Committee on International Activities

The 15-member Joint Board-Council Committee on International Activities (IAC) was established by action of the ACS Board of Directors on June 27, 1962 and was upgraded in 1974 to a joint Board-Council Committee. The IAC is responsible for studying and recommending appropriate SOCIETY participation and cooperation in international undertakings pertaining to chemical education, professional activities, and scientific matters of interest to chemists and chemical engineers, and coordinating its efforts with those of other organizations.


The mission of the Committee on International Activities is to assist scientists and engineers worldwide to communicate and collaborate for the good of the chemical and chemically related sciences, chemical engineering, and their practitioners.


Through their enduring volunteer service and commitment, members and associates of the 2015 Joint-Board Council Committee on International Activities continue in their remarkable efforts to further the obligations expressed in Article II, Section 3, of the ACS Constitution, "the SOCIETY shall cooperate with scientists internationally and shall be concerned with the worldwide application of chemistry to the needs of humanity."  

Through its subcommittees on Africa and Asia, Europe and the Middle East, and Asia Pacific Basin, the Committee continued its work to help ACS be more welcoming to chemists and allied scientists and engineers with global interests and advance its strategies that serve the international priorities of the Society.

  1. Fostering ACS international collaborations furthering chemistry's role in addressing global challenges; 
  2. Extending the Society's engagements in international education and training;
  3. Engaging developing countries in cooperation with partner societies;
  4. Assuring support of ACS Science and Human Rights initiatives;
  5. Supporting the development and quality of the ACS International Center;
  6. Sustaining momentum of International Year of Chemistry beyond 2011.

The following is the IAC's 2015 Denver Council Report:

International Chapters:

  1. At the ACS National Meeting in San Francisco, the ACS Council approved the establishment of ACS International Chemical Sciences Chapter in South Africa.  The ACS Board added its approval in December. 
  2. The IAC Task Force on International Chapter Development Strategy has completed most of its work.  A set of recommendations has been presented to the Board P&MR Committee in December 2014.  Additional tasks are being incorporated into the 2015 committee work plan. 
  3. The IAC Executive Team met during the Leadership Institute (LI) in Dallas on January 22-25, 2015 with ACS International Chapter representatives in Shanghai and South Korea.  Areas of mutual interests and possible actions in 2015 were discussed.

Education and Outreach Activities:

  1. The committee is continuing its collaboration with Pittcon to support participation in Pittcon for early- and mid-career analytical chemists from developing and transitional countries.  The Pittcon 2015 will be held in New Orleans on March 8-12, and several scientists from Central America and the Caribbean have been chosen to attend this meeting.
  2. ACS International Research Experiences for Undergraduates (IREU) is a program supported by NSF to place US chemistry students in Europe and Southeast Asia for international research experiences.  In summer 2014, 17 U.S. students from institutions with limited access to research facilities were recruited nationally to participate in the 10-week IREU program.  Reports of their research were written.  IAC members carried out peer review of their research reports in October to give the students practice in writing and submitting journal articles.
  3. Two of our committee members (Ellene Contis and Tim Hanks) gave presentations on “Graduate Study and Research Abroad” in two ACS-on-Campus events in October 2014.
  4. With support from the US Department of State, plans are being made on the training of young scientists and engineers in Thailand (BOOST) in June 2015 and an Ethics workshop to take place during the Asian Chemistry Congress in Bangladesh in November 2015.

Meetings and Symposia:

  1. IAC leadership participated in several meetings with ACS Northeast Regional Meeting (NERM) planning team and others to explore the feasibility of creating an AtlantiChem conference. This initiative grew from a 2014 IAC Global Innovation Grant awarded to NERM.
  2. A joint Global Imperative Initiatives (Gii) meeting with Singapore National Institute of Chemistry was held in December 2014.  The topic was “Water Innovation and Treatment”, and a working draft of a resulting white paper will be reviewed at the ACS National Meeting in Denver.
  3. IAC is involved with three symposia in Denver:
    1. The Transnational Practice of Chemistry and Allied Sciences and Engineering: Study, Research and Careers without Borders (Sunday, 3/22)
    2. Growing Opportunities for Research Abroad: An Undergraduate Perspective of International Research Experiences (Sunday, 3/22)
    3. The Interface of Chemical and Biological Sciences: International Disarmament Efforts (Tuesday, 3/24)

Other International Activities:

  1. IAC approved the revised Visa Restrictions and Scientific Progress Policy Statement produced by IAC and SOCED during the San Francisco meeting.
  2. We are working with OPA and CPRC to internationalize the Chemistry Ambassadors program.  We shall use the International Chapters as the starting point to initiate this program.
  3. An oral presentation on ACS International Activities was given by Cynthia Maryanoff in San Francisco.  A poster presentation on the same topic was given in June in the Northwest Regional Meeting (Cynthia Maryanoff) and in October at the Central Regional Meeting (H. N. Cheng).
  4. Work is ongoing on the International Network of Young Chemists (IYCN) initiative and on the IAC-CPT-SOCED Task Force.  We plan to launch IYCN at the Boston meeting in August.
  5. A joint IAC-DAC meeting was held at the ACS Leadership Institute in January 2015.  The purpose was to discuss ways whereby the two committees can work together to further international engagement of technical divisions.
  6. At the Denver meeting, we plan to have an International Reception on Sunday, March 22, 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM at Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center.  Please join us if you have time. 

For more information, please email the ACS Office of International Activities or visit the OIA website.

Strategic Plan for 2015

ACS invites all chemical scientists and engineers to join us in achieving this vision.