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Esri’s Dr. Dawn Wright Selected for 2024 US Science Envoys

Parul Dubey on March 14, 2024 - in News, People

Chief Scientist of Esri to Be Among First All-Female Cohort in State Department Program’s History

REDLANDS, Calif.—March 13, 2024—Esri, the global leader in location intelligence, is proud to announce that the US Department of State has selected the company’s chief scientist, Dr. Dawn Wright, among four distinguished scientists to serve as a new US Science Envoy in 2024. Through the program, eminent scientists and engineers leverage their expertise and networks to forge connections and identify opportunities for sustained international cooperation to advance solutions to shared challenges, champion innovation, and demonstrate America’s scientific leadership and technical ingenuity. The scientists selected to participate this year make up the first all-female cohort in the history of the US Science Envoy Program.

“I am absolutely thrilled and honored to serve in this first all-woman cohort of State Department US Science Envoys, with such absolutely amazing women, including my friend Sian Proctor,” said Dr. Wright. “I’m also very proud and hope to follow in the footsteps of two of my mentors who were previous Science Envoys, Dr. Jane Lubchenco and Dr. Margaret Leinen.”

Dr. Wright has written and contributed to some of the most definitive literature on marine geographic information system (GIS) technology. She is an elected member of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering, as well as the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. In 2022, Wright served as mission specialist for a historic descent nearly 36,000 feet into the Pacific Ocean to capture images and data from the Challenger Deep, the deepest known point in Earth’s ocean. Wright was one of the few individuals—and the first Black person—to visit Challenger Deep, located within the Mariana Trench. The expedition produced an unprecedented series of detailed maps and data from the deepest place on Earth.

“I’m looking forward to amplifying the ocean sustainability work of countries and organizational partners that the State Department had already identified as collaborative touchpoints with Esri and Esri distributors,” Dr. Wright continued. “This will be a wonderful way to truly move forward now.”

The US Science Envoy program was established by the Secretary of State in 2010.  Like their 30 predecessors, the 2024 Cohort will travel as private US citizens to engage internationally with civil society as well as government interlocutors. Science Envoys help inform the Department of State, other US government agencies, and the scientific community about opportunities for science and technology cooperation.

The Department of State selected the 2024 cohort to take advantage of their expertise in key issues facing the world today, including artificial intelligence, fusion energy, civil use of space, and ocean sustainability.

Dr. Wright joins fellow cohort members Dr. Rumman Chowdhury; Dr. Stephanie “Steffi” Diem; and Dr. Sian Proctor for the 2024 envoy.

To learn more about how Dr. Dawn Wright and Esri work to advance science using technology, visit esriurl.com/scicomm.


About Esri

Esri, the global market leader in geographic information system (GIS) software, location intelligence, and mapping, helps customers unlock the full potential of data to improve operational and business results. Founded in 1969 in Redlands, California, USA, Esri software is deployed in hundreds of thousands of organizations globally, including Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, nonprofit institutions, and universities. Esri has regional offices, international distributors, and partners providing local support in over 100 countries on six continents. With its pioneering commitment to geospatial technology and analytics, Esri engineers the most innovative solutions that leverage a geographic approach to solving some of the world’s most complex problems by placing them in the crucial context of location. Visit us at esri.com.

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