State Department Announces New Science and Technology Adviser
July 20, 2007 -- U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has named Nina Fedoroff to be her new science and technology adviser. Fedoroff is the Willaman Professor of Life Sciences and Evan Pugh Professor of Biology in the Hugh Institutes of the Life Sciences at Pennsylvania State University. She will begin her new position at the State Department on Aug. 6.
Fedoroff, a geneticist and molecular biologist, was instrumental in helping scientists understand how genes function in plants and is one of the first scientists to have cloned plant genes. Elected in 1990, she is an active member of the National Academy of Sciences. Fedoroff is also the author of Mendel in the Kitchen: A Scientist's View of Genetically Modified Foods published by Joseph Henry Press in 2004.
The position of science and technology adviser was created in 2000 based on recommendations from a National Research Council report, The Pervasive Role of Science, Technology, and Health in Foreign Policy: Imperatives for the Department of State. The report urged the Secretary of State to appoint a highly qualified senior adviser for science, technology, and health who could provide advice to the Department of State, drawing on the resources of the American technical communities, as necessary, on current and emerging foreign policy issues. Fedoroff will be the third scientist to hold this position.
Also this week, President Bush announced that Fedoroff is among eight recipients of a 2006 National Medal of Science. The medal is a top award in the U.S. for lifetime achievement in scientific research. The eight medal laureates -- all members of the Academy -- will receive their medals next week at a White House ceremony.