Exercising NOAA leadership around the globe

NOAA’s mission extends beyond the political boundaries of the United States to oceans, ecosystems, and the atmosphere throughout the world. Because of this, it is important for NOAA to engage internationally in order to support and promote national policies and interests in ecosystem-based management, climate change, Earth observation, and weather forecasting while also seeking to maximize the mutual benefits of international exchange with its global partners. The NOAA Strategic Plan recognizes the value of the agency's international activities, and its international leadership, as a priority across NOAA.

The Office of International Affairs advises the Under Secretary/Administrator on international policy issues. The office is responsible for planning and coordinating NOAA's international programs, and carrying out tasks of special interest related to international activities. The office helps establish policies, guidelines, and procedures for NOAA's international programs, including:

  • Coordinate NOAA's major international activities including those programs that overlap Assistant Administrators’ or Staff Office Directors’ interests or responsibilities;
  • Support the development and coordination of NOAA's international policies regarding "trade and environment" issues and the negotiation of trade agreements;
  • Coordinate NOAA’s interactions on international issues with other federal departments and agencies, as well as other bureaus within the Department;
  • Develop Administration policy on international issues affecting NOAA;
  • Coordinate NOAA's participation in United States (U.S.) delegations to international fora; and
  • Participate in the negotiation of international agreements and appropriate representation of NOAA and the Department at international fora on environmental issues.

The Office of International Affairs conducts these responsibilities through the following: