Rieko Yajima, Ph.D.

Associate Program Director

Dr. Yajima is a project director with the AAAS Research Competitiveness Program (RCP). She recruits and directs panels of senior research and policy professionals providing universities and state governments technical assistance for improved research, development, and innovation strategies. Rieko has co-authored technical reports covering topics including improving institutional research capacity and development, integrating 2 and 4 year colleges into statewide research consortia and collaboration, and strategic planning for academic departments. In addition, she has managed the competitive, peer-reviewed funding for state-supported research and economic development including the Washington Life Sciences Discovery Fund and the South Carolina Centers of Economic Excellence.

Since moving to Washington, D.C., Rieko has served on professional development panels for early-career scientists and has been engaged in various science policy activities. In 2008, in collaboration with the Iraqi Embassy and the National Academy of Science, she co-organized and co-authored a conference and subsequent report on engaging Iraqi-American academics and professionals to strengthening the Iraqi higher education system. She has held a Christine Mirzayan Fellowship in science policy at The National Academies and attended the Food and Health Entrepreneurship Academy at University of California - Davis School of Management.

Rieko received awards for her Ph.D. research on RNA catalysts and has published over a dozen research and review articles on the molecular structure and function of protein and RNA enzymes. She earned a Ph.D. in chemical biology from The Pennsylvania State University and an Honours B.Sc. from the University of Waterloo.