California Policymakers Signify Enduring Value of CCST to the State by Investing in Fellows

The 2022 CCST S&T Policy Fellows standing in front of the California State Capitol dressed in formal attire.
The 2022 CCST Science & Technology Policy fellows in front of the California State Capitol.

California Invests in CCST Science & Technology Policy Fellows Program, Placing PhD-level Scientists, Engineers, and Social Scientists in the Legislature, State Agencies, and Offices of the Governor.

SACRAMENTO, Calif.—Approved by the Legislature and signed by Governor Newsom this week, the 2022 California State Budget allocates $10 million for the California Council on Science and Technology’s CCST Science and Technology Policy Fellows program. This investment bolsters a California public-private partnership that serves as a national and international model for delivering science-informed policy.

Directed by CCST, the policy fellowship places PhD-level scientists, engineers, and social scientists into the California State Legislature, State Agencies, and offices of the Governor for a year of public service and leadership training, attracting talented researchers from CCST’s Partner Institutions and beyond.

“I have seen firsthand the talent and benefit that the CCST S&T Policy Fellows bring to our policymaking,” said Assemblymember Bill Quirk (Hayward), who championed the Assembly budget request. “As a scientist turned policymaker, it has been a privilege to welcome and mentor so many Fellows into the policy landscape and to see them thrive in their new careers. California’s investment in the Fellows is an investment in California’s continued role as a global science and technology leader.”

The $10 million allocation in this year’s budget will support CCST’s fellowship endowment, a long-term fund implemented in partnership with philanthropic donors to provide a sustainable supply of policy-savvy scientists to the State.

 

California’s investment in the Fellows is an investment in California’s continued role as a global science and technology leader.

—Assemblymember Bill Quirk

 

The CCST S&T Policy Fellows program was established in 2009 with funds from generous philanthropic donors including the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

“Thirteen years ago, we invested in the idea of placing scientists as Fellows in the California State Legislature to make scientific and technical expertise readily available to policymakers,” said Dr. Harvey Fineberg, President of the Moore Foundation. “This major investment by the State of California lends long-term stability to the CCST Fellows program. It has proven to be a major asset to the people of California and serves as a national model for similar state-level science policy Fellowships.”

A win-win for California, the fellowship provides policymakers with access to science-savvy staff, while Fellows gain valuable experience in public policy with enduring career impacts.

“The State’s support for the CCST S&T Policy Fellowship underscores California’s commitment to crafting policies that are backed by science,” said Amber Mace, CEO of CCST. “This program invests in talented individuals who pair their scientific expertise with California’s policy experts in the Legislature and Executive Branch to find solutions for Californians. The program transforms the Fellows’ career paths and brings a long-term benefit to California, as Fellows become colleagues, mentors, and leaders in policy positions.”

The 2022 budget builds on the Legislature’s crucial past support to enable CCST to fulfill its science advisory mission. Most recently, the State provided a $5 million allocation in 2021 for CCST’s Disaster Resilience Initiative, which extends CCST’s work beyond the fellowship program into its full suite of science services: peer-reviewed studies, expert briefings, workshops, and more.

Also championed by Assemblymember Quirk, the State’s investment in the disaster resilience initiative enables the delivery of science-informed solutions toward a disaster resilient California and provides a blueprint for other states facing complex disasters.

 

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About the California Council on Science and Technology
The California Council on Science and Technology is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization established via the California State Legislature — making California’s policies stronger with science and technology since 1988. We engage leading experts in science and technology to advise State policymakers — ensuring that California policy is strengthened and informed by scientific knowledge, research, and innovation.

About the CCST Science & Technology Policy Fellowship

The CCST Science & Technology Policy Fellows program trains scientific thinkers to be policy-savvy, while helping equip California’s decision makers with science-savvy staff. The program was established in 2009 with funds from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and other generous friends. Discover how our CCST S&T Policy Fellows make a difference in California’s policy arena at ccst.us/ccst-science-fellows-program.

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