Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs
|Jurisdiction||Executive branch of the United States|
|Headquarters||Harry S. Truman Building, Washington, D.C., United States|
|Parent department||U.S. Department of State|
|Website||Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs|
The Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OES) is a functional bureau within the United States Department of State. The Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs coordinates a suite of portfolios related to oceans, environmental, polar, scientific, fisheries, wildlife, conservation, and natural resource and health affairs that affect U.S. foreign policy interests. The Assistant Secretary reports to the Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment.
The bureau is headed by the Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs. There has been no Senate-confirmed Assistant Secretary since Kerri-Ann Jones resigned in April 2014. Ambassador Marcia Bernicat currently performs the non-exclusive duties of the office as Senior Bureau Official.
The Oceans, Fisheries, and Polar Affairs' directorate has two offices dedicated to international oceans issues. The Office of Marine Conservation focuses on international fisheries matters and related problems, and the Office of Oceans and Polar Affairs has primary responsibility for international ocean law and policy, marine pollution, marine mammals, polar affairs, maritime boundaries, and marine science. Deputy Assistant Secretary Benjamin Purser III has led the directorate since September 2020.
The Environment directorate deals with environmental issues, including environmental aspects of international trade and safeguarding hazardous materials requiring multilateral agreements within the Office of Environmental Quality and Transboundary Affairs. The Office of Conservation and Water develops U.S. foreign policy approaches to conserving and managing the world ecosystems and to transboundary water issues. Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary John Thompson, Ph.D. has led the directorate since October 2019.
The Health, Space and Science directorate 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. The Health, Space and Science Directorate has been led Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary Jonathan Margolis, Ph.D., since 2011.
President Donald Trump nominated Andrew Lawler to be Assistant Secretary of the bureau of September 8., but the Senate returned the nomination to the President at the close of the 116th Congress and he was not re-nominated. President Joe Biden has nominated Monica Medina for the role; if confirmed she would be the first Assistant Secretary since Kerri-Ann Jones resigned in April 2014.
The Department of State Appropriations Authorization Act became law in October 1973, which led to the establishment of the bureau in 1974. The new bureau assumed responsibility for the negotiation of international environmental and natural resource agreements and treaties with other states. The bureau was created by consolidating the duties of several offices.
- the Office of International Scientific and Technological Affairs;
- the Office of Special Assistant to the Secretary of Fisheries and Wildlife, and Coordinator of Ocean Affairs;
- the Office of the Special Assistant to the Secretary for Population Matters; and
- the Special Assistant to the Secretary for Environmental Affairs.
The bureau has been led by distinguished foreign service officers like Career Ambassador Thomas Pickering and Ambassador Judy Garber, as well as public servants like Ambassador (retired) John Negroponte.
The bureau played a major role negotiating 14 multilateral fisheries treaties since the 1980s and the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer and its annexes.
It played a leading role in the creation of the Arctic Council and facilitated its meetings until a permanent secretariat was established in. It helped organize the Our Ocean conference in June 2014 that continues to be held annually and helped bring the Agreement on Port State Measures into force into 2016.
OES has negotiated more than 30 bilateral and multilateral science and technology agreements that promote sustainable development, women in science, and global security. OES and NASA worked together to negotiate intergovernmental agreements that govern the ownership and use of the International Space Station.
- ^ "About Us – Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs". U.S. Department of State. Retrieved September 27, 2020.
- ^ "1 FAM 540 BUREAU OF OCEANS AND INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL AND SCIENTIFIC AFFAIRS (OES)". fam.state.gov.
- ^ "Benjamin S. Purser III".
- ^ "John Thompson".
- ^ "Embassy Science Fellows Program".
- ^ "Jonathan Margolis".
- ^ "PN2202 - Nomination of Andrew John Lawler for Department of State, 116th Congress (2019-2020)". www.congress.gov. September 8, 2020.
- ^ "Kerri-Ann Jones - People - Department History - Office of the Historian". history.state.gov.
- ^ Hays, Wayne L. (October 18, 1973). "H.R.7645 - 93rd Congress (1973-1974): Department of State Appropriations Authorization Act". www.congress.gov.
- ^ a b "AllGov - Departments". www.allgov.com.
- ^ "Treaties in Force".
- ^ "Establishment of the Arctic Council". 2009-2017.state.gov.
- ^ "Arctic Council Secretariat". Arctic Council.
- ^ a b "Garber testimony". www.foreign.senate.gov. Retrieved 2020-09-27.
- ^ "The Port State Measures Agreement: From Intention to Implementation". pew.org.
- ^ Department Of State. The Office of Website Management, Bureau of Public Affairs (June 11, 2009). "Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs Sept 05". www.stateoig.gov.
- ^ "State in Space: The Department's Role in the U.S. Space Program".
- United States Department of State agencies
- Fisheries agencies
- Law of the sea
- Science and technology ministries
- United States and the Antarctic
- Arctic research
- Health policy in the United States
- Environmental policy in the United States
- Science and technology in the United States
- Space policy of the United States