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Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs
Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs
About Us
OES Overseas
  

About Us

Mission Statement: We advance sustainable development internationally through leadership in oceans, environment, science and health.

The Bureau of Oceans, Environment, and Science (OES) promotes transformational diplomacy through advancing environmental stewardship, encouraging economic growth, and promoting social development around the globe to foster a safer, more secure and hopeful world.

Nearly 200 employees further these goals through programs and activities concerning infectious diseases, biodiversity, climate change, access to water and energy, oceans affairs, science and technology cooperation, management of toxic chemicals, environmental components of trade agreements, and the exploration of space. In addition, the Bureau represents the United States at major international negotiations. Together, these activities demonstrate the Bureau's commitment to policies that make concrete improvements in people's lives.

Assistant Secretary Claudia McMurray [State Dept. Photo] The Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OES), headed by Assistant Secretary Claudia McMurray, coordinates an extensive portfolio of issues related to science, the environment, and the world's oceans. Ambassador Reno Harnish is her Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary.

The Oceans and Fisheries Directorate, headed by David A. Balton, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oceans and Fisheries, has two offices dedicated to international oceans issues. The Office of Marine Conservation focusesLightning strikes in the high desert north of Phoenix, Arizona [June 2006, AP Photo] on international fisheries matters and related problems and the Office of Oceans Affairs has primary responsibility for international ocean law and policy, marine pollution, marine mammals, polar affairs, maritime boundaries, and marine science.

The Environment Directorate, led by Daniel A. Reifsnyder, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Environment, deals with a broad range of global issues related to protecting the environment and conserving natural resources. The Office of Environmental Policy coordinates U.S. approaches to transboundary air quality issues, safeguarding the stratospheric ozone layer and environmentally sound chemicals management. The office also handles environmental aspects of free trade agreements and environmental issues in multilateral organizations such as the U.N. Environment Program and in international financial institutions. The Office of Ecology and Natural Resource Conservation (ENRC) coordinates U.S. approaches to international wildlife and forest issues, including the Administration's new initiative to build a global Coalition Against Wildlife Trafficking, the President's Initiative Against Illegal Logging, the Congo photo of deep forest areaBasin Forest Partnership and the Liberia Forest Initiative. The office also handles issues related to the conservation of coral reefs, wetlands and drylands, access to genetic resources, and control of invasive species.

Taking the lead on climate change issues is Harlan L. Watson, Special Envoy to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Ambassador Watson works closely with the climate team in the Office of Global Change.

photo of scientist pouring contents of vial into beakerThe Health, Space and Science Directorate headed by Jeff Miotke includes the Office of International Health Affairs which works with U.S. Government agencies to facilitate policy-making regarding international bioterrorism, infectious disease, surveillance and response, environmental health, and health in post-conflict situations. The Office of Space and Advanced Technology handles issues arising from our exploration of space to assure global security regarding this new frontier, and the Office of Science & Technology (S&T) Cooperation promotes the interests of the U.S. science and technology communities in the international policy arena, negotiates framework and other S&T agreements, manages the Department's Embassy Science fellows program, and takes a leading role in representing U.S. science and technology in multilateral international organizations, such as UNESCO and other UN organizations, APEC, OECD, and others.

PCI themeThe Office of Policy Coordination and Initiatives (PCI) employs a long-term, strategic approach to OES goals. It coordinates the Bureau's efforts within the broad conceptual framework of sustainable development, working closely with the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development and helping build and promote public-private partnerships. The office manages ongoing initiatives on water. PCI also manages bilateral dialogues on OES issues with major partners such as Brazil, India and China, and coordinates environmental cooperation with key countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq.

PCI also coordinates Regional Environmental Hubs that take a transboundary view of environment, science and health issues from 12 strategically placed Embassy locations throughout the world.

  
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