Faculty News

Petersen offers expert advice to NSF committee

Anne Petersen, who previously served as the deputy director of the National Science Foundation (NSF), now lends her academic expertise to its Advisory Committee for International Science and Engineering (AC-ISE).

According to NSF, the AC-ISE provides advice and recommendations concerning support for research, education and related activities involving the U.S. science and engineering community, working in a global context as well as strategic efforts to promote a more effective NSF role in international science and engineering. Through her work on the AC-ISE, Petersen has contributed to the Strategic Plan of International Programs at NSF in addition to the NSF’s programs in Africa.

Petersen is a research professor at U-M’s Center for Human Growth and Development.

Commenting on her biggest contributions to this committee:

I urged and supported the current NSF director’s action to elevate the Office of International Science and Engineering to be her primary coordinating entity for international engagement. This engagement has proved extremely important to the vitality of U.S. science in all fields.

Advice to peers who are considering this kind of engagement:

All scientists — especially those who have received federal research funds — have a responsibility to give back by volunteering on such committees. In return, I have been provided with new information, new colleagues to engage with and many stimulating opportunities to learn.

The value of being publicly engaged — to herself, the university and society:

We as citizens have a responsibility to use our expertise or simply our efforts to contribute to the greater good; no society can survive without significant voluntary activity. As representatives of U-M, we have an additional responsibility to enhance the university’s reputation and to demonstrate through our actions that it values public service.