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4th Quarter 2013, Fellowship Focus


The 40th is a "Wrap"wrap

We look back on a grand year of celebration as the S&T Policy Fellowships 40th anniversary year comes to its close. The past 12 months have included the launch of FellowsCentral and the Sci on the Fly blog, an engaging speaker series, introduction of the 40-year timeline, a memorable commemoration event featuring alumni from across our four decades, an exhibit and special event on the Art of Science Policy, and the 40@40 initiative highlighting fellows representing our 40 classes (see the article below that reveals the final decade of representative fellows). 

The 40th class of S&T Policy Fellows, the largest in our history at 279 strong, finished their year in August 2013. The cycle successfully continues, as the following month we welcomed the 41st class of fellows to Washington DC. We look forward to continuing collaboration with our many partners, to forging new alliances at the intersection of science and policy, and to welcoming many more fellows in the decade ahead. Onward to 50!


40@40 Fourth Decadethird40

We are pleased to present the fellows selected to represent the fourth decade of the Science & Technology Policy Fellowships: Alex Dehgan, Krista Donaldson, Andrew Robertson, Paul Bunje, Steve Rhee, John Ohab, Kevin Michael Foster, Mercedes Gorre, Ranyee Chiang, and T.J. Donahue.

40@40 is an initiative to celebrate our 40th anniversary; one fellow from each class was selected and profiled in text and short podcasts that highlight their fellowship experiences, contributions, lessons learned, and how they have continued to engage at the intersection of science and policy.

We invite you to read and listen to learn about these ten fellows selected to represent the fourth decade, as well as the fellows representing the first three decades. They all exemplify the vibrant, broad diversity of the program, including an array of fellowship placements, disciplines, backgrounds, and sectors. With more than 2,800 alumni there is much to be proud of.


Wince-Smith Concludes Speaker Serieswince

Deborah Wince-Smith, president of the Council on Competitiveness, was the final presenter in the 40th anniversary Distinguished Speaker Series, on December 16. Her talk on Future Directions for Research and Innovation in the United States, drew a diverse audience of nearly 200 scientists and engineers, policymakers, students, business leaders, and nonprofit professionals. The Q&A session delved into issues ranging from promoting international collaboration, to changes in engineering education, to increasing investment to advance renewable energy.

Prior presenters in the series were Norm Ornstein, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, and Moises Naim, senior associate in the International Economics Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. All three presentations are available to view on FellowsCentral.


Timeline Tidbittidbit

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 at USAID in 1982. Since that time more than 400 fellows have contributed to S&T for development at the agency. USAID holds the distinction of hosting the most AAAS Fellows over the history of the program. And the record continues, as USAID is hosting the largest number of fellows in the current 41st class: a total of 65 yearlong fellows in 2013-14! This includes 13 yearlong fellowship assignments in USAID Overseas Missions.

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.

Click here for more information about all of the 40th anniversary activities.   



Informing DOE Policydoe

Alumni fellows Hugh Chen, Jonathan Pershing and Karen Wayland were highlighted as key players on Energy Secretary Ernie Moniz's staff at the Department of Energy (DOE). Wayland, a 2001-02 Congressional Fellow sponsored by the American Geophysical Union, is leading state and local coordination in the new DOE policy office. Pershing, a 1990-92 Executive Branch Fellow at the State Department, is principal deputy director in the office. Chen, a 2004-2005 Executive Branch Fellow in the Department of Defense, is deputy director for finance, incentives and program analysis. Click here to read more about the focus on policy at DOE.


Gibbs' Study on Career Determinantsgibbs

Kenneth Gibbs, a 2011-13 Executive Branch Fellow at the National Science Foundation, spearheaded a national study on the determinants of career choice in recent biomedical science doctoral graduates. A report of the findings was recently published in the CBE-Life Sciences Education. Click here to read the results.


Morita in Entomology Today 

Shelah Morita, a current Executive Branch Fellow at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, was profiled on applying science to policy and its intersection with entomology in Entomology Today. Click here to read the article. 


Grifo Named EPA Integrity Chiefgrifo

Francesca Grifo, a 1990-91 Executive Branch Fellow at the U.S. Agency for International Development, was named scientific integrity chief at the Environmental Protection Agency. Most recently Grifo had been a senior scientist and director of the Program on Scientific Integrity at the Union of Concerned Scientists. Click here to read an article on the appointment.


Super Neuroscience Saturday neuro

Current Executive Branch Fellows at NSF Heather Dean, Dorothy Jones-Davis, and Laurie Stepanek, who co-lead the Fellows' Neuroscience Policy Affinity Group, collaborated with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the DC Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience on a poster session and panel presentation hosted at AAAS on Saturday, November 23. More than 140 scientists, engineers, policymakers, federal agency officials, industry and nonprofit leaders, academics and students attended to hear the panel of experts discuss recent findings and progress in neuroscience in the areas of education, health, and applied research. The event was part of the White House BRAIN Initiative's Super Neuroscience Saturday programs. Click here to read more.    

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



AAAS Annual Meeting in Chicago, February 13-17annualmeet

The AAAS Annual Meeting is a major event for the S&T Policy Fellowships network. Current and alumni fellows engage by moderating and presenting in scientific sessions, participating in outreach activities, judging posters, and connecting at the annual Science Policy Networking gathering. That event will be held on Saturday, 15 February. If you will be Chicago during this time, please plan to join us. The gathering is open to members of the AAAS Committee on Science, Engineering and Public Policy (COSEPP), all current and alumni fellows, current and past selection committee members and advisory committee members, individuals working at the intersection of science and policy, and those who want to learn more about the S&T Policy Fellowships®. For details and to RSVP click here.

To participate in all the activities in Chicago from 13-17 February, click here to register for the AAAS Annual Meeting.


Sci on the Fly Blogscifly

Does America have a problem with death? Which came first - cannabis use disorder or social anxiety disorder? How do marine mammal necropsies reveal new dolphin species? Learn about all these issues and more via 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



A Report from Kazakhstanhimes

By Kate Himes, 2011-13 Executive Branch Fellow, USAID; 2013-14 Overseas Fellow, USAID Regional Mission, Kazakhstan

"What are you doing next week?" I was asked. 

"Oh, I'm headed to Dushanbe in Tajikistan to meet with donor organizations, government ministries, and USG agencies to talk about science and technology," was my reply. I never thought that sentence would come out of my mouth, but exchanges such as these are typical for AAAS Overseas Fellows.

The AAAS Overseas Fellowships offer incredible, unique assignments for alumni of the AAAS S&T Policy Fellowships® in postings at U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Missions for one to two years. Fellows serve as science and technology advisers, environment or natural resources management officers, or economics officers in the U.S. Foreign Service. Read More


Call for Alumni Applicants: GHD and Overseas Fellowshipsghd

Current and alumni S&T Policy Fellows from any executive branch or congressional placement who completed the full fellowship commitment in assignments within the past six years, and who submitted all required reports, are eligible to apply for both the Global Health & Development and the Overseas Fellowships.

The Global Health & Development (GHD) Fellowships place alumni at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle, Washington. Assignments are for one year, with the potential to renew for a second year. GHD Fellows serve as resource staff on science and technology-related issues. They help identify and support opportunities and strategies for programs to harness S&T to advance development in designated countries and/or regions.

The Overseas Fellowships at USAID Missions offer one-year international assignments, which are potentially renewable for a second year. Information on participating USAID Missions and fellowship position descriptions will be available in late February 2014.

Both fellowships carry the expectation of serving for a full 12 months. Assignments are anticipated to begin in September 2014, but may start later depending on security clearance and other logistics. Click here to access the application.


Social Science Data Highlighted at SF Alumni Gatheringsanfran  

More than 50 current and alumni fellows and others interested in science and policy gathered in San Francisco on December 9 to celebrate the 40th anniversary. The event featured alumna Carmela Lomonaco (2005-06 Congressional Fellow and 2006-07 Executive Branch Fellow, both sponsored by the Society for Research in Child Development), who spoke about translational science and the use of social science data to inform policy. Lomonaco is vice-president and senior research scientist with Sociometrics Corporation in San Francisco.


For suggestions and information on alumni and outreach events in 2014, contact Salaeha Shariff at