Dear readers,

I took this position as the Director of Government Relations in January of 2017 and my first blog posted shortly thereafter. I love researching and writing these, but it is time for a hiatus.

I appreciate your interest in the work of my office. Please check out the work we do.

If you are coming to the 2022 Joint Mathematics Meetings in Seattle, I would love to meet you—find me and introduce yourself!

I hope you will join us at these policy-related sessions at JMM:

AMS Advocacy Training Session
Thursday, 9:30 – 11:00 am
Place:  Room 609, WSCC

Title:  “Advocacy for Mathematics and Science Policy”
Organizers:  Karen Saxe, AMS
Moderator:  Karen Saxe, American Mathematical Society

Andy Hardt, University of Minnesota
Gigliola Staffilani, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
A.J. Stewart, 2021-22 AMS Congressional Fellow
Katherine Pearce, North Carolina State University, AMS CASE Fellow

Description:  This session will be a discussion of ways to engage with elected officials in addressing policy issues of concern to the mathematics community, including research funding and education.  The second half will be a panel; panelists will discuss the importance of grassroots advocacy and building relationships with legislators to further goals.

AMS Committee on Science Policy Panel Discussion
Friday, 2:30 pm — 4:00 pm 
Place:  Room 609, WSCC

Title:  “What’s after science policy? – How getting involved in science policy enhances careers
Natalie Shiels, OptumLabs at UnitedHealth Group
Duane Cooper, Morehouse College
Rachel Levy, 2020-21 AMS/AAAS Congressional Policy Fellow

Natalie Shiels, OptumLabs at UnitedHealth Group

Carla Cotwright-Williams, U.S. Department of Defense
Catherine Paolucci, University of Florida
James Ricci, Schmidt Futures
Karoline Pershell, Service Robotics and Technologies
Lloyd Douglas, independent consultant

Description: Few mathematicians have a background that includes work in science policy. In this panel we have gathered people who have served as AAAS congressional or science and technology policy fellows, been part of national organizations such as the NSF, AMS, AWM, or NAM and who continue to care about policy decisions and their effects on the mathematics community. We want to address questions such as:

  • How do previous roles in science policy inform your current work?
  • What skills that you learned have been easiest to translate? Most difficult?
  • What advice would you give to those who are interested in working in science policy roles in the future?

AMS DC-Based Policy & Communications Opportunities
Friday, 4:30 – 6:00 pm
Place: Room 609, WSCC

A.J. Stewart, AMS Congressional Fellow 2021-22
Scott Hershberger, AMS-AAAS Mass Media Fellow 2020
Joseph Melby, Michigan State University, AMS CASE Fellow
Karen Saxe, AMS Office of Government Relations

Description: AMS Special Presentation on Washington, DC Based Policy & Communications Opportunities.  The AMS Congressional Fellowship—a year-long experience for PhD mathematicians at any career stage—provides public policy learning experiences, demonstrates the value of science-government interaction and brings a technical background and external perspective to the decision-making process in Congress. The AMS Mass Media Fellowship improves public understanding of science and technology by placing advanced mathematics students in newsrooms nationwide for a summer. The Catalyzing Advocacy in Science and Engineering (CASE) workshop introduces STEM students to the federal policy-making process, and empowers them to become advocates for basic research throughout their careers; the AMS sponsors two students each year to participate in this 3.5-day workshop in Washington, DC.

Learn more about these programs and speak with current and former AMS fellows. Application deadlines are in early 2022.

Thank you, again, for investing your time in what I write and for your feedback, which has helped me push out new content. Our connections are a form of teamwork, and another example that working together helps each of us and the math and science community become successful.



About Karen Saxe

Karen Saxe is Director of the AMS Office of Government Relations which works to connect the mathematics community with Washington decision-makers who affect mathematics research and education. Over many years she has contributed much time to the AMS, MAA, and AWM, including service as vice president of the MAA and in policy and advocacy work with all three. She was the 2013-2014 AMS Congressional Fellow, working for Senator Al Franken on education issues, with focus on higher education and STEM education. In Minnesota she has served on the Citizens Redistricting Commission following the 2010 census and serves on the Common Cause Minnesota Redistricting Leadership Circle. She has three children and, when not at work especially enjoys being with them and reading, hiking and sharing good food and wine and beer with family and friends.
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