The Foreign Service Journal, January-February 2019
THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2019 55 wind. Provincial police even closed the national highway for two hours so that lights and vibrations from vehicular traffic would not affect data collection. As NASA’s Adriana Ocampo stated: “The team succeeded, thanks to the help of institutions like CONAE, and all the goodwill of the Argentinian people. This is another example of how space exploration brings out the best in us.” In Senegal, embassy officers worked with the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation to coordinate the participation of 22 Senegalese scientists. While these scientists had solid theoretical training, this was the first opportunity many of them had ever had to join a field expedition using sophisticated observation equipment. Senegal’s President Macky Sall also recognized the opportunity the expedition rep- resented to build bridges of international science cooperation. Sall, a geologist by training, invited the entire expedition team to the presidential palace to celebrate this collaboration. The New Horizons expeditions provided an unparalleled opportunity to promote U.S. leadership in science, technology and research. Local media treated NASA scientists like rock stars, highlighting their achievements through print, TV and radio interviews, as well as numerous public speaking engage- ments. This outreach connected NASA to local communities outside of the capital cities and influenced a diverse audience with the positive message of science diplomacy. In Dakar, the public affairs section organized a presentation on women in science by two New Horizons teammembers to introduce a screening of the movie “Hidden Figures,” which tells the true story of three African-American female mathematicians who U.S. and Senegalese astronomers test a telescope prior to deployment. COURTESYOFJOHNFAZIO made significant, but initially unrecognized, contributions to NASA’s space program. Having organized the New Horizons visits, embassy staff took full advantage of them to stimulate future U.S. science and technology collaboration with science ministries, univer- sities and astronomers. In fact, NASA has offered to return to Senegal in mid-2019 to present the findings of the flyby and to conduct a workshop for Senegalese planetary scientists, while Argentina’s space agency will pursue an expanded bilateral dialogue on space science. NASA plans to conduct similar astronomy expeditions in other countries over the next few years—and you can be sure the Foreign Service will be there to promote U.S. science agencies and ensure their continued global leadership role. n John Fazio joined the State Department as an FSO in 2012 and currently serves in the Office of U.S. Foreign Assistance Resources. He previously covered science and technology issues for Embassy Buenos Aires and was the human rights officer in Manila. Before joining the Foreign Service, he was a Presidential Management Fellow with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and worked in the Chicago field office for six years. Prior to that, he was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Paraguay. Heath Bailey is the economic section chief at Em- bassy Dakar. A member of the Foreign Service since 2007, his previous posts include Nairobi, Manila, Riga, and San Jose. He practiced law in Las Vegas for eight years before joining the Foreign Service.