Alex Dehgan, Former USAID Chief Scientist, Joins CRDF Global Advisory Council

Released: 24-Apr-2014 8:30 AM EDT
Source Newsroom: CRDF Global
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Newswise — ARLINGTON, VA—Cathy Campbell, President and CEO of CRDF Global announced today that Dr. Alex Dehgan, former Chief Scientist & Director, Office of Science & Technology, US Agency for International Development (USAID), has joined CRDF Global’s distinguished Advisory Council. CRDF Global is an independent nonprofit that promotes international scientific and technical collaboration. Dr. Dehgan is a senior visiting fellow in the Office of the Provost at Duke University, and founding a new startup, Conservation X Labs.

At USAID, Dr. Dehgan founded and headed the independent Office of Science and Technology and helped design and conceptualize the Agency’s new U.S. Global Development Lab. As the Agency’s first chief scientist in two decades, Dr. Dehgan helped create and oversee a series of flagship initiatives, including the Grand Challenges for Development program, PEER Science and Health, the Higher Education Solutions Network Development Labs, the GeoCenter & Data teams, and Scientific Integrity & Research policies. He vastly expanded the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science Fellowship Program at USAID, including fellows overseas, and worked with AAAS to create a new Data Fellowship Program. He built the Office of Science and Technology from scratch to an 80 person office and $100 million research program in less than four years, and leveraged or raised $500 million.

Prior to USAID, Dr. Dehgan worked in multiple positions within the Office of the Secretary at the Department of State and the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs where he developed a science diplomacy strategy towards addressing challenging foreign policy issues in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and the greater Islamic world. Dr. Dehgan previously served as the founding country director for the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Afghanistan Biodiversity Conservation Program, which led to the country’s first national parks in Band-e-Amir, and Wakhan. He also co-led efforts on redirection of former weapons scientists under the Coalition Provisional Authority. Dr. Dehgan has worked on wildlife conservation and foreign policy in settings as diverse as Saddam Hussein's pool house in Iraq while under fire; in the western reaches of the Himalayans in post-conflict Afghanistan; the leech and predator-filled rainforests of southeastern Madagascar, Central & South America; the chaos of the collapsing halls of the Kremlin; former Soviet weapons labs in Central Asia; and the Field Museum of Natural History. He is writing a book about his adventures called “Snow Leopards, Weapon Scientists, and Lemurs."

Dr. Dehgan holds a Ph.D and M.Sc. from The University of Chicago’s Committee on Evolutionary Biology; a J.D. from the University of California, Hastings; and a B.S. from Duke University. He received the World Technology Award for Policy in 2011, and has been recognized through multiple awards from the Departments of State and Defense, and USAID. In 2013, AAAS named him one of its 40@40 Science Policy Fellows for exemplary dedication to applying science to serve society, and he was recognized as an Icon of Science by SEED magazine in 2006.

“CRDF Global is helping to build the partnerships necessary to use science to solve the global challenges that are beyond any single nation’s power to address, and to build the bonds that connect the United States to the world,” said Dr. Alex Dehgan. “It’s my privilege to join the advisory council and continue to work with CRDF Global to achieve its mission of peace and prosperity through international science collaboration,” he said.

“Alex has been an enthusiastic and innovative friend of CRDF Global, including helping to spearhead the very successful Iraqi Virtual Science Library initiative that he co-created with other AAAS Fellows and State Department officials, and that is rebuilding science, technology, and engineering in Iraq,” said Cathy Campbell, CRDF Global President and Chief Executive Officer. “Alex has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to using science as a diplomatic tool to solve critical global problems. We are thrilled to continue to benefit from his expertise and commitment as he joins our Advisory Council,” she said.

Dr. Dehgan joins these luminaries on the CRDF Global Advisory Council:
• Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering, Chair, CRDF Global Advisory Council; Senior Vice President, International Relations (Retired), The Boeing Company; Vice Chairman, Hills & Co
• Nils Bruzelius, Executive Editor and Vice-President for Publications, Environmental Working Group
• Dr. Gail H. Cassell, Vice President of Scientific Affairs and Distinguished Research Scholar for Infectious Diseases, Eli Lilly and Company
• Dr. Vinton G. Cerf, Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist, Google
• Ambassador James F. Collins, Director and Senior Associate, Diplomat in Residence, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
• Dr. Rita Colwell, Chairman and President, CosmosID
• Dr. Loren R. Graham, Professor of History and Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
• Dr. William C. Harris, President and CEO, Science Foundation Arizona
• Dr. Siegfried S. Hecker, Co-Director, Stanford University Center for International Security and Cooperation; Senior Fellow, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies; Professor (Research), Department of Management Science and Engineering, Stanford University
• Dr. Najmedin Meshkati, Professor of Civil/Environmental Engineering and Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering, University of Southern California
• Dr. Richard Murphy, President, Richard Murphy and Associates, Inc.
• Dr. Peter Raven, President Emeritus, Missouri Botanical Garden

About CRDF Global
CRDF Global is an independent, nonprofit organization established in 1995 to promote international scientific and technical collaboration through grants, technical resources, training, and services. CRDF Global has nearly 20 years of experience managing international research funding programs and supporting emerging science and technology infrastructure in more than 40 countries in Eurasia, the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia.

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