The Department of the Interior (DOI) works around the world to advance the Department's mission and United States foreign policy objectives. The Policy Division of DOI’s Office of International Affairs (INT) serves as a central point of contact and coordination for DOI on international matters. Functions include:
Coordinating international issues and activities involving multiple DOI bureaus and offices. Many international issues require expertise from more than one DOI bureau or office, and the Policy Division coordinates work on these issues across DOI to advance initiatives and promote consistent and complementary policy approaches. For example, the Division coordinates DOI efforts to repatriate Native American cultural heritage from abroad.
Representing DOI in interagency and international forums. The Policy Division serves as DOI’s primary staff-level point of contact in a number of interagency policy deliberations on international topics important to DOI, including negotiations relating to natural resources, environment, and indigenous affairs, bilateral partnerships with other countries such as Mexico and Canada, and cooperation in the Arctic region. At the request of the White House, the State Department, or other federal agencies, the Division coordinates DOI advice and represents DOI on foreign policy decisions, trade negotiations, and international initiatives.
Supporting senior DOI management on high priority international issues. International matters sometimes require engagement by senior Department officials, including the Secretary of the Interior. The Policy Division coordinates with bureaus and offices across DOI to help staff the Secretary and other senior policymakers as they interact with counterparts in other Federal agencies and in foreign governments.
Organizing and hosting engagements with foreign government officials. Because of their experience and expertise, DOI leadership and technical experts are in frequent demand for meetings with foreign officials. The Policy Division manages DOI’s responses to requests for such meetings from the White House, the Department of State, other U.S. government agencies, or foreign governments.
Providing information and outreach. The Policy Division supports DOI international programs by educating and informing relevant audiences – including other agencies, foreign governments, DOI's own employees, and the public – about DOI international programs. For instance, Division staff regularly brief cohorts of U.S. Foreign Service officers at the State Department’s Foreign Service Institute about DOI’s mission and international work.