Two alumni fellows of the Science & Technology Policy Fellowships (STPF) program have assumed leadership positions at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). As the world's largest multidisciplinary scientific society and a leading publisher of cutting-edge research through its Science family of journals, AAAS advances its mission predominantly through publishing and programs.
Reporting to CEO Sudip Parikh, Julia MacKenzie (2011-13 fellow at the Department of State) was appointed Chief Program Officer in November. She provides leadership to a diverse array of programs including STPF; Scientific Responsibility, Human Rights & the Law; Dialogue on Science, Ethics, & Religion; the Center for Science Diplomacy; the EPI Center; SciLine; the Center for Public Engagement; and, efforts to increase diversity, equity and inclusion in STEMM education and the STEMM workforce.
“The AAAS S&T Policy Fellowship was an incredibly positive and formative experience that allowed me to make the scary jump from basic biomedical research to policy in a supportive way,” said MacKenzie. “Among my friends and mentors in DC, most have some connection to the program—the scale is really remarkable. To be connected to the program directly in my new role as CPO at AAAS is a real thrill.”
Prior to this, she served as Senior Director of International Affairs and Director of the AAAS Center for Science Diplomacy. She also served as Executive Editor of the policy journal Science & Diplomacy. Among her other positions before arriving at AAAS, she was a senior technical advisor at the U.S. Department of State where she coordinated and oversaw a research portfolio for PEPFAR (the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief).
As an expert in infectious diseases, her scientific career included research on HIV immunopathology, herpes simplex viral entry, and the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. She received a doctorate in immunology and microbial pathogenesis at Northwestern University as well as a master’s in public health.
Stepping into MacKenzie’s shoes as the new Director of International Affairs and the Center for Science Diplomacy, Kimberly Montgomery (2009-10 fellow at the National Science Foundation sponsored by the American Psychological Association). The Center for Science Diplomacy provides thought leadership in science diplomacy, trains future science diplomats and demonstrates how science can build bridges between nations.
Before coming to AAAS, Montgomery held science policy positions in the United States and in Vienna, Austria. These positions include staffer to another STPF alum New Jersey Congressman Rush Holt (1982-83 fellow sponsored by the American Physical Society) who served as CEO of AAAS from 2015-2019; professional staff for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology; external relations manager for the International Institute for the Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA); and scientific consultant for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Montgomery has a Ph.D. in psychology and neuroscience from Princeton University.
“Participating in the AAAS S&T Policy Fellowship was instrumental for building a career at the intersection of science, policy, and international affairs,” said Montgomery. “Along with invaluable career development, I met some of my closest friends and colleagues through the program. To have the opportunity to work at AAAS and be connected to the fellowship program is a privilege.”