Congratulations to Dr. Nagi AL-Haj of Sana’a University, Yemen, the 2013 ASM Ambassador of the Year. Each year, as the Ambassador Program grows in size and impact, the review committee’s task of selecting one individual for this prestigious award becomes increasingly difficult. However, AL-Haj’s contributions to his country, ASM and the global scientific community in general have been truly remarkable.
In 2011, ASM had zero members in Yemen. All of this changed, with the appointment of Dr. AL-Haj as ASM Ambassador to Yemen. Within 6 months, through a series of innovative outreach activities, AL-Haj had developed Yemen’s first practical network of microbiology-related scientists by recruiting 200+ ASM members from all provinces in the country; some of the most isolated and remote scientists in the world. In addition, as a result of AL-Haj’s in-country leadership, ASM has secured multi-year funding to provide professional development workshops and establish ASM BioResource Centers in Yemen. Perhaps more than any other ASM member, AL-Haj demonstrates the power and potential of science diplomacy, as well as the sustainable impact scientific societies like ASM can have.
Dr. AL-Haj was recognized as the 2013 ASM Ambassador of the Year during the International Reception at the ASM General Meeting, Denver, CO.