Kerri-Ann Jones has served as Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OES) since August 2009. She leads the OES Bureau’s bilateral, regional, and multilateral engagement on oceans, environment, science, space, and health. This broad portfolio addresses global challenges and U.S. strategic interests by strengthening international partnerships and negotiating multilateral approaches. The portfolio integrates science, technology, and diplomacy and works closely with U.S. technical agencies. The issues addressed by the OES Bureau include fisheries, the Arctic, Antarctica, conservation, biodiversity, climate change, water, toxic chemicals, pandemic preparedness, innovation and space.
Assistant Secretary Jones has served in several capacities within the U.S. government, including positions at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), the National Science Foundation (NSF), U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). As Associate Director at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), Dr. Jones was responsible for policy development, budget analysis, and interagency coordination of security and international science and technology issues, including nuclear non-proliferation, counterterrorism, emerging infectious disease and international cooperation. During her tenure at OSTP, she served as interim Director. Dr. Jones also served on the National Security Council as the Senior Director for Science and Technology Affairs.
At the National Science Foundation, Dr. Jones led the agency’s international activities, managing a program investment focused on fostering international collaborative research and providing international research experiences for U.S. students and researchers. At USAID, Dr. Jones worked in technical and management positions with the Science and Technology and the Asia Near East Bureaus where she was responsible for a portfolio that grew to include policy and programs in the areas of science and technology, agriculture, health, education and environment. She served for a year in New Delhi, India as the Biotechnology Advisor to the USAID Mission. She was the recipient of a Science Engineering and Diplomacy Fellowship from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Dr. Jones served briefly as NIH’s Fogarty International Center’s program manager for biomedical programs in the Near East and South Asia region. Dr. Jones has worked at the state level, as Maine’s Director for the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research. She has also worked as an independent consultant specializing in strategic planning and the development of research and education portfolios.
Dr. Jones obtained her Ph.D. from the Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry at Yale University, where she studied the effects of stress on protein expression and metabolism, using nuclear magnetic resonance. Before her graduate study, she worked as an assistant for research at the Rockefeller University in immunology and development biology. She holds a bachelors degree in chemistry from Barnard College, Columbia University.