Science Diplomacy Center Advisory Board Meeting, Punta del Este, Uruguay

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

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