While the position has been open for over 13 months (a regrettable trend), the State Department has appointed Vaughan Turekian to serve as the Science and Technology Adviser to the Secretary of State. He comes to the position from the organization formerly known as the American Association for the Advancement of Science, where he has been its Chief International Officer and editor of the organization’s journal Science & Diplomacy.
Turekian will be returning to the State Department, having worked as a Science Fellow and as a Special Adviser to the Under Secretary for Global Affairs. He has also worked at the National Academy of Sciences. While at AAAS, Turekian has been an important part of the organizations international work, including the creation of Science & Diplomacy.
Thankfully programs like the Science Envoys have not been idle during the absence of an official adviser to the Secretary of State. Given Turkenian’s background, he may be in a good position to implement some of the recommendations from the latest National Academies report on science and technology advice at the State Department.