Membership in the Paul G. Rogers Society for Global Health Research requires personal commitment and specific outreach conducted by "Ambassadors" who are selected by an independent Advisory Council. Those selected to serve are known as Ambassadors and agree to attend and participate in meetings with policymakers, thought leaders and the media in their home states and in Washington, D.C.
Ambassadors are accomplished leaders in global health research, experienced in communicating with policymakers and the media, and they agree to engage in the following opportunities (in strategic consultation with Research!America). Ambassador commitment and outreach will include but is not limited to:
Ambassador Leadership Development Forum, Washington, DC
Ambassadors agree to participate in one two-day advocacy leadership forum to be held in Washington, D.C. in late January 2009. Details will be announced once dates are confirmed. Travel and related expenses will be reimbursed.
Meetings with Policymakers and other Decision Makers
National and state decision makers have varied and critical responsibilities that relate to the support and conduct of global health research. It is essential that relationships with these individuals be developed and cultivated. Science, and those who conduct it, must be accountable and accessible to those who support it. In order to leverage influence relative to the Ambassadors' positions, the Society will emphasize building relationships through in-person meetings and appropriate followup with decision makers in their own states as well as key committees.
With scheduling and contact assistance from Research!America, Ambassadors agree to a minimum of five in-person meetings with opinion leaders and decision makers in Washington, D.C. and at least two in-person meetings with legislators and/or other decision makers in their home state. To maximize efficiency and minimize the Ambassador's time commitment, multiple meetings will be scheduled per visit resulting in one or two day trips to Washington and one or more local meetings in their state (travel and related expenses reimbursed).
Ambassadors will strive to become available and helpful experts to policymakers and congressional staff on the importance and value of global health research to their own state and to the US. Along with Research!America staff, Ambassadors will utilize advocacy tools such as messages and public opinion data as a lever in targeted advocacy.
Meetings with and outreach to media outlets
Decision makers pay close attention to the opinions expressed in their districts and home states. By proactively engaging the media at home and nationally, Ambassadors will increase the dialogue and discourse across the broad range of global health research issues in editorial boardrooms, on America's editorial pages and across the airwaves. Ambassadors will capitalize on existing opportunities and work individually and collectively to increase media coverage, awareness and understanding of the importance of global health research to their state and to the US.
Ambassadors agree to participate in targeted outreach to the media. Based on the Ambassador's experience, activities will be a combination of the following: local radio or television interviews, on-line blog or other entry, editorial board meetings, op-eds/letters-to-the editor or other print, electronic and broadcast media opportunities.
Resources for Ambassadors
Research!America staff, led by the Rogers Society program manager, will work with each Ambassador on a one-on-one basis to: develop a policymaker and media friendly "story" which could include how the Ambassador entered this line of work, what led him/her abroad; review top-line messages; prepare for, schedule and attend all meetings; and draft media pitches and responses. Working with the Ambassador and his or her government relations representative and media relations representative, the majority of the work will be handled via phone and email.
Monitoring and evaluation of the Ambassadors' progress and impact of public outreach activities will be conducted to enhance the quality of Ambassadors materials and messages, media coverage and results.
Advocacy not Lobbying
Ambassadors will not lobby. "Lobbying" has a strict legal and Internal Revenue Service definition and involves conducting activities aimed at influencing public officials regarding specific legislation. Ambassadors will not address specific legislation, proposed or otherwise. Ambassadors will meet with opinion leaders and decision makers to educate them about the importance of global health research in addressing health and economic problems. They will also discuss the high priority the American public assigns to global health research. As active, articulate members of the research community, Ambassadors will be prepared to address questions and concerns about global health research, thus advancing public and policy-maker dialogue.