Powell heralded the creation of the JSF program, named for the third president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson, who was both ambassador and scientist. The program will gather U.S. scientists, diplomats and policymakers to work on issues of international importance. The selected fellows are tenured scientists and engineers from U.S. colleges and universities. They are slated to report to the Office of the Science and Technology Adviser to the Secretary of State in mid-August.
Chairman of the university's Environmental Toxicology Graduate Program, Eastmond is one of five U.S. academics who make up the first class of fellows. The others are Dr. Julian Adams, University of Michigan, Dr. Bruce Averill, University of Toledo, Dr. Melba Crawford, University of Texas, Austin, and Dr. Kilidas Shetty, University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Secretary of State Powell welcomed the inaugural class of fellows. "Over the coming year, these five individuals will be our scientific advisors and educators," Powell said in published remarks. "They'll bring fresh ideas and new perspectives to America's foreign policy. But these scientists will also get, I believe, a good deal in return. They will observe and participate in the day-to-day working of American foreign policy. They'll see how science and statecraft work together to improve the lives of people around the world. They'll gain an appreciation for the daily challenges confronting the men and women of the State Department. And, most importantly, our Jefferson Science Fellows will take their experiences with them back into our nation's classrooms and laboratories."