Austria-based Filipino scientist Dr. Jane Gerardo-Abaya now leads a division of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Dr. Gerardo-Abaya was appointed in January 2019 as director of the IAEA’s Department of Technical Cooperation Asia and the Pacific Division which provides technical cooperation support to 37 countries and territories in Asia and the Pacific.
The Department of Foreign Affairs Embassy in Vienna reports the Filipina scientist rose from the ranks, having been with the IAEA in various capacities since 1994 and received recognitions:
- In 2017, IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano conferred on her a “Superior Achievement Award.”
- In 2008, she received a “Distinguished Service Award” from then IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei.
The Department of Science and Technology in 2008 gave Gerardo-Abaya a Balik Scientist Award and a research grant. The National Institute of Geological Sciences alumna’s works on isotope hydrology and water and geothermal energy resources were contributed to the University of the Philippines Diliman.
The Filipino scientist’s new IAEA post supports national, regional and interregional regional projects consistent with the Member States’ national development in the areas of:
- radiation safety
- health and nutrition
- food and agriculture
- nuclear knowledge development and management
- water and the environment
- industrial applications
- radiation technology
Ambassador to Austria Maria Cleofe R. Natividad conveyed the Permanent Mission’s full support to Dr. Abaya in carrying out her duties as a new Division Director at the IAEA. She said that Dr. Abaya’s appointment is a remarkable achievement in the Philippines’ efforts towards increasing women’s representation at the higher echelons of the IAEA. Ambassador Natividad also expressed her full confidence that Dr. Abaya “will be up for the task given her exemplary qualifications and extensive experience.”
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