David A. Balton

Senior Fellow, Woodrow Wilson Center’s Polar Institute, United States

David A. Balton is a Senior Fellow with the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Polar Institute.  He previously served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oceans and Fisheries in the Department of State’s Bureau of Oceans, Environment and Science, attaining the rank of Ambassador in 2006.  He was responsible for coordinating the development of U.S. foreign policy concerning oceans and fisheries, and overseeing U.S. participation in international organizations dealing with these issues.  His portfolio included managing U.S. foreign policy issues relating to the Arctic and Antarctica.

Ambassador Balton functioned as the lead U.S. negotiator on a wide range of agreements in the field of oceans and fisheries and chaired numerous international meetings.  During the U.S. Chairmanship of the Arctic Council (2015-2017), he served as Chair of the Senior Arctic Officials.  His prior Arctic Council experience included co-chairing the Arctic Council Task Forces that produced the 2011 Agreement on Cooperation on Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue in the Arctic and the 2013 Agreement on Cooperation on Marine Oil Pollution Preparedness and Response in the Arctic.  He separately chaired negotiations that produced the Agreement to Prevent Unregulated High Seas Fisheries in the Central Arctic Ocean.

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