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Science Diplomacy & Leadership Workshop 2017

1200 New York Ave, Washington, DC

Applications for the 2017 workshop are now closed.

Course dates: September 10 - September 16, 2017.

Application deadline: May 30, 2017.

Young science diplomats visit the Einstein Memorial outside the U.S. Department of State | Courtesy of Marga Gual Soler 

This first-of-its-kind course is designed as an immersion experience in the science diplomacy ecosystem of Washington D.C., combining academic lectures, field visits, professional development workshops, networking opportunities and leadership training. Alumni will join a global network of young leaders and innovators reaching across borders to address societal challenges and become agents of change in their countries and sectors. 

During the workshop: participants will:

  • Engage directly with leaders and practitioners in the field of science diplomacy 
  • Understand the role of science, technology and innovation in foreign policy and international relations
  • Develop skills and practical tools to navigate the complex interplay between science and diplomacy
  • Become part of the AAAS Science Diplomacy Education Networklaunched at the Science Diplomacy Conference 2017

This intensive week-long training fosters the next generation of boundary-spanning, globally-connected scientists and diplomats reaching across borders to address societal challenges and become agents of change in their countries and sectors. 

Curriculum and Activities

The program is divided in three modules: 

Academic: includes lectures by international leaders in the different fields of science diplomacy (energy, environment, climate, water, global health, nuclear nonproliferation, space, etc.), exclusive online learning tools, interactive case studies, and experiential learning through role-playing exercises and simulations. 

Leadership: personal and professional development in communication, teamwork, negotiation, and entrepreneurship across cultures and disciplines.

Networking: visits to federal agencies (including NASA and the U.S. Department of State), embassies, non-profits, multilateral organizations and think tanks, career orientation sessions and access to a global network of young leaders and innovators reaching across borders to impact society. 

Confirmed Speakers  

Marcella Ohira
Deputy Executive Director and Director for Capacity Building, Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research
Ernesto Fernández Polcuch
Chief of Section, Science Policy and Partnerships, UNESCO
Cristina Rabadán-Diehl
Director, Americas Office, Office of Global Affairs
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Román Macaya
Costa Rican Ambassador to the United States
Robert Swap
Sr. Physical Scientist, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
John Maisto
U.S. Ambassador, retired 
Jimmy Kolker
U.S. Ambassador, retired
​Visiting Scholar, AAAS Center for Science Diplomacy
Boyd Branch
Visiting Assistant Professor in Film, Dance and Theatre
Arizona State University
Peter Hotez
Director, Sabin Vaccine Institute
U.S. Science Envoy
Chef José Andrés
Founder, World Central Kitchen
Mandë Holford
Associate Professor, Hunter College
Research Associate, American Museum of Natural History
Cathy Campbell
Former CEO, CRDF Global
Daryl Copeland
Senior Fellow, Canadian Global Affairs Institute
Author of Guerrilla Diplomacy: Rethinking International Relations
Alex Dehgan
CEO and Co-Founder, Conservation X Labs
Tom Wang
Director, Center for Science Diplomacy, 
Marga Gual Soler
Project Director, Center for Science Diplomacy, 
Bill Colglazier
Editor-in-Chief, Science & Diplomacy, AAAS
Hassan Vafai 
Professor of Civil Engineering, University of Arizona
Mahlet Mesfin 
Deputy Director, Center for Science Diplomacy, AAAS
Margaret Hurwitz 
Deputy Applied Sciences Manager, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Tolullah Oni 
Associate Professor, School of Public Health, University of Cape Town, and Co-Chair, Global Young Academy
Dennis Schroeder 
Research Scholar, AAAS Center for Science Diplomacy
Marcos Regis da Silva 
Executive Director, Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research
Richard Stone 
International News Editor, Science Magazine
Leah Stokes 
Assistant Professor, Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, University of California Santa Barbara 
Charles Weiss 
Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Georgetown University | Visiting Scholar, AAAS Center for Science Diplomacy 
Ursula Koniges 
Co-organizer of the course “Science Diplomacy: The Role of Science in International Relations and Global Development” at New York University 
Aditya Kaushik 
Co-founder of the Science Diplomacy Club at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy 
Franklin A. Carrero-Martinez, Ph.D. 
Deputy Science and Technology Adviser to the Secretary, acting U.S. Department of State 
Ronit Prawer 
East Coast Director, UK Science & Innovation Network | British Consulate-General, Boston

Who should attend? 

We welcome applicants from a diverse range of backgrounds, including:

  • Graduate students, scholars and faculty in science, engineering or international relations
  • Policymakers, diplomats, and international organizations staff and interns
  • Representatives of non-profit and non-governmental organizations
  • Other participants as deemed appropriate by the selection committee. 

There is no nationality restriction or age limit; however, participants should be early- to mid-career. Current graduate students are also encouraged to apply. The AAAS Center for Science Diplomacy will establish an expert committee to identify qualified applicants. Preference will be given to those who are:

  • members of the scientific community whose research and wider engagement has brought them into the international policy-making arena;
  • members the policy and diplomacy communities interested in exploring the central science-based themes that might influence their work.

 How much does it cost?

Registration includes: 

  • Tuition and all materials
  • Scheduled meals
  • Hotel accommodation for 6 nights (single and double options available; see below for pricing)
  • Local transportation
  • 1 year of AAAS membership 


  • Registration with Double Occupancy Hotel Accommodation: $2,300 
  • Registration with Single Occupancy Hotel Accommodation: $3,300

AAAS Members will receive a $100 discount. 

All prices are given in U.S. dollars. Limited spaces are available for a no-lodging option ($1,500 for non-members; $1,400 for AAAS members)includes tuition, all materials, and most meals. Please note that hotels in Washington, D.C. average $300 per night around workshop dates.  

Please direct any application questions here 

Download a template justification letter for requesting institutional funding.

Letters of invitation will be issued to international participants upon request. 

If you are interested in becoming an institutional scholarship sponsor, please contact Dr. Marga Gual Soler . 

Applications close May 30, 2017. 





Applications for this workshop have now closed. 

Requesting funding from your home institution? Download a template justification letter. 

Questions about the application and selection process may be directed to 

Related Focus Areas

Related Scientific Disciplines