Fellows Chosen for New Global Security Fellowship
AAAS has named two scientists with extensive international experience as the first NTI/AAAS Fellows in Global Security. KA Kelly McQueen and L. Michael Weaver will spend one in year in Washington, DC, helping to plan the federal government's response to threats of bioterrorism.
"Kelly McQueen and Michael Weaver are outstanding choices," said Al Teich, director of AAAS's science and policy programs, who chaired the selection committee. "We had many excellent candidates, but Kelly impressed the committee with her initiative and energy and her humanitarian work. And Michael brings extensive international experience, including a stint in Tonga as a Peace Corps volunteer."
KA Kelly McQueen
Photo by John Hall, Phoenix AZ
The AAAS global security fellowship is funded by the Nuclear-Threat Initiative (NTI), a non-profit organization that works to reduce global threats from nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons. It is co-chaired by former US Senator Sam Nunn and Ted Turner, founder of CNN.
McQueen obtained her medical degree at the University of Vermont College of Medicine, and is now studying for a masters in public health at the Harvard School of Public Health. She interned in internal medicine at St. Joseph's Hospital & Medical Center in Phoenix, AZ, and was an anesthesiology resident at the University of Arizona and the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, AZ and Rochester, MN. Before starting at Harvard in the fall, McQueen had been in private practice as an anesthesiologist in Phoenix.
Weaver has a PhD in cellular and molecular biology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison (1998). He is currently at Sainsbury Laboratory in Norwich, UK, where he is a postdoctoral Fellow studying the molecular basis of plant disease resistance. Weaver served in the Peace Corps in Tonga.
Throughout her medical career, McQueen has volunteered for medical missions that have taken her to Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America. She has taught the basics of anesthesiology to medics in Tanzania, and helped to repair cleft palates in China, Brazil, and Peru. Eventually, she says, her experiences led her to think more in terms of a career in prevention rather than treatment. But she says that September 11 and the events that followed caused her and many of her colleagues at Harvard to think in terms of a role for public health in addressing terrorism, as well as the aftermath of conflict.
"I have become much more focused on a security-minded approach to public health," McQueen said. "I came to Harvard wanting to get involved with public policy, and the AAAS fellowship seemed like a great opportunity to combine my interests."
In September, McQueen and Weaver will join 125 other scientists and engineers who have been named fellows as part of the 2002-03 AAAS Science and Technology Fellowship Program. The new group of AAAS fellows will fan out across Washington, DC, to bring their technical expertise to the US Congress or to one of a dozen federal agencies. In exchange, they will learn about the federal policymaking process.
McQueen and Weaver have not yet decided on a place to spend their one-year stint as fellows, but Teich said he was sure that their impact would be considerable. "Their capabilities will strengthen our policymaking institutions in responding to bioterrorism. They will also establish a standard of excellence for this important new program."
2 May 2002
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