Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
March 3, 2010


U.S. Science Envoy Dr. Zerhouni, M.D., arrived in Morocco today on a two-week trip to North Africa that will include visits to Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya. On this trip, Dr. Zerhouni will seek areas for cooperation on health, science and technology, and education in meetings with heads of state, ministers, and representatives from the scientific, education, nonprofit, and business communities.

The U.S. Science Envoy Program is a core element of the Administration’s commitment to global engagement in science and technology. President Obama first announced the program in Cairo last June, with Secretary Clinton naming the first three envoys -- Dr. Zerhouni, Dr. Ahmed Zewail, and Dr. Bruce Alberts -- in Marrakech last November. Dr. Zewail recently traveled to Egypt, Turkey, and Qatar, and Dr. Alberts plans to travel to Indonesia this spring.

Last month, Dr. Zerhouni traveled to France, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait on his first official trip as a Science Envoy. During the trip, Dr. Zerhouni met with senior-level officials in Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait for discussions on food security, the advancement of scientific and technological research, prevention of chronic diseases, enhanced support for children with special needs, and environmental issues. In Paris, Dr. Zerhouni met with officials from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) to consider ways to promote science and education. In Doha, Dr. Zerhouni attended the U.S.-Islamic World Forum.

Dr. Zerhouni served as Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) from 2002 to 2008. Dr. Zerhouni initiated the NIH’s Roadmap for Medical Research, established a research program to address the obesity epidemic, and made health disparities a research priority. Currently, Dr. Zerhouni is a senior advisor to Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and has been instrumental in creating the University’s Institute for Cell Engineering. He also sits on the Board of Trustees of the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, which opened in Saudi Arabia last September.

# # #



PRN: 2010/254