Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs

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The Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OES) is a bureau within the United States Department of State. It coordinates a portfolio of issues related to the world's oceans, environment, science and technology, and health.


The Bureau is headed by the Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs. As of April 2014, it is headed by acting Assistant Secretary Judith Garber.

The Oceans and Fisheries 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. It is headed by Deputy Assistant Secretary David A. Balton.

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. The Environment Directorate is headed by Deputy Assistant Secretary Daniel Reifsnyder.

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 is headed by acting Deputy Assistant Secretary Jonathan Margolis.

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