Rita Colwell, distinguished university professor at the University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, has been appointed one of three U.S. science envoys to the Muslim world by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The science envoy program was established in 2009 by President Barack Obama (C&EN, Dec. 7, 2009, page 38).
Colwell will join Gebisa Ejeta, a distinguished professor of agronomy at Purdue University, and Alice Gast, president of Lehigh University, in identifying new opportunities for scientific partnership that will address global challenges such as water safety and public health. The envoys will engage foreign governments, as well as research, education, nonprofit, and business communities, and will identify areas of mutual interest and potential partnership.
As a science envoy, Colwell will travel to Bangladesh, Malaysia, and Vietnam. For more than 35 years, Colwell has worked in Bangladesh to prevent the spread of cholera and most recently to predict disease pandemics by tracking global climate change.