Office of Verification, Planning, and Outreach: Mission Statement

The Office of Verification, Planning, and Outreach (AVC/VPO), headed by Office Director Richard W. Hartman II, is responsible for establishing priorities, identifying emerging issues and recommending the use of the Bureau’s resources. Additionally, the Office is responsible for the identification of and advocacy for technological and analytical solutions to a broad range of verification and compliance issues for both current and future arms control challenges. In this regard, AVC/VPO is responsible for assisting in the coordination of National Technical Means (NTM) to support the collection and analysis of data to detect the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and the means of their delivery. In addition, the Office is responsible for providing analytical assessments on WMD and the means of their delivery to support verification and compliance issues.

The Office supports the AVC Bureau Assistant Secretary’s responsibilities as the principal policy liaison to the Intelligence Community (IC) on all arms control, verification and compliance matters. These responsibilities include representing the AVC Bureau on boards, committees and working groups to articulate requirements for collection and analysis of data to verify compliance with arms control, nonproliferation, and disarmament agreements and commitments. In an effort to coordinate technologies supporting NTM, AVC/VPO works with government, industry, and academia to ensure that critical sensor systems are properly researched, developed, funded, operated and deployed in support of the Administration’s arms control objectives. AVC/VPO is also responsible for maintaining expert knowledge on the methodologies used to exploit data from a wide variety of sensor programs, and to assemble the resultant data into analytical assessments to support verification and compliance objectives. The Office also manages the Key Verification Assets Fund (V Fund) for the Bureau to further promote the maintenance or development of technologies to address our verification and compliance requirements.

AVC/VPO leads the Bureau in identifying technological solutions for verification and compliance issues for current and future arms control challenges, thereby enabling policy choices. This includes coordinating the National Technical Means (NTM) used for monitoring compliance with arms control treaties and agreements, as well as detecting the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their means of delivery. VPO also coordinates the Department's input to the Counterproliferation Program Review Committee annual report to Congress on the efforts of the Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Intelligence Community, Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of State to improve the U.S. Government’s ability to address WMD and the means of their delivery, particularly in the area of research and development (R&D), and engages the national laboratories to promote linkages between policy and research & development investment.

AVC/VPO is responsible for facilitating effective communication and interaction between the Assistant Secretary and the staff of AVC and the Congress, foreign and domestic media, and the general public. AVC/VPO is responsible for managing the AVC Bureau’s Congressional affairs, public affairs, and public diplomacy functions. Working directly with the Department’s Spokesman and the Bureau of Public Affairs on behalf of the Bureau’s leadership, the office formulates strategic messaging concerning the key issues and areas of the Bureau’s activities and responsibilities. It also identifies and coordinates opportunities for engagement with the American public and members of Congress, and key foreign opinion leaders.

On behalf of the Under Secretary, the Office supports the International Security Advisory Board (ISAB), a group of independent experts with diplomatic, scientific, military or academic backgrounds who provide the Secretary of State and the Department with a continuing source of independent insight, advice, and innovation on all aspects of arms control, disarmament, nonproliferation, and international security and related aspects of public diplomacy.