Department Of Interior

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Contact:Joan Moody
For Immediate Release: August 6, 2003

National Invasive Species Council Names
Assistant Director for International Policy & Prevention

WASHINGTON – The National Invasive Species Council today named Richard Orr as its Assistant Director for International Policy and Prevention. Co-chaired by the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce and Interior, the Council coordinates federal invasive species programs and works closely with state and local governments and private organizations.

Orr is presently employed as a Senior Entomologist with the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, where he has developed risk processes and methodologies for invasive species—species that are not native to an area and whose introduction causes harm to the economy, the environment or animal or human health.

“This international position at the National Invasive Species Council is very important because invasive plants alone are estimated to cause more than $20 billion per year in economic damage. Invasive animals and pathogens push the total cost to the U.S. economy to more than $100 billion each year,” said Jim Tate, Science Advisor to Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton and one of the Council’s leaders.

“Richard Orr will be a great asset to the Council,” said Lori C. Williams, Executive Director. “His experience with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and other agencies makes him especially qualified to advise the Council on policy and programs related to prevention of invasive species entering the United States from abroad, whether through planned importation or accidental means.”

Through APHIS Orr has been involved with projects of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, Environmental Protection Agency and other federal and nonfederal agencies in developing national and international processes and standards for evaluating nonindigenous organisms. Orr, who previously worked for the Smithsonian Institute, earned his bachelors in biology at Southern Oregon State College in 1973 and his masters in entomology from Brigham Young University in 1976.


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