OSA Advocate of Optics Recognition

Every year, the OSA Public Policy Committee chooses to recognize an outstanding public official, either domestically or abroad, who demonstrates leadership and efforts in support of the advancement of the science of light.

The selected candidate is evaluated on his/her enthusiasm for science and science policy, level of familiarity with optics and photonics, level of interaction with OSA or OSA members in the past year, and record of consistent support of science, optics and photonics. The recipient is chosen by a subcommittee of OSA’s Public Policy Committee (one or more recipients may be chosen in any year). 

OSA members are invited to send in nominations for OSA’s Advocate of Optics program.  To submit nominations, please email public-policy@osa.org.

Below is a list of recipients of the OSA Advocate of Optics recognition:

2014 Isao Sugino (Japan)
2013 Secretary of Energy Steven Chu (United States)
2012 Neelie Kroes and Antonio Tajani
2011 Senator Stephen Conroy (Australia)
2010 Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Az.)
2009 Rep. Rush Holt (D-N.J.)
2008 Viviane Reding and Thierry Van der Pyl (Brussels, Belgium)
2007 Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.)
2006 Sen. Christopher Bond (R-Mo.)
Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.)
 

 


2014 Advocate of Optics: Isao Sugino

OSA 2013 President Donna Strickland (left) presents the 2014 Advocate of Optics recognition to Isao Sugino (right)

Isao Sugino of Japan was chosen as the 2014 Advocate of Optics.  Mr. Sugino was chosen for his leadership in research and development policy and for bringing attention to the need for developing optical technology that will make telecommunication systems more resilient during disasters.
 
Mr. Sugino gave a presentation titled “Disaster Recovery and the R&D Policy in Japan’s Telecommunication Networks” at the 2012 Optical Fiber Communications (OFC) Conference.  His presentation was on the impact the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami had on the telecommunications system in Japan as well as the restoration efforts and the country’s future R&D policy.
 
To be recognized as an OSA Advocate of Optics, a public official must have a record consistent with his or her support of science, optics and photonics and be an enthusiastic advocate for science policy issues, with particular regard for the advancement of the science of light.
 
OSA 2013 President Donna Strickland presented Mr. Sugino with the recognition at the Optics and Photonics Japan 2014 meeting of the Optical Society of Japan in Tokyo. 
 


2013 Advocate of Optics: Secretary Steven Chu

 

See caption below

OSA President Donna Strickland (right), presents the 2013 Advocate of Optics honor to U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu

United States Secretary of Energy was chosen as the 2013 Advocate of Optics. Chu, an OSA Fellow and Honorary Member, is well known in the optics community for his Nobel Prize-winning work on laser cooling. He was honored for his efforts in increasing investments for photovoltaics, LEDs, and other optics-based energy technologies.

Chu was appointed by President Obama as the Secretary of Energy in 2009 after an impressive career that included positions at Bell Labs, Stanford University, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and the University of California, Berkeley. A vocal advocate for research into renewable energy , Chu has argued that a shift away from fossil fuels is essential to combating climate change. Under his direction, the Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative has invested in more than 150 research, manufacturing, and market solution projects in photovoltaics, concentrating solar power, and systems integration.

To be recognized as an OSA Advocate of Optics, a public official must have a record consistent with his or her support of science, optics and photonics and be an enthusiastic advocate for science policy issues, with particular regard for the advancement of the science of light.

OSA President Donna Strickland presented Chu with the recognition at a reception during OSA’s annual two-day Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C.

 


2012 Advocates of Optics: Neelie Kroes and Antonio Tajani

See caption below
Vice President Kroes (left) with OSA CEO Elizabeth Rogan (right) and OSA Past President Christopher Dainty (center)

European Commissioners Neelie Kroes of the Netherlands and Antonio Tajani of Italy were chosen as the 2012 Advocates of Optics. Kroes is the Vice President of the Commission for the Digital Agenda and Tajani is the Vice President of the Commission for Industry and Entrepreneurship. The pair was chosen for their role in making photonics part of the “Key Enabling Technologies” (KETs) in the European Union.

The KETs, which include nanotechnology, advanced materials and biotechnology, in addition to photonics were identified by the European Commission as technologies that will strengthen European industry and innovation. The KETs were originally identified by the Commission in 2009, and in 2010 the Commission established a High Level Expert Group – led by Kroes and Tajani – tasked with developing a long-term strategy and action plan for implementing the KETs.

OSA President-Elect Tony Heinz presenting Senator Stephen Conroy with the Advocate of Optics Award

Vice President Tajani (center) with OSA CEO Elizabeth Rogan (right) and OSA Public Policy Committee Member Christoph Harder (left)

To be recognized as an OSA Advocate of Optics, a public official must have a record consistent with his or her support of science, optics and photonics and be an enthusiastic advocate for science policy issues, with particular regard for the advancement of the science of light.

OSA CEO Elizabeth Rogan presented the recognition to Kroes during Photonics 21 and to Tajani during a special event at the European Commission headquarters.



2011 Advocate of Optics: Senator Stephen Conroy

 

Senator Conroy was chosen at the 2011 Advocate of Optics for his extraordinary work and dedication in championing a National Broadband Network (NBN) for Australia that will establish fiber optic communications directly to 93 percent of Australian homes, schools and businesses.

Conroy is the chief proponent of the NBN, an Australian government initiative that will deliver much faster broadband to nearly all Australians by several orders of magnitude. The NBN will achieve 100 megabits per second speeds through an infrastructure program involving the laying of fiber optic cabling to 93 percent of Australian households, schools and businesses.

OSA President-Elect Tony Heinz presenting Senator Stephen Conroy with the Advocate of Optics Award

OSA President-Elect Tony Heinz (right) Presenting Senator Stephen Conroy with the recognition.

The remaining premises will be connected via a combination of next generation high-speed wireless and satellite technologies delivering broadband speeds of 12 megabits per second or more. It is the largest infrastructure project undertaken by the Australian government-an investment up to A$43 billion (US$43 billion) over eight years. This project will provide a stimulus to the Australian optical communications industry, which has recently been revitalized.

To be recognized as an OSA Advocate of Optics, a public official must have a record consistent with his or her support of science, optics and photonics and be an enthusiastic advocate for science policy issues, with particular regard to the advancement of the science of light.


2010 Advocate of Optics: Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Az.)

Baer and Holt 2009

OSA President James C. Wyant, dean of the College of Optical Sciences at the University of Arizona, presenting Rep. Giffords with the recognition

Rep. Giffords was chosen as the 2010 Advocate of Optics for her work on H.R.3585, the Solar Technology Roadmap Act.  This legislation seeks to improve solar technology research, development and demonstration (RD&D) programs. She is also being recognized for her work on the House of Representatives’ Science and Technology (S&T) Committee. Rep. Giffords represents the Tucson area, which is home to a large cluster of photonics companies, making her an invaluable asset to the optics and photonics community.

Rep. Giffords is serving her second term in the U.S. House of Representatives. Upon entering Congress, Rep. Giffords quickly established herself as a champion of energy independence and solar initiatives.  In addition to the House S&T Committee, she also serves on the Armed Services Committee and the Foreign Affairs Committee. She is also the chair of the S&T Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics.

To be recognized as an OSA Advocate of Optics, a public official must have a record consistent with his or her support of science, optics and photonics and be an enthusiastic advocate for science policy issues, with particular regard to the advancement of the science of light.


2009 Advocate of Optics: Rep. Rush Holt (D-N.J.)

Baer and Holt 2009

OSA President Thomas Baer, left, presents Rep. Rush Holt with the 2009 Advocate of Optics statue.

Rep. Rush Holt (D-N.J.) was chosen as the 2009 Advocate of Optics because of his extraordinary leadership in seeking to increase federal investments in the sciences, including critical research and development (R&D). He is also being recognized for his work as co-chair of the Congressional R&D Caucus, which hosted a briefing with OSA on Strengthening National Defense with Laser Technology in 2007.

Rep. Holt was actively involved in OSA’s Congressional R&D Caucus briefing last summer on lasers in national defense.  As co-chair of the R&D Caucus, Holt helped draw attention to the importance of optics and photonics – the science of light – by focusing on the use of laser technology in defense and military applications.  Prior to coming to Congress, Rep. Holt, who is one of three Ph.D. physicists in Congress, was an assistant director at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory.  He currently serves on the House Education and Labor Committee, the Natural Resources Committee and the Intelligence Committee.

To be recognized as an OSA Advocate of Optics, a public official must have a record consistent with his or her support of science, optics and photonics and be an enthusiastic advocate for science policy issues, with particular regard to the advancement of the science of light.



2008 Advocates of Optics: Viviane Reding and Thierry Van der Pyl

Alferness, Van der Pyl and Reding

OSA President Rod Alferness (right), presents the 2008 Advocate of Optics statues to Commissioner Reding and Mr. Van der Pyl in Brussels, Belgium.

Viviane Reding, European commissioner for information society and media, and Thierry Van der Pyl, head of the Commission’s Photonics Unit, were recognized as OSA’s 2008 Advocates of Optics. Reding was selected as this year’s advocate for her extraordinary vision in supporting and establishing a Photonics Unit within the European Commission. Van der Pyl is being recognized for his leadership within the Photonics Unit.

The Photonics Unit was launched in January 2007 as a result of efforts by Photonics 21, a platform within the Commission designed to promote investment in photonics research and development in the European Union. The Photonics Unit defines its mission as making “Europe the best in photonics research and the best in translating those results into real innovation.” Their aim is to be a catalyzing stimulus in the formation of the needed critical mass of quality research at the European level as well as at the national level.

As commissioner, Reding has been a visible presence and supporter for technology funding in general and photonics funding, specifically. Under her leadership, the European Commission allocated more than 90 million Euros to funding basic photonics technologies from 2007-2008. Van der Pyl was chosen as the head of the Photonics Unit because of his extensive experience in the European Commission, including heading the units of High Performance Computing, Microelectronics, and Future and Emerging Technologies.



2007 Advocate of Optics: Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.)

Policy Image

OSA President Joseph Eberly (left) presents Sen. Jeff Bingaman with the 2007 OSA Advocate of Optics statue.

New Mexico Senator Jeff Bingaman was recognized as OSA’s 2007 Advocate of Optics.  Sen. Bingaman was selected as this year’s advocate because of his extraordinary leadership in seeking to increase federal investments in the sciences, including the critical area of research and development.  He is also being recognized for his work to advance energy efficiency through his continued support for energy-saving optical technologies like solid state lighting.

Sen. Bingaman was actively involved in OSA’s Senate Science and Technology (S&T) Caucus briefing last summer on solid state lighting innovations with optics.  As chair of the S&T Caucus, Bingaman helped draw attention to the importance of optics and photonics by focusing on the energy benefits of solid state lighting.

To be recognized as an OSA Advocate of Optics, a public official must have a record consistent with his or her support of science, optics and photonics and be an enthusiastic advocate for science policy issues, with particular regard to the advancement of the science of light.

Sen. Bingaman was recognized during OSA’s Winter Leadership Conference.



2006 Advocate of Optics: Sen. Christopher Bond (R-Mo.)

Policy Image
Eric Van Stryland, OSA president, presents Sen. Christopher "Kit" Bond with the Advocate of Optics statue.

Sen. Christopher “Kit” Bond was recognized as one of two 2006 OSA Advocates of Optics for his efforts to highlight the role of optics and photonics technology in modern highway transportation systems.

To be recognized as an Advocate of Optics, a public official must demonstrate public policy leadership and efforts in support of the advancement of the science of light.

The decision to honor Sen. Bond stemmed from his work last year on a bill reauthorizing federal highway programs, the “Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users” or SAFETEAU-LU.  Sen. Bond was instrumental in including language in that bill to expand the definition of Intelligent Transportation Systems to include photonics.

Sen. Bond’s accomplishments were formally recognized during the organization's annual Leadership Conference.



2006 Advocate of Optics: Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.)

Policy Image
Policy Image
Elka Koehler, member, OSA Public Policy Committee, presents Rep. Bill Shuster with
 the 2006 Advocate of Optics statue.

Rep. Bill Shuster was recognized as one of two 2006 OSA Advocates of Optics for his efforts to highlight the role of optics and photonics technology in modern highway transportation systems.

To be recognized as an Advocate of Optics, a public official must demonstrate public policy leadership and efforts in support of the advancement of the science of light.

The decision to honor Rep. Shuster stemmed from his work last year on a bill reauthorizing federal highway programs, the “Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users” or SAFETEAU-LU.  Rep. Shuster was instrumental in including language in that bill to expand the definition of Intelligent Transportation Systems to include photonics.

Rep. Shuster’s accomplishments were formally recognized during the organization's annual Leadership Conference.

Twitter

Washington Updates

Email