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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action


Dan Reifsnyder
Deputy Assistant Secretary
Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs
Term of Appointment: 08/20/2006 to present
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Dan Reifsnyder became Deputy Assistant Secretary for Environment in the Bureau of Oceans, Environment and Science on August 20, 2006. He is responsible for a broad suite of issues related to environmental protection and conservation, including: transboundary air quality, protection of the stratospheric ozone layer, international chemicals management, the transboundary movement of hazardous wastes, persistent organic pollutants, environmental aspects of free trade agreements, international forestry conservation, biological diversity, desertification, wildlife conservation and the protection of wetlands and coral reefs. In these areas, he leads the U.S. delegation under multiple bilateral and multilateral treaties and agreements.

From 1989 to 2006 Mr. Reifsnyder served as Director of the Bureau’s Office of Global Change, where he developed and implemented U.S. policy on global climate change. He played a key role in crafting a wide range of Presidential initiatives, including: the Asia Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate, the Methane to Markets Partnership, the International Partnership for the Hydrogen Economy, the Group on Earth Observations, and the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum. He was also instrumental in launching or reinvigorating 15 bilateral climate change agreements and in establishing the U.S. Climate Change Country Studies Program, the U.S. Initiative on Joint Implementation and the International Coral Reef Initiative. From 1989 to 2006, he helped shape the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and co-chaired its Financial Task Team. He was alternate head of the U.S. delegation in negotiations that led to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Mr. Reifsnyder served as Visiting Lecturer in Public and International Affairs at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School (1999-2000) and as a Research Fellow at Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (2000-2001).

He was Deputy Director of the Bureau’s Office of Cooperative Science and Technology Programs (1987-89), and Atlantic Desk Officer in the Office of Fisheries Affairs (1984-87). He came to the Department of State after 10 years with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in progressively responsible positions. While at NOAA, Mr. Reifsnyder helped negotiate the Pacific Salmon Treaty with Canada, the Convention on Future Multilateral Cooperation in the Northwest Atlantic and the Convention on Salmon Conservation the North Atlantic Ocean.

Mr. Reifsnyder holds a J.D. degree from George Washington University (1981), an M.A. degree in Russian Area Studies from Georgetown University (1976), and an A.B. degree in political philosophy from Trinity College (CT) (1972). He studied at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques (Paris) from 1970-71 and at Leningrad State University (summer 1974). He is a member of the Virginia State Bar and the District of Columbia Bar and has been admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit.

He has received numerous awards including the Department of State’s Superior Honor and Meritorious Honor Awards. He has been a member of the Senior Executive Service since 1994, and in 2005 received the Presidential Meritorious Rank Award.

His languages are French and Russian.



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