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 You are in: Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs > Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs > Releases > Fact Sheets > 2008
Notice
Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs
Washington, DC
May 30, 2008

Science and Technology Internships at the Department of State

In a major study in 1999, "The Pervasive Role of Science, Technology, and Health in Foreign Policy," the National Research Council (NRC) concluded that of the 16 strategic foreign policy goals of the United States, 13 of them encompass considerations of science, technology or health. The study developed a strong rationale for bringing more technical literacy into the formulation of U.S. foreign policy. The Department of State responded to this study by laying out a program to greatly augment the S&T resources inside the Department. One important element of that program is greater outreach to the academic community to invite science and engineering students to work in the Department and in embassies to address the global challenges of applying and controlling science and technology in building a peaceful and sustainable world. Secretary Colin Powell has strongly endorsed these efforts.

The Department of State Strategic Plan concludes that the modern world is more interdependent on global issues, such as those related to the arms control, environment, population, disease, crime, and terrorism, among others. Scientific discoveries, changing technologies, information revolution and economic growth have impacted the rate of global change by accelerating communications and diminishing reaction times and distances. The consequences of political, social, economic, military, scientific, technological and health developments are more interrelated and modulate transnational conflicts, crises and threats. Thus, science and technology – the engines of modern industrial economies – are seminal to international cooperation, and are the "bricks and mortar" of the three pillars of national security – intelligence, diplomacy and military readiness. We want our S&T interns to begin early in their careers to help build bridges between science and foreign policy, as we strive to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

The key characteristics of the intern candidates, in addition to their technical training, should be a real interest in international relations and the challenges of applying and controlling technology in building a peaceful and sustainable world. They need to be mature, have excellent analytical and writing skills, work well with people, and possess a certain tolerance for the bureaucratic rules and regulations that abound in government institutions.

Click here for information and applications for the Student Internship Program.



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