(KPL) U.S. Science Envoy Dr. Geraldine Richmond arrived in Vientiane on June 8 for a two-day visit during which she will meet with several Lao government ministries and civil society organizations that are focused on maternal and child nutrition.
This will be her second visit to the Lao PDR as part of the continuing effort to develop and strengthen research collaboration networks between scientists and health experts in the United States and Laos. Dr. Richmond noted, “Investing in programmes that support children’s early health and development is the goal of most governments around the world, however, it’s one of the least implemented.” This is her third visit to Southeast Asia since she was appointed Science Envoy by President Obama last year.
Dr. Richmond met with Dr. BoviengkhamVongdara, the Minister of Science and Technology, Mr. Hiem Phommachanh, the Minister of Post and Telecommunications, Dr. Ty Phommasack, Vice Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, and representatives from the Ministry of Health. She will also meet with Dr. Amphone Phalammixay, Head of the Luang Prabang Provincial Health Department and will visit the Lao Friends Hospital for Children in Luang Prabang.
Dr. Richmond is the Presidential Chair of Chemistry at the University of Oregon, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. She is president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a Presidential appointee to the National Science Board. Dr. Richmond, who has dedicated a considerable part of her career to boosting the role of women in science and engineering, is the founder and chair of the Committee on the Advancement of Women Chemists (COACh), a grass-roots organization that provides professional training and networking for more than 12,000 women scientists in the United States and developing countries.
The U.S. Science Envoy Programme is one element of the United States’ commitment to global engagement in science and technology. President Obama announced the programme in Cairo in June 2009. Since the programme’s inception, Science Envoys have visited 27 countries.
The Science Envoys travel as private citizens and share the knowledge and insights they gain abroad with the U.S. scientific community upon their return. These exchanges contribute to further cooperation and dialogue with key partners.