Other non-institutionalised science diplomacy positions besides the organic science diplomat researcher have mostly to do with management and consultancy expertise. These roles will not have science diplomacy activities in their portfolio as such, but still have a clear international scope that from time to time may make them be engaged with researchers, policy-makers, diplomats, government officials and multilateral organisations around topics related to the broad term “science diplomacy”.
Some of these roles receive the following names (Melchor 2020):
Policy scientists, science-policy managers, policy-makers, policy entrepreneurs, who work in governmental departments to shape and deliver specific policies. They come from different backgrounds and in some cases have a previous scientific academic career. They may also work as expert consultants advising governments and other institutions.
International Relationship Officers, Head of International Office, Director of International Affairs, etc. These are professionals in research centres, universities, companies, consultancy firms, NGOs, learned societies, etc. that are directly in charge of international projects and building up international partnerships. If in a scientific institution, they will likely be more engaged with international scientific cooperation activities building up joint research projects, making bilateral agreements with other centres for student and staff mobility, seeking new international funding sources that may be harnessed with international partners, etc. In some occasions, they engage with government officials, embassy staff and multilateral organisations for specific projects, to network and to get additional support for their main activities abroad.
Institutional Relationship Officers, Head/Director of Institutional Affairs, Manager of Public Affairs, Head of Policy Affairs, etc. These are professionals in research centres, universities, companies, consultancy firms, NGOs, learned societies, etc. that are directly involved in liaising with government representatives from all levels of government, members of parliament, regulatory agencies, media, learned societies and professional associations, etc. These are experts in influencing policy-making and regulatory processes by providing facts of interest for their institution, raising its profile in the public debate, and building trust with all stakeholders involved. As in the previous roles, they may engage with science diplomacy stakeholders on specific projects.
What the experts think
You will learn from the expert below an overview of the role of a science manager in international affairs.
Vice-President for International Relations, Université Paris Sciences et Lettres – PSL (PSL). Former Science Counsellor in the Embassy of France in Washington DC.
What is your current position and what are your main responsibilities?
Read more! – Melchor, Lorenzo (2020): “What Is a Science Diplomat?” The Hague Journal of Diplomacy 15 (3):409-423 (Link).