At the request of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Senator Richard Lugar announced the next three science envoys at a recent banquet of the Civilian Research and Development Foundation (H/T ScienceInsider). The choice makes sense, as Senator Lugar introduced legislation to establish science envoys in 2009. The newest science envoys are:
Dr. Rita Colwell, former Director of the National Science Foundation. Her background is in biotechnology and microbiology, and her current research interests include infectious diseases.
Dr. Gebisa Ejeta, an agronomist at Purdue University and a native of Ethiopia. His research interests focus on sorghum, an important cereal and feed crop worldwide.
Dr. Alice Gast, president of Lehigh University. Dr. Gast has a background in chemical engineering, and served as the vice president for research at MIT prior to becoming the Lehigh President.
This represents a doubling of the current science envoy corps. Given the background of the newest envoys, I would assume that visits to Africa would be on their agenda. Once formal visit arrangements are announced, I’ll note them here.