On a recent visit to UC Berkeley, Her Royal Highness Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan of Jordan, an advocate for science as a catalyst for change in the Arab world and the president of Jordan’s Royal Scientific Society, was awarded a Chancellor’s Citation by Chancellor Nicholas Dirks.
The Jordanian royal visitor met with the chancellor and other campus dignitaries on Feb. 23 in California Hall.
The Chancellor’s Citation is awarded to distinguished visitors, alumni and friends whose great achievements the university salutes and whose presence honors and benefits the campus.
Professor Omar M. Yaghi, who holds the Neeltje Tretter Chair in the Department of Chemistry and is the founding director of the Berkeley Global Science Institute (BGSI), has worked closely with Princess Sumaya over the past five years to re-engage the Jordanian diaspora community in scientific research to address global problems. A BGSI delegation met with the royal visitor to discuss plans for building a Reticular Foundry, to serve as a hub of scientific research attracting top talent from throughout Jordan and the Middle East region. This joint partnership will train the next generation of problem-solvers, innovators, and scientific leaders.
The princess also serves as chair of the World Science Forum (WSF), which will be hosted by Jordan in November 2017. WSF is a leading forum for science and policymaking, and this will be the first time it is held in the Middle East. The theme for the 2017 WSF is “Science for Peace,” and HRH has said she hopes that the event will inspire young people and give policymakers renewed appreciation for science and the scientific method.
Princess Sumaya was accompanied by Asal Al-Tal, deputy chief of mission from the Jordanian Embassy in Washington, D.C., as well as Conor de Lion, RSS director of external relations. In a surprise, she was joined by her mother, HRH Princess Sarvath El Hassan, who made a special trip to Berkeley to witness and celebrate her daughter’s receipt of the honorary award.