who
spends any time in Third World countries, like I do, let us all
agree that our media impact in this world is extraordinary, and
Americans don't understand it. You go to villages, they don't
have electricity, but they have satellite dishes, and they are
watching I Love Lucy, and having it under subtitles. That
impact, the language, the American language will dominate until
the Chinese start producing the movies. Okay. So, let us just
start off with that.
But the ITER program, can we bring, Doctor, would you
articulate about how that is going to affect our relationship,
not just in science, but in climate change and everything else,
but the entire concept that this long-term strategy, that the
rest of the world is still recognizing, because of our internal
political structure, the lack of a special interest group
lobbying for it, it has now been basically put on a back shelf?
Can you articulate at all your feelings about that?
Dr. Fedoroff. I am going to defer that to Dr. Marburger. He
has been centrally involved in it.
Dr. Marburger. ITER is an important project for the future,
because it does capture a source of energy that doesn't produce
large quantities of radioactive waste or CO2, and--
but it does require demonstration. There is still a further
science step that has to be taken, that is now underway, in
France, and the U.S. rejoined the partnership that is trying to
make this work in 2003, and we continue to be a partner,
despite the fact that funds, in fact, were eliminated for our
share of this in the '08 Omnibus Bill.
I don't believe that that represents the true will of the
U.S. Certainly, it is an embarrassment to us. It does
jeopardize our partnership status. It has detracted from the
confidence that other countries have in us as an international
partner. So, there is no question that this was an event that
However, President Bush has requested funds, increased
funds for this program, in his '09 budget request to Congress.
I hope that Congress will respond with an appropriations bill
soon enough so that other countries can see that we do mean to
carry forward our obligation to see this thing through.
So, it is important. This Administration is trying to make
it work, and I know that many Members of Congress want to see
it work as well. So, let us keep our fingers crossed for the
future of this important project.
Mr. Bilbray. Another issue that is sort of near and dear to
me is the fact that we talk about Africa, we talk about Asia,
when we talk about scientific exposure, outside of Brazil, you
know, Latin America is an orphan, culturally and economically
to us, so much, and it is our own backyard. I just get
frustrated when I see major emphasis on things like biofuels in
Indonesia, but not in Nicaragua. Is there a cultural or
institutional barrier for us not doing more outreach into Latin
America, especially Central America, which has been the orphan?
Dr. Marburger. Let me say one thing about Central America.
There are some important assets. The U.S., as a matter of fact,
the Smithsonian Institution has an important Tropical Studies
Program in Panama. We do look to countries that have unique
ecological and archaeological assets for cooperation and
partnerships. There are very important archaeological sites, as
you know, spread throughout South America and Central America,
and U.S. archaeologists work with local archaeologists and
scholars in those countries, to preserve and study those sites.
We also have important programs in astronomy, because the
Southern Hemisphere is blocked to our telescopes here in the
U.S., and there are some excellent sites in Chile, perhaps Dr.
Bement can talk to this, that--where we have important
scientific stations. So, we are looking for what I referred to
earlier as receptor sites in those countries, and trying to
develop further relationships with those countries.
Dr. Bement. We have strong partnerships with most of the
countries in Central America, as well as in South America. Dr.
Marburger mentioned Chile, you mentioned Brazil, but we have
strong partnerships with Argentina, with Colombia, with many
other countries in South America.
In Central America, there are many important research
activities going on that have to do with biodiversity and
natural medicines. There is a World Materials Network, that is
interconnected with most of the countries now in South America.
The Foundation has worked with the Inter-American Development
Bank, and with the Organization of American States, to develop
programs that will build capacity, not only in Central America,
but also, in South America.
So, I would say that South America and Central America are
about on par with almost anything we are doing elsewhere in the
world. I think we are paying attention to it.
Mr. Miotke. We have four or five S&T agreements with
countries in Central and South America. One of them, the
Brazilian S&T relationship, has been raised to a higher
political level, and we are quite engaged in all these, and I
should say also that Dr. Marburger plays, and Dr. Bement have
played huge roles in those relationships under the S&T
Chairman Baird. Go ahead, Mr. Bilbray, go ahead, briefly.
We have got--those buzzers mean we have a vote shortly, so we
will wrap up.
Dr. Fedoroff. I would just like to say that we are still
not doing enough, and I would like to put Mexico on the table
Mr. Miotke. That is my concern, is Central America and
Southern Mexico has basically been a black hole, and we talk
about Colombia, and we talk about Brazil, but it is almost as
if we are looking right over our neighbors. But go ahead,
Doctor. I am doctor.
Dr. Fedoroff. I think we need to do more. One of the things
that is really important is bringing together scientists to
begin collaborations it is an enormously important diplomatic
tool, and it does take a little bit of money.
Chairman Baird. I want to commend our witnesses, and Mr.
Bilbray, good question. To wrap up on that, and maybe tie that
into something Dr. Bartlett said, Mr. Miotke talked about the
science and technology partnerships. One of the challenges is
we don't fund that, and one of the questions I think this
committee needs to do, one of our tasks, as Members of
Congress, we have heard from our witnesses, we have read their
testimony, is advocate vigorously with our colleagues to set
aside some of this money.
Because within an agency budget, be it USAID, or one of the
various directorate agencies, other directorate agencies, you--
the task of international scientific collaboration can too
easily be the easy cut. It is not the urgent thing, like
getting food to somebody's door, but again, Dr. Bartlett's seed
corn analogy, so instead of building capacity among their
scientists to solve their own problems, and maybe some of ours,
that may easily be the first thing to be cut.
And when we sign science and technology agreements with
these countries, there is almost never funding that goes with
it. It is sort of we want to work together, but our funding to
even fund our own side of that is limited, and then there are
statutory restraints on what we can give to the other country
that participates. So the handshake is important, but we need
to back that up with more substance, and I think that is our
committee's task, is to educate our colleagues in the Congress,
and frankly, to vote that way when these appropriations and
other measures come forward.
There is a great article by Norm Neureiter, which I will
introduce into the record, but also, share with my colleagues,
about the whole broad role of science at the Department, but
one of the issues he makes is making sure there are dedicated
funds for this purpose.
[The statement follows:]
Statement of Norman P. Neureiter
This article is a first-person account of the strategy and
experiences, over the past three years, of the first Science and
Technology Advisor to the U.S. Secretary of State--a position created
based on a study by the NAS/NRC on the role of science, technology, and
health issues in current foreign policy. It stresses the importance of
having more scientists either as Fellows or career officers in the
Department of State. It also presents a strong case for the value of
science and technology cooperation as an instrument of soft-power
diplomacy in strengthening ties among nations and building technical
capacity in the developing world. 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights
Rather than the critical, sometimes retrospective, analysis for
which this publication is noted, this article represents a highly
personalized account of a forty-year career spent more or less
continually in efforts to develop scientific and technical cooperation
on an international basis--in governmental, industrial and, indirectly,
academic circles. The principal piece here is a discussion of my three
years as the first Science and Technology Advisor (STAS) to the U.S.
Secretary of State. I first briefly consider the uneven history of
science at the Department of State, and then lay out the approach we\1\
took to try to fulfill the promise of this new position. One can then
ask to what extent did we succeed in assuring that scientific and
technological (S&T) considerations were effectively integrated into the
formulation of U.S. foreign policy, and what should be the future of
science at State?
\1\ ``We'' refers to the three of us who were the initial
complement in the S&T Advisor's office (STAS). Of enormous help was my
Deputy, Andrew W. Reynolds, a highly effective and knowledgeable
government science official with experience at the Department of Energy
(DOE), in State's Bureau of Oceans, International Environmental and
Scientific Affairs (OES), at OECD in Paris, and as Scientific Counselor
in the U.S. Embassy in Rome. One AAAS Fellow was also assigned to STAS.
The first was Michael Landolfa (biologist), who is now at the Max
Planck Gesellschaft in Dresden, Germany. In the second year we had two
Fellows, Ranjan Gupta (microbiologist) and Melissa Flagg (chemist). I
am particularly grateful to Dr. Flagg, for helping to assemble this
2. Increasing importance of S&T
Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, the State Department developed an
increasingly important office for handling scientific issues, SCI,
while also managing a corps of some 20-25 professional scientists who
were designated ``science attaches'' or ``scientific counselors'' and
who served in major embassies abroad. In Washington, the SCI office had
solid S&T competence in its staff that backed up the attaches, and the
office handled issues such as the peaceful uses of atomic energy,
space, and the growing number of issues involving high technology. From
1967-1969, I was the first science attache in Eastern Europe. I lived
in Warsaw,\2\ and I was responsible for S&T affairs in Poland,
Czechoslovakia, and Hungary. While no doubt mistakenly suspected by
hostile Polish government officials of being a spy, I nonetheless had
considerable access to the Polish scientific community and some success
in developing cooperative projects with U.S. institutions. In 1974, as
a result of legislation, SCI became the Bureau of Oceans, International
Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OES).
\2\ I was not the first U.S. science attache to serve in the
Eastern Bloc. Glenn Schweitzer, who is still active in S&T relations
with Russia on the National Research Council (NRC) staff, was science
attache in Moscow from 1963-1966 and he impressively demonstrated the
value of such a position for interacting with the Soviet S&T community.
Upon leaving Warsaw, I returned to Washington to the Office of
Science and Technology (OST) as Assistant for International Affairs to
the President's Science Advisor, initially Lee DuBridge and then Ed
David. This was a time when--cynics said for lack of money to give
away, but I think because they really believed in it--both President
Nixon and his National Security Advisor, Henry Kissinger, were
traveling the world and, in lieu of other ``goodies,'' often left
behind the prospect of a better S&T relationship with the U.S. In fact,
I recently found this relevant quote by Dr. Kissinger: ``No human
activity is less national in character than the field of science. . .no
development efforts offer more hope than joint scientific and technical
cooperation. The symbolism of nations working together in an area as
strategic as science is important'' .
The truth was, we were quite busy following up on their trips, and
it was an exciting time to have an international science portfolio in
OST, especially if one was an inveterate ``engager'' like myself. We
are all prisoners of our own experiences, and my years in Eastern
Europe had convinced me of the value of keeping open channels of
communication to the science communities of other nations--even those
where political relations were very strained. We knew that many of the
scientists in those countries agreed with us and were not in sympathy
with their own governments. I also had seen how the Pugwash Conferences
involving Russian physicists and the informal contacts and growing
trust between the U.S. and Russian science communities had contributed
to the eventual signing of the treaty banning nuclear tests, and later
to other arms control agreements.
``Engagement'' is often maligned as a strategy by those who favor a
policy of isolating unfriendly nations, but I found that it was always
the communist governments that wanted to keep their scientists away
from us; it was the governments that feared scientific contact with the
West. There is a belief in some quarters that we can punish hostile
governments by not allowing their people to contact Americans, but my
view is that we should make every effort to develop these people-to-
people relationships, which emerge naturally from visits, exchanges,
and cooperation in appropriate areas.
The Nixon Administration brought two dramatic developments in
foreign policy: the Nixon-Brezhnev period of detente with the USSR, and
the breakthrough in relations with China. S&T played a role in each
initiative. Indeed, one of the seven science-related agreements, which
was eventually signed during the 1972 summit in Moscow, underwent its
final negotiations with the Soviets at the dining room table in my home
in Bethesda, Maryland, after almost a year of back-and-forth
discussions in both countries. While the resulting relationship almost
ended after the Soviets invaded Afghanistan, the core agreement was
drawn on again for a new agreement on S&T cooperation which was signed
in 1993 and is still in effect today. It was in 1972 that Ed David
coined a new phrase, one that still resonates today: ``Science and
technology have become the new international currency.''
Less well-known is the science element in President Nixon's
unprecedented visit to China. Henry Kissinger had requested OST to
prepare a series of illustrative proposals for S&T cooperation that
could be laid before the Chinese as evidence of U.S. willingness to
enter into meaningful cooperation as part of the proposed change in the
political relationship. In great secrecy and haste, under Ed David's
guidance, and with help from the Committee on Scholarly Communication
at the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), we cobbled together forty
possible projects as examples of what might be done. Those proposals
later served as models for actual exchanges and joint projects that
began after President Nixon's visit--slowly at first, but then with
increasing momentum. They were administered on the U.S. side by the
NAS. Ultimately, an intergovernmental S&T Agreement was put together by
Frank Press during the Carter Administration. Today the S&T
relationship with China is truly incredible in its range of activities,
including some 60,000 Chinese students who annually attend U.S.
universities, the majority of them in S&T fields. As one U.S.
university professor said to me, ``Where would our physics research be
today without these Chinese graduate students? Not enough Americans
want to study physics any more.'' He was not joking, although I assume
the Russian physicist was joking who recently described an American
university today as the place where Russian professors teach Chinese
Not all Americans welcome these developments, arguing that we are
helping China to become stronger and that the science can be applied to
military uses, thus becoming a threat to U.S. interests. At a recent,
quite remarkable conference on U.S.-China relations held at the Bush
Library at Texas A&M University, the keynote speakers--President George
W. Bush, Secretary of State Colin Powell, former Secretary of State
Henry Kissinger, and former Chinese Vice Premier Qian Qichen--each
stressed the importance of the U.S. bilateral relationship with China
and the need to work through the occasional strains that will doubtless
appear in that relationship. In a later session co-keynoted by Deng
Xiao Ping's daughter, Vice Minister of Science and Technology Mme. Deng
Nan, and myself, both of us emphasized the role of S&T cooperation in
strengthening the ties between our nations. Indeed, the relationship
has already weathered several storms: the Tienanmen incident, the
accidental NATO bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade, and the
downing of a U.S. reconnaissance plane on Hainan Island, among others.
So far, statesmanship on both sides, plus a recognition of the
importance to both countries of what could be lost, have prevailed. I
believe that S&T cooperation is one significant element contributing to
the overall stability of the U.S.-China relationship.
The great foreign policy achievements of the Nixon Administration
were sullied, though not obliterated, by the Watergate scandal and the
President's resignation. But even before that, at the end of 1972, the
OST staff had been informed that the entire White House science
advisory structure would be abolished. It was then that I decided to
leave government. I had been concerned for some time that when we in
the government discussed S&T cooperation with other countries, we were
talking about exchanges of students and cooperation on issues of
environment, health, housing, basic science, etc. However, the other
side wanted computer technology, aerospace technology, and other high-
tech elements that were largely in private hands in the U.S.
3. Moving on
In mid-1973, I joined Texas Instruments (TI), a high-technology,
multinational company where I could experience the global movement of
technology in the private sector. TI was at the time the world's
leading semiconductor company, with plants in the U.S., Europe, Asia,
and Latin America. My assignments in Europe, Japan, and at corporate
headquarters provided an excellent vantage point from which to observe
and participate in the enormous economic, educational, and
infrastructure-stimulating impact of high-tech investment in another
country. TI has been part of the explosive technical development of
Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, and Korea since the 1960s, and it had a role
in the 10-year semiconductor market-opening battle with Japan in the
late 1980s and 1990s. My final major assignment at TI was as Vice
President of TI-Asia, with residence in Japan for five years, prior to
retirement at the end of 1996.
While this essay is intended to focus on the role that governments
play at the policy level in our S&T relations abroad, it is useful to
note that a single corporate project can involve hundreds of millions
of dollars, the training of thousands of operators, technicians, and
managers, and exchanges of hundreds of individuals, often dwarfing
single government-to-government programs. I also learned from working
on the semiconductor problems with Japan, that a government/industry
team, working together in a coordinated way, can achieve results that
neither industry nor government could negotiate alone.
4. The decline of science at State
At roughly the same time, in the Washington science community, the
distinct impression was arising that science had come on hard times at
the Department of State. Some symptoms of decline were:
the position of Deputy Assistant Secretary for
Science in the OES Bureau was eliminated;
the staff of the once-strong OES office for
international cooperation, which managed the 35+ S&T agreements
between the U.S. and other countries, had been sharply cut
all the professional scientists in U.S. embassies
abroad were gone, replaced by foreign service officers--some
actually quite good, but most with little or no technical
the ``science cone'' as a professional category of
career choice in the foreign service was eliminated;
nuclear affairs had been transferred from OES to the
Nonproliferation Bureau, and protection of technology replaced
sharing of technology as a principal element of U.S. policy;
environmental issues, and fisheries and ocean
negotiations dominated the OES agenda at the expense of S&T.
Concern in the science community, particularly from the National
Academies and the American Association for the Advancement of Science
(AAAS), reached the point that in 1998 Secretary of State Madeline
Albright formally requested a study of this issue by the National
Research Council (NRC). The resulting eighteen-month effort produced an
excellent report on the relationship of S&T to foreign policy, and a
series of recommendations to the State Department for strengthening its
capacity to deal with those issues.\3\ In one salient phrase, the
report conveys the pervasiveness of the challenge for the foreign
affairs community, when it observes that of the sixteen specific
objectives set forth in the U.S. Strategic Plan for International
Affairs, thirteen of them encompass considerations of science,
technology, or health.
\3\ ``The pervasive role of science, technology, and health in
foreign policy: imperatives for the Department of State''  is
certainly among the best pieces written on the practical aspects of the
relationship of S&T to foreign policy. It also contains an extensive
bibliography of previous studies on S&T and foreign affairs, including
work done by the Carnegie Commission on Science, Technology, and
Government in the early 1990s. It is a must for any serious student of
5. Reinvigorating science in the Department of State
Secretary Albright's response to this report was to establish a
task force which developed an action plan called ''Science at State''
and included a number of actions to increase State's overall capacity
to deal more effectively with issues involving S&T. One recommendation,
taken from the NRC report, was to appoint an S&T Advisor to the
Secretary (STAS).\4\ The Advisor would drive this action plan while
reporting through the Under Secretary for Global Affairs.
\4\ While the study was still in progress, supporters in Congress
inserted language in the FY 2000-2001 authorization bill for State
calling for establishment of the S&T Advisor's position. This
legislation has certainly helped to sustain this independent office
within State's complex bureaucracy.
I was hired in late 2000, but with the presidential election only
two months away, I was cautioned not to sell our home in Dallas--the
implication being that the survival of STAS was not guaranteed in a new
administration. However, from our very first meeting after the
election, the new Under Secretary for Global Affairs, Paula Dobriansky,
strongly affirmed her support of the office and the work to be done on
the action plan. Her support remained steadfast throughout my three-
year term and in the important decision of appointing my successor.
Secretary Powell, in his first week on the job, revealed his own
``techie'' biases in a department-wide town meeting in which he
committed to seek funds for a major upgrade of State's global computer
system, including the goal of Internet access at every desk. Later, in
addressing an annual meeting of the NAS, his ringing endorsement of the
importance of S&T to inform and support foreign policy-making, and the
role of scientists at State, brought the packed auditorium to its feet
in a standing ovation .
Secretary Powell did much more, but one key factor was a new focus
on the management of the department and on relating mission to
financial needs in ways that brought a positive response from the White
House and Congress. This reversed a negative trend in State Department
budgets that had gone on for many years, despite ever-increasing
demands for embassy security, for adding new missions, for increased
hiring to staff unfilled positions in the Foreign Service, and for
upgraded communications, not to mention the new challenges that arose
in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
It was immediately clear to me that the Department of State must be
seen by the American people not as tea-sipping diplomats attending
lavish diplomatic affairs but as a critical agency of national
security--and it must be budgeted for and funded in that context. Early
on, we coined a simple mantra for STAS: the three pillars of national
security--intelligence, diplomacy, and military preparedness. A common
thread through those pillars is science and technology, with diplomacy
the last stop before war-when the talking stops, the shooting starts.
Secretary Powell speaks about people in the U.S. embassies and
consulates abroad as the ``front line of national security.'' Sadly,
the growing number of foreign service names on State's bronze memorial
plaques to those killed in the line of duty gives a special poignancy
to this front-line metaphor.
6. A new paradigm
For me this renewed focus on diplomacy as a special instrument for
national security is the new paradigm in this post-Cold War era. We no
longer live in what was once called a ``New World Order,'' but now live
in a world of inordinate disorder, in which diplomacy carries a
particularly heavy burden for building peaceful, constructive
relationships among nations. And S&T are essential components of that
diplomacy, whether combating terrorism, striving for sustainable
development, understanding and addressing global climate change,
attacking the HIV/AIDS pandemic, developing new energy technologies,
preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, assuring
food safety and security for a growing world population, protecting the
global environment, or conservation of diminishing marine resources,
among a list of many.
In a non-classified report released three years ago called ``Global
Trends 2015: A Dialog about the Future with Non-government Experts,''
the National Intelligence Council identified S&T as one of the seven
key drivers that will shape the world in 2015. Specifically cited were
information technology, biotechnology, materials science, and
nanotechnology. The report also foresees the dangers of side-wise
development or proliferation of older technologies for ballistic
missiles and weapons of mass destruction.
There is no shortage of S&T-related topics for America's foreign
policy agenda in the 21st century. But the real question is whether we
can make progress toward strengthening State's capacity to deal with
S&T issues in a foreign policy context. How can the STAS office, with
only three people, affect the culture of the oldest department of
government, which a former Science Advisor to the President called the
most technophobic culture he had ever experienced?
6.1. Outreach to the scientific and engineering communities
We began with a three-point program, the first element of which was
a major outreach effort to the scientific and engineering communities,
both inside and outside of government. We wanted the closest possible
relationship in order to draw on the best S&T advice and counsel
available in the country. Key participating institutions were the
National Academies (of Sciences, Engineering, and the Institute of
Medicine), the AAAS, the American Association of Universities (AAU), a
host of professional science and engineering societies, and a number of
individual universities. The responses were quite fantastic. All were
eager to help find ways to make effective inputs into the policy
process. We expected less enthusiasm from the government technical
agencies, which we thought might see State as interfering with, rather
than assisting, their international activities. But we were surprised
and pleased at their enthusiastic response to having a stronger S&T
focus at State.
Also of great importance to the STAS office is the President's
Science Advisor, who is also Director of the Office of Science and
Technology Policy (OSTP). For international representational purposes,
the OSTP Director is the de facto S&T Minister for the U.S., with a
highly visible and important international role. We were fortunate to
enjoy strong support and close working relations with Neal Lane at the
start and the present incumbent, John Marburger.
So there was no doubt that the transmission side of the advisory
process was in fine shape. But how about the receptor mechanisms inside
State? Certainly, we could draw on the best available S&T advice and
convene roundtables, workshops, or briefings with State officials. Such
sessions were useful, especially to brief a delegation leaving on a
specific mission, but to me they seemed insufficient for the challenge
of institutionalizing a greater awareness of S&T issues throughout the
policy process. One might be tempted to think that foreign policy is
made by whispering in the Secretary's ear, but nothing could be further
from the truth.
Policy development at State is a complex process that derives from
the structure of the institution--a structure that should be understood
if any attempt to advise or inform the system is to succeed (see Fig.
1). State has over 25,000 employees located in Washington and in more
than 250 embassies, consulates, missions to international
organizations, and other overseas posts that formulate and carry out
U.S. policy toward some 191 nations.
Reporting to Secretary Powell through his Deputy, Richard Armitage,
are six undersecretaries who oversee the work of some 23 bureaus of two
different types: regional bureaus and functional bureaus. The six
regional bureaus (which divide the world into six geographic regions),
each headed by an assistant secretary, are responsible for all posts
abroad and the focus of all policies toward individual regions and
countries. Early in my assignment, one senior foreign service officer
said that to have any real impact at State, I had to penetrate the
``baronies''--the realms of the regional assistant secretaries, the six
``barons,'' who represent the traditional diplomatic heart of the
The functional bureaus outnumber the regional bureaus and serve
specific missions, such as arms control; verification and compliance of
arms agreements; nonproliferation; oceans, environment, and science;
consular affairs; educational and cultural affairs; economic and
business affairs; democracy, human rights and labor; international
narcotics and law enforcement; population, refugees, and migration;
political/military affairs; intelligence and research; international
organizations; administration; etc. The functional bureaus are
extremely important but, to oversimplify, they are essentially single-
viewpoint organizations that wish to have their issues prevail in the
formation of policy toward any given country or region--among a tide of
often competing interests.
Take country X as an example. The desk responsible for X would like
good relations; the human rights office wants to punish it for rights
abuses; OES wants a bilateral science agreement to work with X's
science community; a third bureau insists that X's space program is for
military purposes and there must be no cooperation; the narcotics
people want to spray the poppy fields just discovered there; the
economics people want to promote business opportunities in X for U.S.
industry; the trade controls office wants to deny export licenses for
certain products for security reasons; the education people want to
start a Fulbright program with X's main university; another bureau
wants to deny a U.S. visa for one of X's prominent professors because
he is a nuclear scientist; the agricultural affairs office wants to
take retaliatory action because X has just banned imports of U.S.
genetically modified corn; the aviation people want to deny U.S.
landing rights to X's airline, because X will not permit a second U.S.
carrier to serve its capital city; and the health office says that X
has a surge of HIV/AIDS incidents that threaten an entire region
because the president of X denies there is a problem.
As these multiple, often-conflicting views move up through the
system and the regional people try to blend them into a coherent policy
position toward country X, if the S&T inputs are not made early in the
process but wait until the final papers reach the assistant secretary
or higher, the chances of having any influence on that policy are very
slim indeed. This is even more true with the big political issues that
occupy much of the Secretary's time, such as North Korean weapons, the
Mideast conflict, Iran's nuclear program, Iraq reconstruction, the
Global AIDS Fund, etc. If relevant S&T inputs are not made at the
bureau or office level on such issues, the chances of them influencing
the final policy are next to nil.
Therefore, it seemed obvious that we had to try to get more
scientists into the system, and to distribute them among many different
bureaus. In the functional bureaus they could work in their scientific
fields. In the regional bureaus, their creative and adaptive skills
could deliver large dividends in bringing new perspectives and
approaches to offices where science is (usually) at best only an
afterthought. They could begin to influence the baronies.
6.2. The Fellows program
The second element of our STAS strategy was to greatly expand the
Fellows programs. For years there had been a handful of Ph.D. scientist
Fellows, selected on a highly competitive basis by AAAS, and made
available to the State Department at State's expense for one year,
renewable by mutual agreement for a second year. These had generally
been limited to the OES bureau. With help from Human Resources, we were
able to secure a small number of these two-year positions and then
distribute them across several bureaus. We also found some offices with
unfilled positions that were able to take Fellows with the right
qualifications and interests.
In addition, the American Institute of Physics (AIP) became the
first professional society to create and fund a competitive Scientist
Fellow program for State. The quality of the candidates from AIP has
been so high and the demand so strong that we have been able to place
not only the winner but also the runner-up for three years running. The
first AIP Fellow at State, George Atkinson, a professor of chemistry
and optical physics on leave from the University of Arizona, was so
successful that he was selected as my successor when my three-year
appointment ended in September 2003. The Institute of Electrical and
Electronics Engineers quickly followed AIP and is now in its second
year with a total of three Fellows. The American Chemical Society (ACS)
recently approved a program and we expect an ACS Fellow in 2004. On the
industry side, the Industrial Research Institute has also signed a
The unprecedented result is that as of September 2003, we had some
40 Ph.D. scientists and engineers working or committed to work in State
as Fellows, distributed among 18 offices in 12 bureaus, including five
of the six regional bureaus. This rich mixture of talent brings
distributed S&T wisdom to State at affordable costs and easy
accommodation in the personnel system. I would like to see this number
stabilize at about 50 Fellows per year. Furthermore, George Atkinson is
now putting the final touches on a new Jefferson Science Fellows pilot
program with funding from private foundations and U.S. universities.
Administered through the NRC, this program should add five new Fellows
per year on leave from their faculty positions, hopefully presaging a
new relationship between State and the university research community.
We have also put a new focus on getting science students into
State's summer intern program, have increased the number of scientist
detailees into State from other U.S. Government agencies, and have
strongly promoted an OES program that is now placing some 30 staff
scientists from six participating government agencies into tailored,
one- to three-month assignments at U.S. embassies throughout the world.
These varied programs all aim at bringing technical talent into State
on a non-career basis. But we also worked with the recruiting people to
hire more people with S&T backgrounds into the career foreign service.
It is now possible for Fellows interested in a foreign service career
to be exempted from the written examination and move directly into the
competitive selection process.
There is also one long-term detailee from NASA who has been
assigned as the first S&T advisor to an embassy. That person is in
Australia and has demonstrated brilliantly the benefits to an embassy
of having a professional scientist to complement the foreign service
officer who holds the science portfolio as part of his economic job. It
is a model I would like to see realized in 20-25 embassies around the
world because I do not see any possibility of rebuilding the
professional science attache corps that existed 30 to 40 years ago. A
professional scientist will always enjoy a level of access and
interaction with the local scientific community that is simply not
possible to a layman.
6.3. Selecting specific science initiatives
The third element of the STAS program was the selection of specific
science initiatives that could demonstrate the direct value of S&T for
achieving political objectives with other countries. With the ability
to interact with the programs of all government technical agencies and
to interface with any of the 191 countries in the world, there was a
rich smorgasbord of opportunities on which to draw. We were selective
in choosing actions that we believed would raise awareness in the
regional bureaus to the value of S&T initiatives as part of an active
foreign policy. In citing a few examples, I must also note the
inadvisability of a small office taking on long-term operational
responsibilities. Such responsibilities are simply too time-consuming
and should be transferred, after the catalytic stage, to a bureau
equipped to manage the operation.
I spent nearly 30 years in two large companies--one in oil, the
other in electronics. It is clear to me that the greater corporate
world has heartily embraced globalization. Mergers and alliances,
especially in high-tech industries, are de riguer. Exxon and Mobil were
not big enough alone to address the global marketplace, so now my $83
per month retirement check comes from ExxonMobil Corp. HP and Compaq
were either too big to compete with each other or not big enough to
compete in the global market, so they merged.
But the political world has not yet bought into this. There,
centrifugal forces are rife. Ethnic tensions, nationalist ambitions,
and religious extremism continue to divide the world's peoples at a
remarkable rate. The instruments of division or separation can be
democratic, but increasingly they are violent--fueled by passionate
convictions that emerge as terrorism or suicidal attacks. The point is
that the political world is very different and global business
solutions and market forces alone do not provide the answers. All
nations struggle to find answers to these questions and, in doing so,
to protect their borders and their citizens and to move forward with
economic development. In considering projects, we worked on both
strategic bilateral science relationships as well one of the
multilateral ``big science'' opportunities emerging globally.
6.4. The Indo-U.S. S&T forum
The first project was the formation and implementation of the Indo-
U.S. S&T forum. It grew out of two high-level dialogues between U.S.
and Indian science leaders. It then became a major objective of the
U.S. Ambassador to India, but although a modest rupee endowment was
provided and an agreed framework established, nothing happened, and the
money was about to be lost.
With strong support from State's South Asia Bureau and our embassy,
we set up a U.S. board and arranged a first meeting with the Indian
counterparts. For three years now, I have served as the U.S. Co-
Chairman of the Forum, with strong support from the National Academy,
and in this way we have sustained a formal, funded mechanism for
promoting bilateral S&T cooperation with India. This fits well with
present U.S. policy toward India, which stresses cooperation,
encourages the economic and scientific development of India, and has
relaxed the sanctions imposed after India's nuclear tests. The Indians
particularly want more cooperation in nuclear power, civil space
activity, and the easing of export controls on high-technology items--
the so-called ``trinity of issues.'' Progress continues in these areas,
but proliferation issues and intellectual property protection concerns
still limit these interactions. At the same time, the forum is working,
and is considered a meaningful part of the new and much warmer
relationship between the U.S. and India.
A second project involved Vietnam. A previously signed bilateral
S&T agreement had not yet been ratified in Vietnam and there was no
activity. The East Asia Bureau was eager to see this program proceed as
part of warming relations with this most populous and energetic country
in the region. On a trip to India, I also stopped in Hanoi to try
nudging things forward. Subsequently I put together an interagency
delegation and convened the first meeting of a committee to define some
joint activities. The result is that there is now a modest,
functioning, bilateral program with operational responsibility shifted
to the OES Bureau. Furthermore, Congress has also created the Vietnam
Education Fund, which will provide $5 million per year for 17 years
from Vietnamese debt payments to the U.S. to support exchanges of
students and professors in science, technology, and mathematics. Over
time, this program will develop a cohort of U.S.-trained Vietnamse
scientists, who will maintain links with their U.S. colleagues and
build the cooperative programs of the future.
Pakistan is crucial in the war against terrorism, and President
Musharraf, in the face of considerable domestic opposition, has pledged
his support to the U.S. in this effort. During a U.S. visit with
President Bush, in addition to discussions on fighting terrorism, the
two leaders noted the desirability of S&T cooperation and assistance in
education and economic development. This was of considerable interest
to the embassy and to the South Asia Bureau, so when no one else picked
up the issue, STAS did.
Working with Pakistan's indefatiguable Science Minister, Atta-ur-
Rahman, and the U.S. technical agencies, we laid out the framework for
a jointly funded cooperative program, and OES developed a bilateral
science agreement to formalize the relationship. In a subsequent
meeting with the U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan, President Musharraf
emphasized the importance of this S&T relationship for Pakistan's
future economic development.
While U.S. funding was delayed due to complexities in the
appropriations process, funds were included in the FY 2004 for State
and implementation plans are now underway, also including partial
funding from the Pakistan side.
6.4.3. Multilateral cooperation on big projects
Another important issue is multilateral cooperation on big science
or big technology projects that are so large, expensive, or risky that
no one country will undertake them alone. A current example is the
International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor project (ITER), a key
next step on the still long and uncertain road from nuclear fusion to
another source of energy.
Since our office began, we strongly supported the ultimately
successful effort of DOE and OSTP to have the U.S. rejoin the ITER
consortium, which now includes the EU, Russia, China, Japan, and South
Korea. This is an extremely important test case for the viability of a
prototypical big science or technology project. Can five nations and
one region really come together at a fixed location in one nation and
work for ten years to build a reactor and then work cooperatively for
an additional 10 to 20 years of operation? Will each entity compromise
its own domestic fusion program, its domestic industry involvement, and
agree to sustain funding for work at a site perhaps thousands of miles
from home? Can issues of export control, intellectual property, and
legal structures all be resolved on a timely basis?
While the parties have now agreed on a basis for sharing the $5
billion cost of the project, there is as yet no agreement on the site
for construction. ITER has been in process for 18 somewhat bumpy years.
It must move forward soon or it will founder, with very unfortunate
implications for other big programs, such as the next large accelerator
for the high-energy physics community. Success, however, will provide
valuable lessons and inspiration to future programs by demonstrating
that such complex cooperative activities are indeed possible.
7. Building S&T cooperation
The above examples all involve international S&T cooperation, which
I see in a political context. I strongly believe that S&T cooperation
can help build a solid, long-term relationship between participating
countries. Each individual program represents a separate strand in the
fabric of an overall relationship. The more of these strands that exist
and the stronger they are, the more resilient and durable the
relationship, whatever the slings and arrows that may impinge on it.
Such cooperation is particularly valuable in today's complex world.
But let me say it in slightly different terms. The military strength of
the U.S. is our hard power. No other nation today can challenge that
hard power on the open battlefield. But there is another side to
America--our soft power--also called by Joseph Nye our ``co-opting
power'' . It is the siren song of the values of an open, democratic
society, one that cherishes human rights, freedoms of speech, religion,
and inquiry, etc. Science and technology, coupled with our universities
and the relationships we build around the world, are all instruments of
that soft power. It is highly appropriate that both OES and STAS are
housed at State in Paula Dobriansky's Under-secretariat for Global
Affairs, together with several other bureaus and offices that are major
actors in the conduct of America's soft power diplomacy (refer back to
S&T cooperation can also be one of our most effective instruments
for helping the developing world to build an indigenous technical
capacity for linking to the global economy that is essentially driven
by technology. That is why the S&T forum with India was a priority for
their rapidly developing S&T community, and why the President of
Pakistan so strongly favors S&T cooperation with the U.S. That is also
why a major study, just beginning in the NAS/NRC, on the role of S&T in
the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), is of such
potential import. Despite a number of sporadic attempts over the years
to make S&T an identifiable and pervasive element in USAID's
activities, that has not happened, even though many of their projects
are technical in nature. USAID's approval and partial funding of this
study is highly significant.
7.1. Challenges facing S&T cooperation
I should also note some of the challenges that we currently face in
taking full advantage of our cooperative S&T opportunities. The U.S.
response to the terrorist attacks of September 11 profoundly changed
the Nation, as well as its scientific and diplomatic priorities. The
top issues today are the war against terrorism, homeland security, and
nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), and they are
impacting all of our international activities. On the positive side,
there are opportunities to cooperate with other countries on R&D
aspects of cyber security, combating terrorism, detecting hidden
weapons, protecting container shipments, etc. The newly formed
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has offices for international
activities and has begun discussions with some potential international
cooperative partners. Our STAS office has also discussed cyber security
issues with the EU, led a negotiation on an R&D agreement with Canada,
and scheduled a first meeting with Japan on R&D for peace and security.
7.1.1. New visa procedures
However, one issue has emerged, which I believe has the potential
to seriously affect research and development activities in the U.S.,
and which, over time, will negatively impact U.S. national security.
That is the issue of new visa procedures contained in Congressional
legislation passed in response to 9/11. Under this legislation, visa
policy was moved from State to DHS, and procedures were tightened
considerably in order to prevent terrorists or potential WMD
proliferators from entering the country as students or scientists. This
article is not the venue for reviewing these procedures in detail, nor
is it easy to acquire accurate data on the impact of visa delays and
denials on attendance at scientific meetings and research in industrial
and university laboratories; both the AAU and NAS/NRC are trying to
develop accurate numbers. However, extensive anecdotal information
indicates a serious problem, particularly for applicants from China,
Russia, Vietnam, the Balkans, India, and Muslim countries. Graduate
students and post-doctoral researchers, who are not being granted visas
or who simply find the procedures too onerous or the decisions too
capricious, are turning toward Europe, Australia, and Japan. One large
midwestern university president told me that enrollments fell by about
1000 students in Fall 2003 because of visa problems. While the
processing is faster than a year or more ago when serious backlogs
arose, many people will not or cannot apply two or three months ahead
of their trip as recommended. Scientific meeting planners are
increasingly looking at alternate overseas venues.
I believe we must find a better balance between security and
openness. We are muffling one of the most effective soft-power
instruments of this great country-a nation whose very essence rests on
the principle of openness. In 1966, Hollywood produced a comedy film
about the cold war called ``The Russians are Coming.'' The present
Russian Ambassador to the U.S. had an op-ed piece in the Washington
Post last year titled, ``The Russians Are Not Coming.'' It was about
the visa problem.
Good science is not limited to the U.S., and diminished contact
with excellent work abroad will only constrain U.S. research. Last year
nearly 70 percent of the pages of Physical Review, the world's leading
physics journal, came from foreign authors. With something like 50
percent of our graduate students in the physical sciences and
engineering coming from overseas, a severe decline will also limit U.S.
university research, with long-term adverse effects on the economy as
well as the cutting-edge basic research important for national
7.1.2. Absence of funding mechanisms
A second issue, which I never thought was a problem until seeing it
firsthand during the past three years, is the absence of effective
government-wide funding mechanisms for international S&T cooperation.
In most agencies there are no dedicated funds for this purpose.
Furthermore, legislation often limits cooperation to programs that can
be justified purely in terms of their domestic missions or the benefits
to U.S. science.
One possibility would be to appropriate funds expressly for soft-
power S&T cooperation, perhaps to the Department of State. To some
extent there are precedents. One was when the Soviet empire imploded
and funds were made available by Congress, through the SEED Act and the
Freedom Support Act, to aid the transition in those countries. Some of
that money did go for science programs, although with more emphasis on
assistance than on cooperation. The difference may be subtle, but it
can be important to the receiving nation.
It might also be possible--and legislatively easier--to
specifically designate for S&T cooperation a portion of the so-called
Economic Support Funds (ESF), which State now receives for various uses
overseas including some regional environmental initiatives. This may
require more program development capacity than State can presently
muster, but such an approach deserves serious consideration.
Easier funding for S&T cooperation could also be achieved via
changes in the spending authorities for each of the technical
agencies--not a simple process. It would require some sort of
resounding policy authorization stating that international S&T
cooperation is an active element of U.S. foreign policy. Then each
agency would have to interpret that policy in terms of its own mission,
with guidance from State to ensure overall compatibility with U.S.
I recently learned of a past effort in the Carter Administration to
create a new government agency to directly support international S&T
cooperation. The proposal actually made it through three of the four
Congressional hurdles--two authorization bills and one appropriations
bill in the House--but, regrettably, it died in the Senate for lack of
a champion and in the face of opposition by USAID.
But in truth I am not sure a new agency is the best answer to the
problem. Our S&T cooperation needs to be broad and to encompass the
full range of mission-oriented research within our federal technical
agencies. However, that would require a clear indication from Congress
that international S&T cooperation is, in fact, encouraged and
fundable. I was pleased to see this year, in the OSTP/OMB budget
guidance to the agencies, that one of the seven criteria for project
funding that would be seen favorably was to include an element of
international cooperation. That is a welcome statement, but it does not
solve the larger issue, and I hope that a brave future S&T Advisor at
State will try to find such a resolution. It could have a great impact
on the challenge of effective capacity building in the developing world
and on U.S. relations in some problematic, but important, countries.
7.1.3. Export controls
When I was in government 30 years ago, export controls were a
problem of constant contention among the agencies. That situation has
not changed. One particularly difficult area has been controls on
satellite technology, which has caused problems at universities where
non-U.S. graduate students have worked on scientific satellite
experiments. Of more direct economic significance, in the last few
years the struggling U.S. satellite industry claims that these controls
have caused a drastic drop in their global market share of civilian
satellites and components and virtually guaranteed their foreign
competitors captive markets abroad. Each issue in this field is complex
and beyond the scope of this paper. However, with particular attention
since 9/11 to nonproliferation issues, export controls will be an
element of concern in any international cooperation involving high-
technology products or know-how. Successful collaboration with the U.S.
will obligate other nations to provide rigorous enforcement of their
own export control regulations and to come down hard on violators.
7.1.4. Intellectual property rights
Another issue affecting international S&T cooperation is
intellectual property rights (IPR). The negotiation of bilateral
agreements has sometimes been seriously delayed or even derailed by
U.S. insistence on standard IPR language in all such agreements, even
though IPR issues have very rarely arisen in these cooperative
programs. IPR is not a trivial issue, and universities throughout the
world are beginning to recognize the value of IPR in their research and
to seek early patent protection. But I have always felt that IPR issues
should be worked out on a project basis between the cooperating
parties, and that including somewhat draconian IPR boilerplate in
umbrella agreements is counterproductive. In the corporate world, where
the stakes are high, detailed IPR agreements are worked out between the
parties based on specific projects or programs. If agreement cannot be
reached, the project does not proceed. That should be possible within
our government S&T cooperative relationships as well.
7.1.5. Marginalizing S&T considerations
The final issue is what some outside scientific observers call the
marginalization of S&T considerations by the foreign policy community.
Of course, that is the reason the S&T Advisor position was created at
the Department of State. In the past three years, I believe we have
made some significant progress on these issues. I have worked for Under
Secretary Dobriansky and Secretary Powell and with many other
colleagues at the State Department with great enthusiasm, and I
welcomed the appointment of my successor to sustain this department-
Yet, for all of the Fellows, the individual S&T initiatives and the
strong support from the top of the department, I still believe that S&T
has only shallow roots in the Department of State as an institution,
and there is much more that can be done. It behooves the outside S&T
community, which has so strongly supported the NAS/NRC study and our
efforts to turn its recommendations into reality, to continue its
vigorous support and to remain involved. Eternal vigilance should
remain the watchword in following future developments in the
fascinating interplay of S&T and foreign policy.
 Carvalho-Rodrigues F. NATO's science programs: origins and
influence. Technol Soc 2001;23: 375-381.
 The pervasive role of science, technology, and health in foreign
policy: imperatives for the Department of State. National Research
Council: National Academy Press, 1999.
 Powell C, Remarks at the NAS Annual Meeting. Washington DC, April
30, 2002. Available in the archives section of State's website:
 Nye Jr JS. The paradox of American power: why the world's only
superpower can't go it alone. New York: Oxford University Press; 2002.
Biography for Norman P. Neureiter
Norman P. Neureiter has a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from
Northwestern University. Following six years of research in the oil
industry, he spent two years at NSF and then entered the U.S. Foreign
Service, serving in Germany and then in Poland (1967-1969) as the first
U.S. Science Attache in Eastern Europe. He was responsible for
international affairs in the White House Office of Science and
Technology (OST) during the Nixon Administration. Upon disbandment of
OST in 1973, he joined Texas Instruments (TI), finishing a career in
corporate relations and international business development as Vice
President of TI Asia, based in Japan. After retirement in 1996, he was
a consultant to government and business, until his recent three-year
assignment as the first Science and Technology Advisor to the U.S.
Secretary of State. He is presently a Distinguished Presidential Fellow
for International Affairs at the National Academy of Sciences.
Chairman Baird. I would very much like to thank our
witnesses for your work. Some incredibly eloquent testimony
today, and inspiring testimony, and we appreciate your daily
work, and the information that you have provided this
committee. I want to thank my colleagues for their
participation. As I have said before, this is one of the
central issues that this committee will occupy itself with over
the year. Dr. Fedoroff, I am very excited about this, I don't
know, gathering is maybe the best word, maybe you have got
another word, of university directors, and we hope to learn
more about that in the future.
With that, this hearings stands adjourned, and with the
gratitude of the Committee, thank you.
[Whereupon, at 11:36 a.m., the Subcommittee was adjourned.]
Answers to Post-Hearing Questions
Responses by John H. Marburger, III, Director, Office of Science and
Questions submitted by Chairman Brian Baird
Q1. Is there a role best served by a non-governmental organization,
such as the Civilian Research and Development Foundation, in maximizing
the ``soft power'' effectiveness of science and technology cooperation
to meet U.S. foreign policy objectives?
A1. Non-governmental science and technology (S&T) organizations (NGO's)
such as CRDF, the American Association for the Advancement of Science,
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Carnegie Foundation and many others
continue to have an important role in influencing what others think of
the United States and help promote U.S. foreign policy goals. S&T NGO's
are able to form connections to organizations, scientists, and citizens
globally. They communicate the culture, processes, values and ideas
that form the foundation for U.S. S&T such as transparency, openness,
peer review, and intellectual property rights. These ideas can then be
transferred outside of the scientific community to other parts of
Q2. How can the Federal Government more effectively capitalize on the
scientific expertise and innovative spirit at our research universities
in pursuit of our foreign policy goals?
A2. Studies have shown that foreigners continue to have high admiration
and respect for U.S. science, technology, and innovation capabilities
and want to come to the U.S. to study. The Federal Government can
capitalize on the scientific expertise and innovative spirit at U.S.
research universities for foreign policy goals by continuing to support
the exchange of foreign scientists and students to the U.S. to study
and work. This includes easing visa difficulties and providing a
welcoming environment (increased public diplomacy) for foreign
students. We also encourage U.S. undergraduates, graduates, and post-
docs to do some of their training in other countries to increase their
abilities to form international collaborations in their later careers
and to tap into overseas knowledge. The exchange between U.S. and
international scientific communities not only strengthens the health of
our S&T community but also provides an opportunity to influence
potential foreign S&T leaders in government, academia and society.
Q3. There exists no single point of contact in the U.S. government
with the authority, the budget and the coordinating function to
initiate new cooperative research activities, even with countries with
whom we have already signed a formal agreement or with whom we
regularly collaborate. The National Science Board made some
recommendations to improve the process by which international
collaborations are established, including the designation of a lead
official in each agency empowered to promote and develop international
science and engineering strategy and coordination. What is your
response to that particular recommendation, and what else might your
office or other agencies do to improve the process by which new
international collaborations are established?
A3. Each USG technical agency has an office dedicated to international
cooperation. Staff responsibilities are to promote international
collaboration in support of their agency's goals and missions.
Additionally, senior Administration officials serve on a variety of
international organizations and groups that promote international
scientific collaborations (UNESCO, G8 Science Ministers, Heads of
Research Councils, OECD/GSF). These activities help to support agency
to agency or researcher to researcher international collaborations in
support of U.S. diplomatic objectives. These offices work closely with
the State Department which has responsibility to coordinate and
establish U.S. diplomatic objectives. As stated in my written
testimony, OSTP has found that drawing together the USG technical
agencies around specific topics or focused on a particular country have
proven the most successful way to promote coordination and strategic
thinking in our international collaborations.
Answers to Post-Hearing Questions
Responses by Arden L. Bement, Jr., Director, National Science
Questions submitted by Chairman Brian Baird
Q1. You mentioned in your testimony that the Office of International
Science and Engineering is currently leading an effort to develop a
goal-oriented strategic plan that will inform coordination of
international activities across the Foundation. What is the timeline
for that plan? Does NSF currently maintain a directory of all of its
international projects and grants or is one being developed as part of
the strategic plan?
A1. The planning framework is being developed with input from an
internal Foundation-wide International Coordinating Committee. The
draft framework will be shared with NSF's external Advisory Committee
for International Science and Engineering over the next few weeks and
their advice will be incorporated. The draft will then be reviewed by
the NSF Director and other senior management with the intent of
finalizing the plan by summer 2008.
NSF does not maintain a directory of international projects and
grants. However, NSF electronic files identify awards with
international activity so that reports can be developed as needed. The
recent Office of International Science & Engineering (OISE)
International Data Working Group project resulted in substantially
revised international implication data collection for awards effective
December, 2007, with future enhancements planned. This change should
improve reporting on international activity NSF-wide by requiring
identification of planned international activity at initial award. Over
tune, this should allow easier analysis of international activities
embedded in proposals across NSF,
Q2. In your testimony you discussed the benefits of the Partnerships
for International Research and Education (PIRE), including the 15 PIRE
projects involving collaboration with scientists in developing
countries. You also discussed the joint program with Pakistan. Across
the Foundation, what percentage of the budget supporting international
collaborations involves U.S. scientists and engineers working with
scientists and engineers in developing countries on research projects
of mutual interest but also with direct benefit to those countries,
including for capacity-building?
A2. Foundation-wide budget information on international collaborations
is not readily available. However, international implications data
discussed in the response above indicate that roughly 37 percent of all
NSF awards issued in FY 2007 had an international component. These
awards involved a total of 145 different countries.
Budget information is available for OISE programs with respect to
developing countries. In FY 2007, nearly 31 percent ($11 million) of
the OISE research and education budget ($36 million) was spent on
awards involving U.S. scientists and engineers collaborating with
counterparts from developing countries. (If the Committee would like to
receive relevant budget information beyond OISE, NSF would be happy to
discuss a framework and timeline for providing such data.)
OISE seeks to ensure that the next generation of STEM scientists
and engineers are globally engaged; thus we have a number of mechanisms
to give U.S. students and recent graduates experience in doing research
throughout the world, and especially in developing countries. In order
to strengthen ties with developing countries in particular, we have
recently entered into a partnership with the U.S. Agency for
International Development whereby they will provide support to the non-
U.S. participants in projects of mutual interest to both agencies.
Answers to Post-Hearing Questions
Responses by Nina V. Fedoroff, Science and Technology Advisor to the
Secretary of State, U.S. Department of State; Administrator of
Questions submitted by Representative Russ Carnahan
Q1. By statute, you report through the Under Secretary of State for
Democracy and Global Affairs rather than directly to the Secretary.
Q1a. Does this statutory reporting inhibit you in any way from
providing advice and input directly to the bureaus and offices across
the Department, including those in other reporting lines?
A1a. No. The current Science and Technology Adviser to the Secretary of
State is also serving in the same capacity to the Administrator of
USAID/Director for U.S. Foreign Assistance. This broadened
responsibility provides an opportunity to further align the missions of
USAID and the State Department. To implement this broader vision, the
Adviser is currently working with Secretary Rice and Administrator Fore
to transform the Adviser's office to further enhance the contribution
of science and scientists, engineers and other technologists to the
missions of both USAID and the State Department, as articulated in the
Secretary's Transformational Diplomacy Initiative. The Adviser
interacts directly with the Secretary and the Under Secretaries and the
Administrator through briefings and in a multiplicity of other
settings, reflecting the growing role of science and technology in our
foreign policy and foreign assistance activities.
Q1b. What do you think of the suggestion from the Secretary's Advisory
Committee on Transformational Democracy to either make the Science
Advisor and the Assistant Secretary for OES the same person or
alternatively, to make the Science Adviser a Principal Deputy Assistant
Secretary so that there is only one line of reporting and one
individual responsible for bringing senior attention to the full range
of science and technology challenges and opportunities across the
A1b. The Adviser acts as the principal interface between the larger
scientific and technical community and USAID and one of the principal
interlocutors among scientists, engineers and technical experts and the
State Department. The current procedure for appointing the Adviser,
which involves nominations generated by a committee at the highest
levels within the National Academy of Sciences, followed by State
Department interviews, including an interview with the Secretary of
State, is extremely important to maintaining the credibility of the
position both within the government and within the scientific and
Combining the position of the Adviser with that of the Assistant
Secretary (A/S) or the Principle Deputy Assistant Secretary (PDAS)
would limit the ability of the Adviser to focus on her core functions.
The A/S and PDAS have responsibility for a large range of
administrative, environmental and ocean-related issues which need to be
informed by science but which are not science functions, per se. STAS
works closely with OES on many initiatives, and they play reinforcing
and complementary roles to each other.
Answers to Post-Hearing Questions
Responses by Jeff Miotke, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Science,
Space, and Health, Bureau of Oceans, Environment, and Science,
U.S. Department of State
Questions submitted by Chairman Brian Baird
Q1. If Congress or the public were to request a comprehensive list of
international science and technology cooperation activities currently
being funded by the Federal Government, where would we/they turn for
this information? Given that international science and technology
activities across the agencies are coordinated by your office, is this
a list that your office or another in the Department of State does or
A1. Currently, there is no comprehensive list of international science
and technology (S&T) cooperation activities being funded by the Federal
Government. As an indication of the breadth of USG international S&T
activities, Congress or the public should turn to the State
Department's Bureau of Oceans, Environment, and Sciences (OES) to
obtain a comprehensive list of framework (or ``umbrella'') S&T
agreements between the United States and other countries. This list is
available on the State Department website: http://www.state.gov/g/oes/
The OES Bureau can prepare lists of cooperative activities taking
place in specific countries upon request. Two examples are for India
and China. For India, at the request of the Office of Science and
Technology Policy, the OES Bureau polled the technical agencies and
prepared a spreadsheet listing all of their S&T cooperative activities
with that country. For China, Congress has requested the State
Department to prepare a biennial report, agency by agency, on all S&T
collaborative activities, with a special emphasis on security issues.
This report therefore also provides a complete listing of all Federal
Government funded S&T activities in that country. Often considerable
time is required to prepare such information because of the number of
federal agencies that need to be contacted and the extent of their
Q2. There exists no single point of contact in the U.S. Government
with the authority, the budget, and the coordinating function to
initiate new cooperative research activities, even with countries with
whom we have already signed a formal agreement or with whom we
regularly collaborate. What would your office do to improve the process
by which new collaborations are established?
A2. All relevant USG technical agencies have a seat at the table when
the Department of State convenes S&T coordination meetings with partner
countries to review the status of S&T cooperation. The review proceeds
under the auspices of existing or new ``umbrella'' S&T cooperation
agreements. With our major partners, these ``Joint Committee Meetings
(JCM)'' convene once every two years; with others, they occur less
frequently. Interim meetings at lower levels can also be held to check
on progress between JCMs. Our internal USG preparatory process before
each of the JCMs allows us to understand what each USG agency hopes to
gain from collaboration with our international partner and what
resources that USG agency can devote to that collaboration. Agency
priorities are, in turn, influenced by a number of factors, including
the annual list of overall U.S. R&D priorities developed by the Office
of Science and Technology Policy, congressional preferences and agency
mandates. Given the manner in which U.S. S&T priorities are set and
resource are allocated, the current system--while not perfect--works
fairly well and provides for considerable flexibility to accommodate
scientific progress and changing national priorities over time.
The technical agencies have also been responsive to some strategic
U.S. foreign policy priorities; their support for our S&T partnerships
with predominantly Muslim countries is a good example. The current
system is perhaps least effective in our relationships with less
developed countries which are in need of S&T capacity building and lack
the other resources necessary to cooperate with U.S. science agencies
and other institutions. Our answer to the next question describes a new
effort to help bridge the gap with developing countries.
Q3. You stated in your testimony that the State Department could be
doing more to interact with the private sector, academia, and other
nongovernmental organizations. Can you elaborate on this statement? In
particular, I would like to understand how both the State Department
and the Federal Government generally could more effectively capitalize
on the scientific expertise and innovative spirit in academia in
pursuit of our common goals of science for diplomacy, development, and
A3. We are working to create new opportunities for the private sector
(business, foundations, academia, and non-governmental organizations)
to work with the State Department and USAID to carry out its core
foreign policy and foreign assistance objectives.
OES has on-going dialogues with a number of countries, such as
South Africa and Vietnam, regarding development of business
accelerators and has raised the subject in meetings with the OECD and
AFEC. Since the promotion of technological entrepreneurship is of great
interest to many partner countries, discussions on accelerators are
frequently associated with recently signed bilateral agreements on S&T
cooperation. We have structured our bilateral talks to allow these
partners to interact with State and local officials, as well as with
private sector representatives, in an effort to help them build a
variety of ties and public/private partnerships with many different S&T
related organizations in the United States.
We have also benefited from the generosity of the private sector:
e.g., Sun Microsystems, and many other companies, contributed
significant resources and expertise in the development of the Iraq
Virtual Science Library in cooperation with the Departments of State
and Defense. The State Department's Education and Cultural Affairs
Bureau (ECA) also draws on the expertise of the U.S. scientific
community for its grant, mentoring and exchange programs, including the
Fulbright S&T scholarships. For example, under its Labs-to-Market
program, ECA will bring budding young researchers to high-tech centers
in the United States, such as Silicon Valley. These researchers are
given a crash course in everything needed, from intellectual property
rights to venture capital, to translate research results into
The National Academies have provided administrative support to
recruit and interview tenured, university professors interested in
serving in the Jefferson Fellows program. This program, established by
the S&T Adviser with generous support from the MacArthur Foundation and
Carnegie Corporation, enables distinguished scientists and engineers to
work for one year at the Department of State or at USAID, and
subsequently to serve as consultants after they return to their
universities. STAS and OES are discussing ways to further tap into this
growing network as well as the expertise of academia and the private
sector to enhance the Department's scientific capacity, while
addressing specific needs of our international partners.
A recent example of broadening the involvement of academia and the
private sector in development and science diplomacy is provided by the
Higher Education Summit for Global Development convened on the 29th and
30th of April, 2008, by Secretary of State Rice, Secretary of Education
Spellings, and USAID Administrator Fore with strong support from the
S&T Adviser and her office. The conference brought together university
presidents from around the world, both developed and developing,
together with representatives of companies, foundations and NGOs, to
discuss new means and mechanisms of involving the colleges,
universities and research institutes of the developed world in
strengthening higher education, research and knowledge-based
entrepreneurship in the less developed world.
During the conference, a historic agreement was signed between the
National Science Foundation (NSF) and USAID that will allow researchers
in the developed and developing worlds to receive funding from NSF for
the American collaborator and funding from USAID for the foreign
collaborator. The meeting was funded, in part, by a grant from the
Lounsbery Foundation to Higher Education for Development (BED), an NGO
that provides administrative support for USAID-funded university
collaborations. The grant application was written and submitted by the
Office of the Science Adviser to the Secretary of State (STAS) and
funded the travel of a number of university presidents from less-
developed countries. As a follow-up from the conference, STAS is
working with a private sector CEO and several presidents of top U.S.
universities to establish a Global University Network to support the
kinds of novel capacity-building interactions between companies,
foundations and universities discussed in the course of the conference.
The S&T Adviser is also currently working with the Secretary of
State and the Administrator of USAID to transform the Adviser's office
and promote the role of science and scientists, engineers and other
technologists both in foreign policy and in the foreign assistance
functions of the State Department and USAID. We seek to convene
scientists, engineers, and other technical professionals from academia,
government, and the private sector to better address the fundamental
challenges of development today, ranging from addressing the current
global food, water and energy crises to powering economic development
through scientific and technical education and research and knowledge-
Questions submitted by Representative Russ Carnahan
Q1. At present, many of the science counselors in U.S. embassies are
junior officers with broad portfolios. (A) How could the Department of
State both increase the number and elevate the role of qualified
science attaches at key U.S. embassies to promote science, engineering,
and technology in host countries? (B) How can you increase science and
technology literacy in the Foreign Service more broadly?
A1. In response to question (A), the Department has many excellent
officers that have served as Environment, Science, and Technology, and
Health (ESTH) officers, with varying degrees of technical expertise. As
their title indicates, these officers cover a wide variety of issues,
from climate change to space cooperation and avian influenza. An ESTH
officer, for instance, would commonly be asked to advocate for the U.S.
position on any one of several multilateral environmental agreements.
When they face an S&T issue, our objective is not to have these
individuals do the work of a scientist but rather to be able to manage
the science policy issues at hand and, when necessary, to know how to
access more specific expertise for a program or problem that might
arise in the country in which they are stationed. Among their many
tasks, an ESTH officer might engage his/her counterparts on possible
large scale joint scientific facilities, such as the space station or
ITER. He/she will facilitate the exchange of scientists and technical
delegations. He/she will need to understand the views and influence of
the local scientific community on issues of importance to the United
States, such as agricultural biotechnology.
To address trans-boundary environmental issues, and to support
officers at U.S. embassies working on the broad range of OES issues,
the Department established 12 regional environmental Hubs, located in
embassies around the world. The Hub concept is based on the idea that
trans-boundary environmental problems can best be addressed through
regional cooperation. The regional environmental officer's role
complements the traditional bilateral ESTH officers stationed in U.S.
embassies in many countries of the world. Rather than dealing with a
single country, Hub officers engage with several countries of a region
on a particular issue, with the aim of promoting regional environmental
and scientific cooperation, sharing of data, and adoption of sound
policies that will benefit all countries in that area. The Hubs work
closely with other USG agencies and support their efforts by raising
key issues at the diplomatic level. They also cooperate with non-
governmental organizations on scientific and environmental activities
within their region. In addition, there are ESTH officers working with
the U.S. Mission to the UN and the U.S. Mission to the EU.
A very limited number of U.S. embassies in countries where major
S&T partnerships exist are staffed by attaches from the Department of
Energy, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Health and
Human Services, and NASA.
One way to increase the number of science attaches is to expand the
existing interagency Embassy Science Fellows program that is
administered by the Department of State. This program places USG
scientists overseas at U.S. embassies for one to three months.
Proposals come in from U.S. embassies requesting Fellows. The proposals
are developed in conjunction with host governments. Since the start of
the program in 2001, the State Department has placed 210 scientists and
science administrators in about 45 countries. In 2007, we had 55
requests, with some embassies submitting more than one, and filled 40
of them. We have a unique cost sharing program, in which the sending
agencies provide salary, expenses, training, and airfare, while the
hosting embassy covers local costs and housing.
Regrettably, not all of our technical agencies participate in the
program due to the cost they must absorb for placing scientists
overseas. Likewise, embassy and State Department resources are limited.
As a result, support for the program is uneven due to the somewhat ad
hoc nature of funding for the program. We would like to lengthen the
time that Embassy Science Fellows remain at post, and significantly
increase the number of Fellows serving at foreign posts.
The State Department's Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs sections
support many activities related to S&T diplomacy, especially in its
Education and Cultural Affairs bureau. Most effective have been
visitors' programs and other exchanges, the Fulbright S&T scholarships,
and more recently grant competitions for science and technology
education and women's scientists mentoring programs.
In terms of elevating the role of our ESTH personnel abroad, first
and foremost, we must insure a certain level of science literacy. If
our officers are not sufficiently well-versed or do not know how to tap
into the vast pool of scientific expertise in this country, they will
not be able to understand, much less manage, the many complex ESTH
issues that commonly arise. We describe our work to enhance science
literacy below in some detail.
In addition to science literacy, we need to attract the best and
brightest of the Foreign Service to bid on these positions both at home
and abroad. Recently, the Department has given the Bureau of Oceans,
Environment, and Science (OES) an equal role in selecting Foreign
Service Officers (FSOs) for bilateral ESTH positions. We aggressively
recruit to fill these positions but it can be difficult to convince an
FSO that an ESTH position will be as career enhancing as others
assignments, such as one in a regional bureau. Previously, the
Department created a separate specialization for ESTH officers and
provided a mechanism for officers serving in these positions to be
given additional recognition in the promotion process.
In response to question (B), there have been numerous calls to
improve science literacy in the State Department, such as in the 1999
National Research Council report entitled ``The Pervasive Role of
Science, Technology, and Health in Foreign Policy: Imperatives for the
Department of State.'' One of the report's recommendations was to
establish the office of the Science and Technology Adviser to the
Secretary (STAS). Her office's functions include making recommendations
on how to increase science and technology literacy in the Foreign
Service more broadly.
A more recent report, that of the Secretary's Transformational
Diplomacy Report and the 2025 Working Group, reiterates that the
Department needs to increase science and technology literacy in the
Foreign Service more broadly. The 2025 Working Group Report suggests
A) The Department should increase its recruitment of personnel
with significant training, education, and/or experience in
science, engineering, and technology fields with a goal of
having a minimum of ten percent of U.S. diplomatic personnel
with appropriate technical backgrounds by 2025.
B) The Department should develop means of increasing the level
of scientific literacy and awareness among current FSOs and
other officials of the Department and the U.S. Agency for
International Development in matters relating to foreign
policy. This training should be ongoing through their career,
with opportunities to work in and interact with scientists and
engineers in U.S. technical agencies, academia, and the private
Consistent with these recommendations, the Foreign Service
Institute (FSI) has a regular program of instruction for FSOs and for
Foreign Service Nationals (FSN) who are working in ESTH positions. The
Department also offers year-long mid-career programs of study at U.S.
universities in S&T related fields. Literacy, however, is a constantly
moving target, as new scientific issues emerge and as ESTH officers
move on to other, unrelated assignments. OES and STAS are therefore
working with FSI to strengthen the curricula and scientific expertise
available to the new generation of FSOs and FSNs to expand science
capacity within the Foreign Service.
In addition to enhancing FSO literacy, the Department also hires a
number of trained scientists and engineers. The primary way scientists
serve within the Department is through fellowship programs in
Washington and as embassy science officers abroad. The American
Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Diplomacy Fellow
Program provides one way for the U.S. Government to quickly increase
its scientific expertise involving individuals with in-depth
understanding of a scientific discipline and broad commitment to
bringing that knowledge to the policy process. This program has
suffered from declining resources and funding, particularly at USAID.
Other fellowship programs, such as the Foster and Jefferson Fellowship
Program, bring the specialized expertise of distinguished scientists to
the Department for a year, following which they continue to serve as
consultants to the Department for five years.