United States Department of State: Realignment of "E" Responsibilities

Fact Sheet
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
December 8, 2011

“America’s economic strength and our global leadership are a package deal. A strong economy has been a quiet pillar of American power in the world. It gives us the leverage we need to exert influence and advance our interests. It gives other countries confidence in our leadership and a greater stake in partnering with us.” Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, “Economic Statecraft for a New Era,” New York Economic Club, October 14, 2011.

The State Department has announced the Office of the Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment (E), which subsumes the responsibilities of the former Office of the Under Secretary for Economic, Energy, and Agricultural Affairs. The Under Secretary position will continue to be held by Robert D. Hormats.

Economic growth, global energy security, and the environment are interconnected global systems, and the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) called for an Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment to enhance our ability to seize the opportunities presented across these critical issues. The Under Secretary’s Office will lead the State Department’s efforts to develop and implement economic growth, energy, agricultural, oceans, environmental, and science and technology policies to promote economic prosperity and address global challenges in a transparent, rules-based, and sustainable system. The Office will work:

  • to increase the Department’s focus on the Secretary’s economic statecraft agenda, especially through supporting American business and jobs in a global economic system based on clear rules;

  • to promote sustainable and balanced growth in the world economy based on sound environmental practices, increased energy diversification, security, and access; and

  • to foster innovation through robust science, entrepreneurship and technology policies.

In accordance with the QDDR, the Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment will supervise three bureaus and two offices:

  • The Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs, led by Assistant Secretary Jose Fernandez;

  • The Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, led by Assistant Secretary Kerri-Ann Jones;

  • The Bureau of Energy Resources, led by the Secretary’s Coordinator for International Energy, Carlos Pascual, pending the confirmation of an Assistant Secretary;

  • The Office of the Science and Technology Adviser to the Secretary, led by Dr. E. William Colglazier; and

  • A new office of the Chief Economist, which will be led by a new Department appointee. The search for the Chief Economist currently is underway.

Resources to complete this alignment of responsibilities will come from within current funding allocations.

The changing role of the Under Secretary reflects the reality that the nature of our international engagement has changed. Technological and scientific innovations are accelerating the pace of international affairs, exacerbating challenges as well as creating potential new opportunities in science and technology to resolve them. Rising powers tend to focus on economic, as opposed to other forms of power. U.S. economic growth is increasingly dependent on our ability to foster global growth, open markets to U.S. goods and services, and effectively address emerging trade barriers and new global economic challenges. Environmental challenges are translating into diplomatic and security questions. Placing these important issues under one Under Secretary will allow the Department to better implement policies and to complement and reinforce our environmental, economic and energy policy goals to promote U.S. interests around the world.

PRN: 2011/2086