Bina Venkataraman

October 22, 2010

Bina Venkataraman left Hanoi having mapped every street foodstall worthy of worship. Nearly five years later, she is hungry for more timein Asia, but is sated by experiences and people in Vietnam that still motivateand inspire her. After leaving Hanoi, where she worked as a public healthgrantwriter for an HIV/AIDS clinic and wrote feature articles for U.S.publications, Bina attended the Kennedy School, where she continued to grapplewith problems that lie at the nexus of science, public policy, and internationaldevelopment. She then worked as a journalist for the New York Times, the BostonGlobe, and the Christian Science Monitor. Her articles are aimed at empoweringcitizens with knowledge about science, health, & the environment.

More recently, Bina joined the Broad Institute of Harvard& MIT to serve as senior science policy adviser to the co-chair ofPresident Obama's council of advisors on science and technology. (Shechallenges all of you to say that line 10 times fast with a mouth full of buncha.) While her current focus is national science policy, Bina's perspective isshaped by her time in Vietnam: Her experience navigating a distinct culturalapproach to science and public health has helped her communicate better withpeople everywhere. She’s still looking for a megaphone as mighty as the onesthat blasted early morning propaganda on the streets of Hanoi.

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