MANILA - A Filipino scientist was recently appointed as one of the directors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, Austria, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Wednesday.
The DFA said Dr. Jane Gerardo-Abaya was appointed as IAEA's Department of Technical Cooperation Division Director for Asia and the Pacific on Jan. 1.
She last held the post of section head at the same division.
Abaya is an Austria-based scientist who has been with the IAEA in various capacities since 1994.
She has spoken about educating students and teachers about nuclear science and technology and capacity-building in the same area.
An expert in applied geology and geothermal hydrology, Abaya finished her bachelor's and master's degrees in geology at the University of the Philippines.
She received her PhD in Applied Geology and Geothermal Hydrology from the Universität fuer Bodenkultur in Vienna, Austria in 2004, according to her profile on the Department of Science and Technology website.
She also worked as a geochemist at the Philippine National Oil Company and senior environmental planning researcher at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
She was a recipient of the Balik Scientist Award and a research grant from the Department of Science and Technology in 2008.
In 2017, Abaya received the "Superior Achievement Award" from IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano. She also received a “Distinguished Service Award” from then IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei in 2008.
Abaya paid a courtesy call on Philippine Ambassador to Austria Maria Cleofe Natividad at the Philippine Permanent Mission in Vienna’s chancery on Jan. 18.
Natividad expressed the government's full support for Abaya in carrying out her duties as a new division director at the IAEA.
The IAEA is the international center for cooperation in the nuclear field. According to its official website, the agency works with its partners worldwide to promote safe, secure and peaceful use of nuclear technologies.