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Second U.S. Science Envoy Begins Travel

A second U.S. Science Envoy departed Feb. 10 on a ten-day trip to France, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait to seek areas for cooperation on health, science, technology, and education.

The program referenced in the following release was first announced by the President in Cairo on June 4. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced the first three envoys in Marrakech in November: Bruce Alberts, Editor of Science, former National Academy of Sciences (NAS) president, and UCSF biochemistry professor; Elias Zerhouni, former National Institutes of Health director and Johns Hopkins professor; and Ahmed Zewail, who in addition to his academic work is a member of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. Other prominent U.S. scientists will be invited to join the U.S. Science Envoy program in the coming months, expanding the scope of the program to countries and regions around the globe.

The envoys are scheduled to meet with heads of state, ministers, and representatives from the scientific, education, nonprofit, and business communities to identify opportunities for new partnerships in science and technology. They will investigate opportunities in all areas of science and technology, including math, engineering, health, energy, climate change research, and green technologies. Although the envoys are private citizens, they will share what they learn on these trips with the U.S. Government, and the relationships they build will help reaffirm our renewed commitment to global engagement.

The following has been cross-posted from the U.S. Department of State.

The second U.S. Science Envoy, Dr. Elias Zerhouni, departed February 10 on a ten-day trip to France, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait. On this trip, Dr. Zerhouni will seek areas for cooperation on health, science and technology, and education in meetings with heads of state, ministers, and representatives from the scientific, education, nonprofit, and business communities. Dr. Zerhouni also plans to travel to North Africa in early March. Dr. Zerhouni will report his recommendations to the White House following each trip.

Dr. Zerhouni, M.D., served as Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) from 2002 to 2008. Under his leadership, Dr. Zerhouni initiated the NIH’s Roadmap for Medical Research, established a research program to address the obesity epidemic and made health disparities a research priority. Currently, Dr. Zerhouni is a senior advisor to Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and has been instrumental in creating the University’s Institute for Cell Engineering. He also sits on the Board of Trustees of the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, which opened in Saudi Arabia last September.

The U.S. Science Envoy Program is a core element of the Administration’s commitment to global engagement in science and technology. President Obama first announced the program in Cairo last June, with Secretary Clinton naming the first three envoys—Dr. Zerhouni, Dr. Ahmed Zerwail and Dr. Bruce Alberts—in Marrakech last November. Dr. Zewail recently traveled to Egypt and Turkey and Dr. Alberts plans to travel to Indonesia this spring.