Committee on International Activities

Photo of ACS Committee on International Activities in San Francisco, 2017
ACS Committee on International Activities in San Francisco, 2017

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 2016 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 continues 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.

For 2016, we as a committee are well positioned to work in the following areas to assure success and impact as ACS continues on its journey towards a relevant, science-driven, and sustainable global presence.

  • Advance and serve the growing community of ACS International Chapters.
  • Review ACS membership structures, policies, and activities that can accelerate and/or hinder fulfillment of the ACS brand promise to our member volunteers, chemists, chemical engineers, and chemical educators with global interests.
  • Expand awareness and presence of ACS International Activities across ACS technical divisions, local sections, committees, meeting attendees, award recipients, ACS Fellows, and editorial and author communities.
  • Assure a committee environment that welcomes and supports open communication and service opportunity where a diversity of thought, opinion, and contribution is nurtured.

The following is the IAC's 2016 Philadelphia Council Report:

At its 252nd National meeting in Philadelphia on Saturday, August 20, 2016, the Committee on International Activities (IAC) welcomed dignitaries from our sister societies and partners from China, Canada, Cuba, South Korea, and the UK, as well as leadership of International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC), the US National Academies of Science Board of International Scientific Organizations, ACS Chemical Sciences International Chapters, and International Student Chapters.

The Committee also welcomed the executive director of IUPAC who provided information on IUPAC’s global interests and priorities, followed by discussion on IAC and IUPAC synergies going forward.

During its open meeting, the Committee heard reports on its key programs and activities, including the ACS International Center, the ACS Chemistry Festival Series, its work with the US Department of State for early career scientist and engineer training and chemical security, our Global Innovation Initiative programs, the ACS National Science Foundation (NSF) Chemical Sciences and Society Symposia and the NSF International Research Experiences for Undergraduates (IREU) programs, and the IAC’s grants programs.

IAC was also involved with several professional, scientific, and global networking events in Philadelphia, many organized as ACS Presidential activities.  These events and associated meetings helped to formulate a pathway forward for ACS to be more welcoming of chemists, chemical engineers and chemistry educators with international interests and for connecting our members with the global practice of chemistry.

At its meeting, IAC heard reports and discussed in depth the need to develop the Society’s capacities to more equitably serve, recognize the contributions and assure representation of our overseas volunteer members and the growing community of ACS International Chemical Sciences Chapters.  At the IAC Welcoming Reception, we hosted over 300 international meeting attendees and ACS member volunteers with global interests.

Finally, IAC sought and received approval from ACS Council for the establishment of ACS International Chemical Sciences Chapters in Greater Beijing, Southwestern China and Iraq.

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