Science Diplomacy Center: A regional initiative to foster Science-Policy Dialogue and Collaboration for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable Americas

Background information about the IAI relevant for the SDC Advisory Board
The first in-person meeting of the Science Diplomacy Center Advisory Board took place from 11 to 13 November in Punta de Este, Uruguay. The members of the IAI Directorate and the Advisory Board engaged in three (3) days of collaborative and strategic planning on several topics including:
  • The design and development of the Center’s strategy, programs, activities, and the relevant content and initial key training materials for building science diplomacy capacities in the region.
  • Developing a funding strategy to secure resources for the Center’s medium and long-term sustainability.
  • Strengthening current and future partnerships and collaborations with other key national and international organizations to support the SDC and its programs.

The SDC Advisory Board also had the opportunity to interact with the next generation of science diplomats and science advisors from Latin America and the Caribbean, who are fellows of the IAI Science, Technology and Policy (STeP) Fellowship Program, as the meeting overlapped with the STeP Leadership for Science Diplomacy Workshop.

The IAI launched the Science Diplomacy Center (SDC) as a pioneer initiative in the Americas. The Center will seek to develop, connect, strengthen and mobilize current science diplomacy efforts, particularly in Latin America and the Caribbean, through international collaboration. It will establish a platform for engaging various science advisory ecosystems from across the region in order to become an important regional resource for strengthening science diplomacy capacities, collaborations, and strategies to address global environmental change of national and regional priority. Please see the meeting report here: 

  • SDC Advisory Board Meeting Full Report, Uruguay (English)
  • SDC Advisory Board Meeting Report, Executive Summary, Uruguay (Spanish, English)

The inaugural SDC Advisory Board currently consists of 11 professionals from the Americas and abroad, including IAI Parties, SAC/SPAC members, science diplomacy experts, and representatives from policy, academia, and the private sector:

IAI Parties

  • Carlos Matsumoto, International Cooperation, Ministry of Science and Technology, Brazil (focal point)
  • Marcelo Mena, former Minister of the Environment of Chile, Chile
  • Maria Uhle, Program Director for International Activities Directorate for Geosciences National Science Foundation, focal point and IAI Executive Council Chair and Co-chair of the Belmont Forum, USA

SAC and SPAC representatives

  • Carol Franco, climate advisor to the Ministry of the Environment of the Dominican Republic, Dominican Republic
  • Javier Gracia-Garza, former Agriculture and Food Canada, Canada
  • María Amparo Martínez Arroyo, Instituto de Ciencias de la Atmósfera y Cambio Climático, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

IAI Associate Representative

  • Kimberly Montgomery, Director of International Affairs and Science Diplomacy at AAAS, USA

Science Diplomacy Experts

  • Frances Cólon, Senior Director of the International Climate Center for American Progress and member of President Biden's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, USA
  • Ambassador Carmen Claramunt, deputy director of the Diplomatic School at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Costa Rica
  • Marga Gual Soler, Head of Science Diplomacy Capacity Building, Geneva Science and Diplomacy Anticipator (GESDA) Switzerland, and Senior Advisor for the IAI Science Diplomacy Center.
  • Janina Onuki, professor at the Institute of International Relations of the University of São Paulo and PI of the consultancy team developing the initial training materials for the SDC, Brazil
  • Nathan Hotaling, Senior Data Scientist at National Institutes of Health & SVP Data Science Axle Informatics, USA.


For more information please email

The IAI held a hybrid Science Diplomacy Center (SDC) Advisory Board Meeting at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Washington DC, USA from 6 to 7 March 2023 to follow-up on discussions from its first in-person meeting in Punta del Este, Uruguay.

The members of the IAI Directorate and the Advisory Board engaged in collaborative and strategic planning discussions to advance on agenda items including:

  • Identifying the proposed top 2-3 priority/flagship activities for SDC
  • Discussing the timeline for executing these priority activities
  • Identifying opportunities for sustainably funding the Center’s priority activities - SDC Fundraising Strategy
  • Identifying key partners, stakeholders, Parties and IAI Associates to support the Centers’ priority activities

The output of this hybrid advisory board meeting was the decision to engage the IAI member states in the co-design process to determine the flagship or priority activities of the Center. Likewise, as a result of the initial work of the SDC Advisory Board, a draft SDC working plan has been developed, which will be presented to the IAI Parties at CoP 31. Please see the meeting report here:

  • SDC Advisory Board Meeting Report Executive Summary, Washington DC (Spanish, English)

The SDC Advisory Board Meeting also coincided with the AAAS Annual Meeting where members of the IAI Directorate presented in the session “Science Diplomacy Fellowships for Stronger Public Policies” on 4 March at 2:30-3:30pm EST.

The IAI will hold an in-person Science Diplomacy Center (SDC) Advisory Board Meeting in Guatemala City, Guatemala, from 24 April to 26th, 2024. The main objective of this important gathering is to strengthen the IAI's Science Diplomacy Center(SDC) as a cornerstone for bolstering Science Diplomacy and addressing Global Environmental Change across the Americas. Our anticipated outcome is to guide the development of an Implementation Plan for the SDC spanning the years 2024 to 2026.

During the meeting, the IAI Directorate will showcase progress across three fundamental pillars:

  1. Capacity Building
  2. Knowledge Hub
  3. Emerging / Evolving / Innovation Issues

The meeting will explore ideas and recommendations regarding future programs, activities, initiatives, partnerships, sustainability, and funding. Moreover, it will promote a collaborative discussion to generate innovative and feasible plans to achieve the goals of the SDC.

Document for the First in-person Meeting of the SDC Advisory Board

Background information for the third in-person Meeting of the SDC Advisory Board

- SDC Side Event at the IAI CoP 31, June 2023, Panama:

- 32nd meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP-32) to the IAI:

- Gender, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Policy for IAI Scientific Projects and Capacity Building Activities:

- Strategic Plan:

For more information please email