The Task Force on Expanding International Engagement

New efforts from the APS International Affairs

By Amy Flatten, APS Director of International Affairs

I pleased to announce to FIP members that the APS recently has launched an important new effort, the “Task Force on Expanding International Engagement.” The Task Force is chaired by Dr. Jonathan Bagger, Director of TRIUMF. Dr. William Colglazier, Senior Scholar at AAAS and former Science Adviser to the U.S. Secretary of State, serves as Vice-Chair.

The APS goal of expanding international engagement was a key aspiration of the Society’s 2013-2017 Strategic Plan. Consequently, the APS leadership established the Task Force in 2016 to examine how APS could increase its international engagement and better serve its members, the physics community, and society at large. The Task Force will work over the next 6-8 months and provide a report and recommendations to the APS CEO, Presidential line, Council and Board of Directors.

At its recent meeting, the Task Force agreed upon the importance of hearing from the Society’s members, units and international partners. Consequently, the Task Force has sought some thoughtful feedback from the FIP leadership, and international colleagues, and is eager to hear from you. Please feel free to email us at with your thoughts on international programs or priorities for APS, and/or ideas on some of the critical issues that you believe APS should address in partnership with other national physical societies. The FIP members’ feedback will be crucial to this endeavor and I want to thank you for sharing any perspectives. Along with the launch of the Task Force, another highlight of 2017 will be the Canadian-American-Mexican Physics Graduate Student Conference (CAM) that will be held in Washington, D.C., 17-19 August, 2017. CAM is a biennial scientific conference cosponsored by the APS, the Canadian Association of Physicists, and the Sociedad Mexicana de Física. This year, APS is also pleased to be including a delegation of graduate students from Cuba. The conference provides physics graduate students of all subdisciplines with unique opportunities to build an international network, showcase their research, and develop key professional skills. All graduate students interested in participating in CAM2017 must participate scientifically. Approximately 60 students have been selected to give oral presentations and 40 students have been selected to present their research during a dedicated poster session.

The events above are just a few highlights of 2017. Please visit our website to learn more about our ongoing programs, such as the U.S.-Brazil & U.S. India Travel & Lectureship Programs, the International Research Travel Award Program, and other exciting news. Lastly, I want to thank FIP for its wonderful partnership with the APS International Office. So many of our programs are realized through contributions of FIP’s many volunteers and I want to sincerely thank you for your efforts.

Amy Flatten is serving as Director of International Affairs of the American Physical Society (APS), where she develops international scientific exchanges, collaborations, and partnerships with physicists around the globe. Prior to joining APS, she served for five years with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), where she managed international S&T initiatives involving government, academia, and industry. She received her Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Engineering Science and Mechanics from the Georgia Tech.