Announcement of U.S. Science Envoys

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
February 26, 2016

Five eminent scientists will begin service as U.S. Science Envoys in February 2016: Dr. Linda Abriola, Dr. Mark Hersam, Dr. Daniel Kammen, Dr. Margaret Leinen, and Dr. Thomas Lovejoy. The U.S. Science Envoy program demonstrates the United States’ commitment to science, technology, and innovation as tools of diplomacy and economic growth.

Like their thirteen predecessors, these distinguished scientists will engage internationally at the citizen and government levels to develop partnerships, improve collaboration, and forge mutually beneficial relationships between other nations and the United States to stimulate increased scientific cooperation and foster economic prosperity. Science Envoys travel as private citizens and help inform the White House, the Department of State, and the scientific community about potential opportunities for cooperation.

Linda Abriola, Ph.D., is a professor at Tufts University and former dean of the Tufts University School of Engineering. She is a fellow of the American Geophysical Union and a member of both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering. As a Science Envoy, Dr. Abriola will focus on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and engineering in the Middle East and North Africa and South and Central Asia.

Mark Hersam, Ph.D., is a professor of materials science and engineering, chemistry, and medicine and director of the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center at Northwestern University. He holds the Bette and Neison Harris Chair in Teaching Excellence and is a 2014 recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship. As a Science Envoy, Dr. Hersam will focus on emerging technologies in Eastern Europe.

Daniel Kammen, Ph.D., is a distinguished professor of energy at the University of California, Berkeley, and founding director of the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory. He is also co-director of the Berkeley Institute of the Environment, director of the Transportation Sustainability Research Center, and serves on the Advisory Committee for Energy & Environment for the X-Prize Foundation. As a Science Envoy, Dr. Kammen will focus on energy innovation in the Middle East and Africa.

Margaret Leinen, Ph.D., is director of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and vice chancellor for marine sciences at the University of California, San Diego. She is the former assistant director for geosciences and coordinator of environmental research and education at the National Science Foundation. She is also a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and an award-winning oceanographer. As Science Envoy, Dr. Leinen will focus on ocean science in Latin America and East Asia and the Pacific.

Thomas Lovejoy, Ph.D., is a professor at George Mason University; senior fellow at the United Nations Foundation; former president of the Heinz Center for Science, Economics, and the Environment; and founder of the public television series Nature. He is a former senior advisor to the president of the United Nations Foundation and served as the chief biodiversity advisor and lead specialist for the environment for the Latin America region for the World Bank. He is also the former executive vice president of World Wildlife Fund-U.S. As Science Envoy, Dr. Lovejoy will focus on biodiversity and wildlife conservation in Latin America and East Asia and the Pacific.

For further information, please contact Kia Henry at and follow @StateDeptOES and #USScienceEnvoy on Twitter.