Berkeley Lab

Diversity & Inclusion Office

Ambassador Program


sacnasThe “Ambassador Program” was promoted by former Lab Director Paul Alivisatos in 2014, following the announcement of his Labwide diversity and inclusion initiative.  The program was piloted in 2015, with the goal of advancing outreach efforts aimed at increasing underrepresented populations at the Lab.  Scientists, engineers, and operations staff would engage with the community and attend targeted conferences and events, both at the local level and nationwide.  Ambassadors would work toward establishing meaningful relationships with selected organizations, and help develop a robust pipeline of qualified STEM and operations employees.  The program is coordinated in partnership with the Diversity and Inclusion Office (DIO), Workforce Development & Education (WD&E), and the Lab Directorate.

Click below to view the slides and video from the Open House on July 18, 2016:

Role of Ambassador

DIO and WD&E will work with Berkeley Lab Ambassadors to accomplish the following activities:

  1. Attend one of our conferences geared toward underrepresented groups to do one or more of the following:
    • Prepare a proposal for a technical presentation at selected conferences
    • nsbePresent at selected conference
    • Be part of a panel discussion
    • Judge a poster session
  2. Attend the conference sessions:
    • Network with participants
    • Refer event participants to Berkeley Lab booth
  3. LinkedIn Outreach:
    • Create a basic LinkedIn profile
    • Add interested participants to Berkeley Lab conference page (open group)
  4. Keep in touch with participants at least twice a year:
    • Send group message on LinkedIn page to keep in touch and offer to answer questions
    • Send reminders of DOE and Berkeley Lab student internship program opportunities
    • Notify participants of relevant events or activities

Role of DIO and WD&E

aisesTo support Ambassadors, the Diversity and Inclusion Office and Workforce Development & Education will provide the following:

  • Provide funding for travel and conference registration
  • Provide administrative support for conference participation (submitting abstract, participating in a talk, etc.)
  • Host orientation and strategy meeting; provide promotional postcards and LinkedIn demo
  • Host a booth at the conference for interested participants
  • Provide information about LBNL internship opportunities: undergraduate university students, community college students, and visiting faculty

Role of Division Leadership

To support Ambassadors, Division leaders will be asked to:

  • Approve Ambassador for participation in an upcoming conference, and promote the value of diversity and inclusion at Berkeley Lab
  • Provide funding for Ambassador’s time while traveling and at the conference
  • Value the Ambassador’s participation at selected conferences by acknowledgment in their annual performance review. Optional: Division newsletter, All Hands, announcements, certificate, incentives, etc.

Past Conferences

As part of the pilot program, Berkeley Lab Ambassadors attended the following conferences in 2015:

  • shpeSociety for Advancement of Chicano/Native Americans in Science (including Native Alaskans) (SACNAS) – October
  • Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) – November
  • American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) – November

Upcoming Conferences

Below are some conferences being considered for the Ambassador Program.  If you are interested in participating, please contact the Diversity and Inclusion Office (DIO) at

  • Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) – Oct. 13-17, 2016, Long Beach, CA (multidisciplinary)
  • ernSociety of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) – Nov. 2-6, 2016, Seattle
  • American Indian Science and Engineering Society – Nov. 10-12, 2016, Minneapolis, MN (multidisciplinary)
  • Emerging Researchers National Conference in STEM (ERN) – Feb. 2017 (multidisciplinary)

Next Steps for Interested Ambassadors:

  • Complete Ambassador Interest Form online:
  • ern2DIO will confirm approval from Division leadership
  • Ambassadors will be selected based on interest, Division approval, and availability
  • Attend Strategy Meeting and Orientation (discuss conference participation and marketing materials). Develop action plan for participation.
  • Participate in selected conference
  • Debrief to discuss lessons learned

*Photo credit (top to bottom): SACNAS, LBNL, AISES, SHPE, ERN (2 photos)