Mahlet Naomi Mesfin

Mahlet N. Mesfin serves as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Ocean, Fisheries and Polar Affairs in the Department of State’s Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs where she oversees the formulation and implementation of U.S. policy on a broad range of international issues concerning the ocean, the Arctic, the Antarctic, and marine conservation. Previously, she served as a senior advisor in the Secretary of State’s Policy Planning Staff on a wide range of science and technology issues since January 2021. Prior to her appointment, Dr. Mesfin served as a member of the Biden transition team’s Agency Review Team for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), where she was a Senior Policy Advisor and Assistant Director for International Science and Technology from 2014-2017.  She has also worked as a visiting scholar at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement, a consultant and policy fellow at the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, Deputy Director and acting Director of the Center for Science Diplomacy at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and an AAAS policy fellow in the Basic Research Office at the U.S. Department of Defense.  She received a Ph.D. in bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania, and a master’s degree in biomedical engineering and bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Michigan.

U.S. Department of State

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