On Tuesday, June 8, OSTP Director John Holdren will provide keynote remarks at an event commemorating President Obama’s June 4, 2009, speech at Cairo University, which called for deepening relations between the West and Muslim communities around the world. In that speech, President Obama described how America’s strength in science and technology could be enlisted to forge partnerships with Muslim communities and help solve many of our shared challenges. He spoke of appointing a team of “science envoys” to collaborate on programs to develop new sources of energy, create green jobs, digitize records, purify water, and grow new crops. And he spoke of launching a new fund to support technological development in Muslim communities and help transfer ideas to the marketplace to create more jobs.
Tuesday’s event, at the National Academies’ Keck Center in Washington, DC, will celebrate the one-year anniversary of that “Cairo Initiative.” It will recognize the substantial progress that has been made to date, including the creation of new exchange programs and the deployment of America’s first three science envoys, who have in recent months traveled to more than 10 nations, including Egypt, Algeria, and Indonesia and will recount their experiences at the event. It will also highlight new commitments for further engagement and provide an opportunity for the diplomatic, science and technology, and non-governmental organization communities to comment and ask questions about the path ahead.
Among the many notable achievements to date:
Among the activities planned for the near future:
Clearly much has been accomplished, and more is poised for fruition in the year ahead. A draft agenda for the meeting can be found here. For those who cannot attend, a live audio-cast will be available at obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/ostp.
Erin Szulman is a student volunteer at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy