IVLP on Science & Engineering Finds Innovation in Washington

On the morning of March 27, 2014, Meridian convened an impressive group of women, as part of the State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), with their U.S.-based peers to talk “Women’s Innovations in Science and Engineering.” Through short timed, “speed convening” sessions, the group informally ticked off several of the goals for their U.S. visit—from understanding the policies, organizations, and educational institutions that champion the interests of women in the STEM fields, to networking with their professional counterparts in associations and agencies. The nine visitors — from Algeria, Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon, Nepal, Oman, the Palestinian Territories, Sudan and Uzbekistan — are from diverse backgrounds with wide-ranging areas of specialization, from Cyberspace to Molecular Dynamics to Biofertilization. The early morning session—fueled by strong coffee (and tea)--began as participants from NASA’s Prizes and Challenges Program, the Office of Global Affairs at U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Fellows with the American Association for the Advancement of Science and Science met in small groups with the visitors to drill down on the shared challenges and opportunities that women in science and engineering encounter.

During their Washington, DC visit, the women engaged in high-level meetings, with the National Research Council’s Committee on Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine, the National Science Foundation’s Office of International Science and Engineering and Discovery Education, among others. A particular highlight of the nation’s capital was a tour of the Washington Mathematics Science Technology Public Charter School — including a demonstration of their in-house flight simulator. Following their time in DC, the group will head to Indianapolis, Indiana; Portland, Oregon; Springfield and Boston, Massachusetts.

Project summary

IVLP on Science & Engineering Finds Innovation in Washington
Number of Attendees: 13
Regions: Africa, Near East and North Africa, South and Central Asia
Countries: Sudan, Algeria, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Palestinian Territories, Nepal, Uzbekistan
Impact Areas: Cultural Diplomacy, Public Diplomacy, Science and Technology
Program Areas: Exchanges, Forums
Partners: Public Sector