On 24 July 2009, President Obama announced his selection of Dr. Kerri-Ann Jones for the post of Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs at the State Department. Jones has a PhD in molecular biophysics and biochemistry from Yale University. During the Clinton Administration, she was Associate Director of National Security and International Affairs in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Prior to that, she worked on science and technology development in New Delhi, India, for the U.S. Agency for International Development. Most recently, Jones was Director of International Science and Engineering at the National Science Foundation, where she advocated for new international research opportunities for early career scientists and research partnerships between U.S. scientists and those from developing nations.
During her 28 July 2009 hearing in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Jones said that the “centrality of science” would be one of her guiding principals if confirmed. A vote by the Senate committee has not yet been scheduled, but an easy confirmation is expected.
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