In March, the DCID executive education team conducted a two-week custom program for 50 Additional Secretaries in the Bangladesh Ministry of Public Administration (MOPA). These senior officials represent a wide variety of programmatic areas, from health, climate, education, labor, and sciences.

All custom programs include field visits meant to enhance participant learning. One such field visit for this group was to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), one of the 27 centers and institutes within the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The mission of the NIEHS, a federal agency, is to expand our understanding of the effects of the environment on human health.  Since the late 1960s, the NIEHS has focused on science, clinical and disease-oriented research, and training for researchers.

Thanks to its geography, Bangladesh is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world when it comes to the effects of climate change. In 2010, the country established the Bangladesh Climate Change Trust, a body that coordinates climate-related projects that engage ministries, the private sector, and NGOs. Mitigating adverse effects on human health from climate change is an important topic for government leaders to tackle.

While at NIEHS, the group met with Dr. Rick Woychik, Acting Director and Dr. Gwen Collman, Acting Deputy Director. They also heard from Dr. William Suk, who directs the Center for Risk & Integrated Sciences (CRIS), which coordinates environmental health programs in developing countries.

After the presentations, which focused on the administration and management of the NIEHS, John Schelp, Special Assistant for Communication and Outreach, led the delegation on a tour of the facilities.


All photos courtesy of Steve McCaw

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