Science at USAID

Speeches Shim


The world has become increasingly interconnected – presenting both challenges and opportunities.   Science and engineering can no longer be held within ivory towers or basement laboratories.  Rather, this knowledge and expertise must be used to inform critical policy and decision-making of the U.S. Government.

Through a variety of ways, USAID enables a multi-disciplinary, multi-sectoral approach to development by augmenting teams of development experts with scientists and engineers to work on development challenges and formulate policies to support them.

  • The Agency has issued a Scientific Integrity Policy to safeguard the quality and integrity of its scientific and scholarly activities, and also promote continued scientific thinking.
  • USAID has been attracting increasing numbers of scientists, engineers, and technical experts to serve in Fellowships at the Agency, applying their expertise and skills to its development work. 

Expanding and empowering the scientific and technical workforce at USAID stimulates novel thinking for solutions in development and ensures that such thinking spreads and remains throughout the Agency.

In 1992, the Agency had 47 Science & Technology Fellows from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), but in 2007 that number had dropped to just two.

  • The Agency has focused efforts to reverse this trend, and in two years, twice doubled the number of AAAS Fellows at USAID, restoring the level of current Fellows to 43.

In 2011, the Agency re-established the Overseas AAAS Fellowship program, which offers former Fellows a chance to work an additional two years in USAID Missions.  

  • In the first year, the Agency has placed three former Fellows – in Indonesia, Mozambique, and Egypt.
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