28 June 2016
IIASA, Laxenburg

Foreign Secretary of the US National Academies of Sciences visits IIASA

John Hildebrand, Foreign Secretary of the US National Academies of Sciences – one of the founding members of IIASA and National Member Organization – visited IIASA on 28 June.

© Maglara | Dreamstime

© Maglara | Dreamstime

Hildebrand met with Director General and CEO Professor Dr. Pavel Kabat to discuss IIASA’s research and ongoing collaborations with the US. Hildebrand assumed his post as Foreign Secretary managing all international activities of the Academy in July 2014.

The US was a founding member of IIASA when it was established in 1972 and research collaborations have been highly productive ever since. The US National Member Organization is the National Academy of Sciences, which partners with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the National Science Foundation to promote cooperation with American scientists, research institutions, and government agencies.

Hildebrand was accompanied by his spouse Gail Burd, Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs at the University of Arizona. During their visit they also met with IIASA Deputy Director and Deputy CEO Nebojsa Nakicenovic and IIASA Program Directors and researchers, to get an overview of IIASA’s research activities. In particular they discussed IIASA capacity building activities such as the Young Scientist Summer Program (YSSP), and the planned International School of Excellence. Nakicenovic also presented examples of IIASA large scale interdisciplinary research projects such as the Global Energy Assessment (GEA), launched in 2012, and the new project The World in 2050 (TWI 2050) which aims to develop equitable pathways to sustainable development within safe planetary boundaries.

(L-R), Brian Walsh (Research Scholar, Ecosystems Services and Management Program, IIASA), Elena Rovenskaya (Program Director, Advanced Systems Analysis Program, IIASA), Michael Obersteiner (Program Director, Ecosystems Services and Management Program, IIASA), Nebojsa Nakicenovic (Deputy Director General/Deputy CEO, IIASA), Gail Burd (Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, University of Arizona), John Hildebrand (Foreign Secretary, US National Academy of Sciences), Professor Dr. Pavel Kabat (Director General and CEO, IIASA), Ulf Dieckmann (Program Director, Evolution and Ecology Program, IIASA), Wolfgang Lutz (Program Director, World Population Program, IIASA), Brian Fath (Research Scholar, Advanced Systems Analysis Program, IIASA)

Collaborations between IIASA and the United States

Research collaborations between IIASA and the United States of America (US) have been highly productive ever since the Institute was founded in 1972. The IIASA–US relationship is central to the Institute and consequently IIASA participates in more activities related to the US than any of its other member countries. Opportunities for cooperation start with young PhD students from the US, who receive grants to participate in IIASA’s Young Scientists Summer Program, and extend up to institutional cooperation such as the IIASA Director General’s collaboration with Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs, Director of The Earth Institute, Columbia University, on achieving the sustainable development goals.

Diverse research partnerships range from technical modeling with the Energy Modeling Forum at Stanford University to policy advice to the US Environmental Protection Agency. Collaboration of US scientists with IIASA—facilitated by over 850 visits to and from IIASA, over 40 US nationals among IIASA’s staff, and regular scientific exchanges—has brought the Institute’s applied systems analysis and global perspective to issues ranging from US energy policies to projection of US demographic changes. Research impact includes providing the intellectual underpinnings for the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, launched in 2012 by then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and shaping the key objectives for the UN Secretary General’s Sustainable Energy for All initiative.

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Last edited: 28 June 2016

Info Sheet on IIASA Activities with the US

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
Phone: (+43 2236) 807 0 Fax:(+43 2236) 71 313