Before leaving Washington, DC, for the August recess, the Senate confirmed dozens of nominees for posts throughout the Obama Administration. Included were nominees for key science positions at the State Department, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS).

Dr. Kerri-Ann Jones was confirmed as Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs at the State Department, where she will oversee international efforts on climate change, whaling and wildlife trade, and ocean and polar science. Jones was formerly the director of International Science and Engineering at the National Science Foundation and served as Associate Director of National Security and International Affairs in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy during the Clinton Administration.

The nomination of Dr. Francis Collins to serve as director of NIH was also approved. Collins served as Director of the National Human Genome Research Institute, part of NIH, from 1993 until August 2008, during which time he directed the Human Genome Project.

Sam Hamilton, a biologist and a 30-year FWS employee, was confirmed as director of the agency. He previously served as director of the FWS's Southeast regional office.


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