Purdue University has announced Dean of Engineering Mung Chiang will take a leave of absence to serve one year at the U.S. Department of State. He will serve as the science and technology adviser to the Secretary of State.

Purdue President Mitch Daniels said an acting dean will be appointed within a few days. Chiang will continue to be actively engaged in the initiatives of the College of Engineering and will visit campus regularly with a target of at least twice a month.

While on assignment in Washington, Chiang will be the director of the office of the Science and Technology Adviser to the Secretary of State.  Part of the office’s focus is on the impact of emerging science, technology, and innovation issues on foreign policy and national security, including interactions with technology companies in key global supply chains.

As the principal scientist in the State Department, Chiang will be the sixth holder of the office and the first engineer.