sources of STH expertise available to Department officials in Washington and abroad.
To be meaningful and have lasting impact, the policy statement should be but the starting point for developing an expanded vision among the Department's leadership as to how STH developments of both long-standing and emerging interest can be brought more fully into the foreign policy process. The Secretary should ensure that such a policy statement is regularly updated and widely disseminated both in Washington and to the embassies and missions abroad. The policy statement and the expanded vision should be accompanied by an action agenda that includes the steps recommended in this report, particularly those designed to enhance Department-wide STH competence in the long term. Implementation of these recommendations should proceed simultaneously on parallel but related tracks. Meanwhile, the Department should continue its efforts to incorporate the STH elements of foreign policy issues and their implications more fully into its strategic planning process, at both the Departmental and the country team levels, reaching out to governmental and nongovernmental STH communities for suggestions concerning the incorporation of STH-related goals into the planning process and proposals for achieving these goals.
The Department's leadership (the "Seventh Floor") addresses STH-related issues primarily when an international crisis arises (e.g., an Ebola threat), a contentious and/or important international meeting is approaching (e.g., global climate change negotiations, meeting of a bilateral vice-presidential-level commission), or a country of concern ventures into questionable STH activities (e.g., Iranian interest in nuclear and biological technologies in Russia). There are not adequate mechanisms rooted on the Seventh Floor to accomplish the following:
Ensure that significant STH-content issues of near-term concern, and particularly those that cross bureau fines of responsibility such as energy issues, are receiving adequate scientific and policy attention involving all interested components of the Department.
Identify and analyze STH-content issues on the horizon and provide alternative policy options for addressing these issues, with special attention to issues that evolve slowly and are not directly linked to ongoing high-priority policy debates, such as the implications of demographic trends and of water shortages in ecologically sensitive areas of the world.
Ensure awareness within appropriate offices of significant interna-