The vision is working.

Over the past year, VASEM continued to demonstrate its unique value to the Commonwealth as a high level and independent resource for technical expertise. Two of our most prominent 2017 activities were to assist the Joint Committee on Technology and Science (JCOTS) and the State Council for Higher Education in Virginia (SCHEV). Although the composition of the 2018 General Assembly is not completely settled, VASEM expertise will be needed, more than ever, by current and new legislative members. We are also pursuing opportunities to grow VASEM advisory roles in other facets of Virginia government.

Recognizing that an increasingly complex world requires an increasing breadth of expertise to tackle technical issues facing Virginia in the 21st century, the VASEM Board of Directors is considering two proposals to grow our breadth and depth into the future. The first proposal under consideration is to create a process for emerging leaders at Virginia’s universities and industries to propose forefront topics for Fall Summits and lead those in collaboration with a VASEM mentor. With the logistical support of VASEM, this will create a unique forum to showcase world-class activities in Virginia that intersect with needs in the Commonwealth. Most importantly, we envision new connections between people and that foster synergies in communication and partnerships across industry, education, and legislative groups.

We are also considering a proposal to implement a process for nominating and selecting national academy-caliber individuals to VASEM membership. The two-fold goal of this initiative is to support the VASEM mission to promote Virginia’s leaders in science, engineering, and medicine for election to the National Academies while also growing membership in areas where forefront expertise is needed to help the state. Virginia has a low proportion of National Academy members relative to the population of other states. As both these ideas develop, we will update you and welcome input from members and friends.

In the coming months, I look forward to talking with more of you by phone and in person. It is great to learn your ideas for how to grow VASEM as a resource for the Commonwealth. The vision is working!

Yours in service,

Patricia M. Dove
President, Virginia Academy of Science, Engineering, and Medicine
National Academy of Science, 2012