The Office of International Affairs (OIA) of the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) supports and coordinates the international activities of the Department. As the primary natural resource conservation agency and a leading science agency of the United States, DOI conducts international activities that advance its mission and strengthen complementary U.S. foreign policy priorities.
OIA supports the work of DOI and its Bureaus in over 100 countries on conservation and management of wildlife and other natural resources, protection of cultural resources, cooperation on indigenous affairs, and scientific research and monitoring of natural hazards such as volcanoes and earthquakes. OIA is organized into three divisions – Policy, Technical Assistance, and Passports/Visas – which are described below.
OIA's Policy Division supports the Secretary and other senior Departmental officials on international policy issues affecting more than one bureau, and on bilateral, multilateral, and regional relations of strategic importance, including cooperation with Mexico and Canada, and in the Arctic region. At the request of the White House, the State Department, and other federal agencies, the Division coordinates DOI advice and representation on foreign policy decisions, international trade negotiations, and international initiatives relating to DOI responsibilities and areas of expertise. The Division supports OIA's role as the single point of contact for DOI on international issues for other Federal agencies and foreign governments. The Policy Division also assists with the Office's review of DOI employees' foreign travel and international agreements entered into by DOI and its bureaus.
OIA's Technical Assistance Division manages the International Technical Assistance Program to develop and implement projects on the ground for technical assistance to foreign countries in areas of Departmental expertise. These projects are carried out under voluntary agreements with other Federal agencies, international organizations or foreign governments, and pursuant to legal authorities including the Foreign Assistance Act, 22 United States Code Chapter 32, as amended.
OIA's Passport and Visa Division provides assistance to employees in processing passport and visa requests for official government travel.
Within the Office of the Secretary, OIA reports to the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and International Affairs, under the Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management, and Budget.