Date:  July 25, 2011





E. William Colglazier Named State Department Science and Technology Adviser


WASHINGTON — E. William (Bill) Colglazier, recently retired executive officer of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Research Council, has been selected to be the new Science and Technology Adviser to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. 


Colglazier will lead the Office of the Science and Technology Adviser to the Secretary, whose mission is to provide the secretary and other senior State Department officials with scientific and technical expertise in support of the development and implementation of U.S. foreign policy.  The post of science and technology adviser was established in response to a recommendation in a 1999 National Research Council report, The Pervasive Role of Science, Technology, and Health in Foreign Policy: Imperatives for the Department of State.  The adviser serves as an advocate for science-based policy at the State Department and helps to identify and evaluate scientific and technical issues that are likely to affect U.S. strategic and foreign policy interests.


The adviser also provides outreach to the U.S. and international scientific community, helps to facilitate scientific cooperation between the United States and other countries, and helps to promote scientific and technological capacity-building in developing countries and science-based policymaking internationally.  In his new post, Colglazier carries on the work of several prominent scientist-diplomats who have held the position, including Penn State geneticist and NAS member Nina Fedoroff, University of Arizona chemistry professor George Atkinson, and Norman Neureiter, senior adviser at the Center for Science, Technology, and Security Policy at the American Association for the Advancement of Science and winner of the NAS Public Welfare Medal in 2008.


"All of us are excited about Bill Colglazier's new role," said Ralph Cicerone, president of the National Academy of Sciences.  "Bill will be a wonderful adviser to the secretary as well as an effective envoy for science and technology on the global stage as he helps lead our nation's initiatives to reach out internationally." 


"I can think of no one who is as broadly knowledgeable of the state of science and technology across all fields and around the world," said Charles Vest, president of the National Academy of Engineering.  "Bill knows the people, problems, and possibilities of science and technology in advancing America's global leadership and interests."

"Secretary Clinton's selection of Bill Colglazier is a brilliant stroke," said Institute of Medicine President Harvey Fineberg.  "He will bring to the State Department the same scientific acumen, excellent judgment, and superb human qualities he exemplified in his leadership at the National Research Council."


Colglazier arrived at the National Research Council in 1991 as executive director of the Office of International Affairs.  He became executive officer of NAS and the Research Council in 1994 and was named chief operating officer in 2001.  From 1983 to 1991, he was professor of physics and directed the Energy, Environment, and Resources Center at the University of Tennessee.  He has studied and worked at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J., and Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.  Colglazier's introduction to science policy and Washington came in 1976 when he was selected to be an AAAS Congressional Science Fellow in the office of Congressman George Brown.  He received his Ph.D. in theoretical physics from the California Institute of Technology in 1971.


The National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council make up the National Academies.  They are private, nonprofit institutions that provide science, technology, and health policy advice under a congressional charter.  The Research Council is the principal operating agency of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering.  For more information, visit 



William Skane, Executive Director

Shaquanna Shields, Media Relations Assistant

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