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3rd Quarter 2013, Fellowship Focus


White House Commendationwhitehouse

AAAS was honored in August to receive recognition from the White House acknowledging our 40th anniversary. President Barack Obama signed a letter recognizing the important efforts of all participating scientists, engineers, organizations and associations that have made the S&T Policy Fellowships® successful. Click here to view the President's letter.

40@40 Third Decadethird40 

We are pleased to present the 40@40 S&T Policy Fellows selected to represent the third decade, from 1993-2003: Duncan Moore, John Morgan, Josette Lewis, Danielle Ripich, Sharon Hays, John Peha, Natacha Blain, Deborah Olster, Jean Geran, and Anish Goel. Visit FellowsCentral to read about them and hear brief podcasts about their current work and fellowship experiences.

In this initiative we're highlighting 40 S&T Policy Fellows -- one from each class -- to celebrate our 40th anniversary. The fellows are selected from more than 2,600 alumni to represent a range of alumni activities and accomplishments, and to demonstrate the broad diversity in the program, including an array of fellowship placements, disciplines, backgrounds, and sectors. With so many alumni there is much to be proud of. The fourth decade of 40@40 will be announced in the next issue of Fellowship Focus, planned for late-December.

Art of Science Policy Exhibitartscipol

From July through September, the AAAS art gallery hosted an exhibit featuring 16 artists and 70 pieces highlighting science policy issues including health, environment, disaster response, education, exploration and innovation.  

 A capstone event Visualizing Science Policy in 20x20, featured five of the exhibiting artists and five S&T Policy Fellows in a dynamic evening that addressed the question "Can art, especially visual expression, enhance our understanding of the policy dimensions of science?" The event piqued the interest of more than 300 registrants and provided an engaging evening of dialogue. Read the article on the event titled, Both Artists and Scientists Observe, Ask Questions, Even Propose Solutions. View The Art of Science Policy image gallery on the FellowsCentral website.


Distinguished Speaker Seriesdss

We are pleased to inform you that Deborah Wince-Smith, president and CEO of the Council on Competitiveness, will conclude the 40th anniversary distinguished speaker series in a presentation on 16 December 2013 at 6:00 p.m. She will address "Future Directions for the U.S. Research and Innovation Enterprise." Click here to RSVP.

Wince-Smith spearheaded the groundbreaking National Innovation Initiative (NII) that played a pivotal role in creating a reinvigorated U.S. competitiveness movement. The NII shaped the bipartisan America COMPETES Act, created state and regional innovation initiatives, and brought a global focus to innovation. More recently, Ms. Wince-Smith created a coalition of more than 60 CEOs, university presidents, labor union leaders and national laboratory directors to ignite an American manufacturing movement to modernize American's manufacturing base, create high-skilled, living-wage, American jobs; and, keep America competitive in the global marketplace. This event is free and open to the public.

The first two events in the 2013 Distinguished Speaker Series were video-taped and are archived online.

May Commemoration commemoration

A video and still images of the 40thCommemoration event, held in May 2013, are now available to view online. The evening of presentations highlighted the S&T Policy Fellowships® as a collaborative enterprise, and acknowledged the contributions of the many individuals and organizations who contribute to its ongoing success, from sponsoring societies, host offices and mentors, to selection committee members, trainers, donors, staff, and the S&T Policy fellows.  

Eight alumni speakers and a representative from the U.S. Agency for International Development shared their views on the program's many contributions and influences. Their remarks illustrate how the program has enhanced national and international policy since its inception, while transforming the careers of scientists and engineers over the years. For a quick synopsis of the evening, see the summary in the previous issue of Fellowship Focus.  


Timeline Tidbittimeline

Another initiative of this anniversary year is the online 40-year timeline of the Science & Technology Policy Fellowships®. The timeline overlays key national and international news and policy events with AAAS history and fellowship program milestones.

The S&T Policy Fellowships® were launched in 1973 as a partnership of four scientific and engineering societies: AAAS, the American Physical Society (APS), the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Collectively, these partners sponsored the first class of seven fellows. Over four decades, AAAS has partnered with more than 60 scientific and engineering societies and other sponsors of Congressional and Executive Branch Fellowships.

Explore the timeline and learn more about our 40 Years of Monumental Experiences, Fundamental Contributions, and Substantial Results! The timeline format allows continual additions and enhancement to content. Feel free to send suggestions to with "Timeline Suggestion" in the subject line.


41st Classclass41

Our fifth decade of operation has launched! The 2013-2014 fellowship year began in September with a class of 275 fellows. This includes 175 new fellows: 34 Congressional Science & Engineering Fellows® in assignments on Capitol Hill, and 241 Executive Branch Fellows in sixteen agencies/departments, including fellows serving in overseas missions. The remaining 100 fellows have renewed for a second year of service in executive branch placements. All fellows were indoctrinated quickly to opportunities and challenges at the intersection of science and policy, including the government shutdown. 

The fellows represent a broad range of disciplines spanning the biological and physical sciences, behavioral and social sciences, mathematical and computational sciences, health and medical fields, and engineering. They also span all careers stages; two-thirds of the class arrived from the academic sector, and the rest were previously in industry, nonprofits, government labs, or international entities. Click here to read the recent article on the new class, highlighting three representative fellows.


Sci on the Fly Blogscifly

What's up with Helium? Why aren't more scientists involved in outreach? How can linguistics inform the climate debate? Why are gut bacteria important? Can crowd sourcing help fund science? Learn about all this and more on Sci on the Fly, the S&T Policy Fellows' blog. For more information, contact Salaeha Shariff, project director for recruitment, outreach and alumni network at


Alumni Reflections alumnireflections

When considering the S&T Policy Fellowships® applicants often have common questions. So, we asked two alumni fellows to provide useful advice to prospective fellows. Read the responses from Melissa A. Kenny, a 2010-12 Executive Branch Fellow at the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, and Anish Goel, a 2002-03 American Institute of Chemical Engineers' Congressional Fellow and 2003-05 Executive Branch Fellow at the U.S. Department of State. They share their experience along with three valuable skills they learned during their fellowship.

Fellowships Alumni Eventsalumnievents

The first Pacific Northwest alumni gathering was held in Seattle, WA, in September. All four decades of the fellowships were represented at the event. More than 30 current and alumni fellows and their guests participated and helped commemorate the 40th anniversary, including Barry Hyman, 1973 ASME Congressional Fellow. 

The evening featured a presentation on "Philanthropy Influencing Policy" by alumnus Steve Buchsbaum, a 1997-1998 Executive Branch Fellow at the U.S. Department of State, who is deputy director of the Discovery Division at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Alumna Melanie Roberts also presented on the launch of the Emerging Leaders in Science & Society program. Melanie was a 2006-07 AAAS Congressional Fellow, and a 2007-08 Executive Branch Fellow at the National Science Foundation.

The next alumni event will be held on Tuesday, 10 December, in San Francisco. If you will be in the Bay area during this time, please plan to join us. This event is open to all current and alumni fellows, current and past selection committee members, advisory committee members, and individuals who want to learn more about the S&T Policy Fellowships®. For details and to RSVP click here.


Call for Nominations: Barnard Lecturebarnard

The 16th annual Robert C. Barnard Environmental Lecture will be held during the spring-summer period of the 2013-14 fellowship year. The lecture provides an annual forum for an outstanding speaker to address current environmental science and policy issues. Current and alumni fellows may nominate a speaker for the distinguished lectureship.

The deadline for nominations for the 2013-14 Barnard Lecture is 5:00 p.m. on Friday, November 29. Please use this form and include the name and title of the nominee, and up to two paragraphs about the individual's background and accomplishments. To nominate more than one individual please complete a separate form for each nomination. For questions, please contact Barry via

The lectureship is endowed by the international law firm of Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton to honor Mr. Barnard, who had been counsel to the firm, for his contributions to environmental and public health law and in recognition of his many years of service as a member of the selection committee for the fellowships at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Mr. Barnard believed strongly in the value of bringing good science to bear on government decision-making.

See the Barnard Lecture website for more details and the full list of past presenters.



Feldgus Returns to the Hillfeldgus

Steve Feldgus, who first came to Washington as a 2003-04 American Chemical Society Congressional Fellow, returned to Capitol Hill to become the chief energy and minerals staffer for the House Natural Resources Committee (Minority). He was previously a senior adviser for the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, and for the Bureau of Land Management at the Interior Department. Read the recent profile featured in Roll Call.


Cooper at the Idaho DEQcooper

Craig Cooper, a 2006-07 Geological Society of America Congressional Fellow, is continuing his focus on the intersection of science and policy with the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (IDEQ) as a limnologist for Lake Coeur d'Alene. The department works closely with the Coeur d'Alene Tribe, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and regional universities to develop and conduct environmental monitoring and research. This research is used as a basis for environmental management decisions and public outreach within the sensitive multi-jurisdictional watershed that supports this internationally renowned resort destination.


Colby Nominated for a "Sammie"colby

Michelle Colby, 2003-04 Executive Branch Fellow in the Office of Science and Technology Policy (Nuclear Threat Initiative program), was recently highlighted in The Washington Post in an article titled "Solving Problems is in Michelle Colby's Genes." Now in the position as Agricultural Defense Branch chief at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Colby has been nominated for the 2013 Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal. According to TWP, "The Sammies, as the highly regarded honors are known, are offered in nine categories and sponsored by the nonprofit Partnership for Public Service." Colby and colleagues at the DHS have been nominated in the homeland security and law enforcement category for their work in licensing the first vaccine for foot-and-mouth disease manufactured in the United States. Read More


Aldrich Quoted on Fukushima Leakaldrich

Daniel Aldrich, 2011-2012 Executive Branch Fellow at U.S. Agency for International Development, has been interviewed by several media outlets regarding the Fukushima leak. "If the [Japanese] government wants to win back the trust of the people - which it and Tepco lost due to a lack of information release on radioactivity when the accident first occurred - it needs to aggressively handle the ongoing leaks at Fukushima," said Aldrich, who is now an associate professor of political science at Purdue University. He is the author of the books Site Fights and Building Resilience. Read more


Check out more fellows in the news items on FellowsCentral. We welcome information about current and alumni fellows' activities and achievements to note in future editions of Fellowship Focus, our websites, FaceBook and LinkedIn pages, and via Twitter.