A program for early career leaders who can make an impact on our community.

Application Dates
15 Dec 2021 - 31 Jan 2022
Program Prize
  • Lifetime Ambassador distinction
  • Travel benefits throughout an initial year of service

As emerging leaders in the optics and photonics community, Ambassadors will provide career advice, technical knowledge and mentorship with students and early career professionals in the field by supporting professional development events at meetings and engaging with their communities.

All program participants receive a lifetime Ambassador distinction visible in the member directory for their continuing efforts to serve the greater optics and photonics community.

Once selected, an ambassador begins a year of service (April - March). The following benefits are available during this period:

  • Opportunities to engage with Optica Leadership and luminaries in the field.
  • Interact with student members around the global in a virtual and in-person capacity.
  • Registration to one Optica-managed meeting of Ambassador's choice.
  • Additional support upon request to assist with professional development focused events.
  • Recognition as an Ambassador in Optica publications.

Application Information

How to Apply

Applications will be available at

Important Dates

Opens: 15 December 2021
Closes 31 January 2022

Applicant Requirements

Be a current early career member who has received a terminal degree within the last five - seven years or will receive a terminal degree by the application deadline.

Program requirements recognize and exclude career breaks from career timelines (e.g., eldercare, maternity or paternity leave). 

Application Requirements
  • List of questions such as:
    • Describe any volunteer experience within the Society
    • Describe any volunteer experience with other societies outside of the SOciety
    • How has the Society influenced your career?
    • Why do you want to serve as an Ambassador?
    • What do you hope to accomplish your first year?
  • CV/ resume
  • Two references

2021 Selection Committee

Ambassadors are selected by the previous classes.

2021 Recipients

Connect with this year's ambassadors for advice, networking or even just to say hello.

Meet the 2021 class >

Past Recipients


The ambassador program is funded through the Optica Foundation Annual Fund.

About the Endowment

The Optica Foundation Annual Fund supports the ambassador program, IONS conferences, student chapter grants, public policy trainings and other various initiatives on a yearly basis. 

Learn more about the annual fund >

Make a contribution >