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Committee Detail



Committee NameUnited States National Commission for UNESCOAgency NameDepartment of State
Fiscal Year2019Committee Number22803
Original Establishment Date7/30/1946Committee StatusAdministratively Inactive
Actual Termination Date Committee URL 
New Committee This FYNoPresidential Appointments*No
Terminated This FYNoMax Number of Members*100
Current Charter Date3/23/2017Designated Fed Officer Position Title*Acting Executive Director, U.S. National Commission for UNESCO
Date Of Renewal Charter3/23/2019Designated Federal Officer Prefix
Projected Termination Date Designated Federal Officer First Name*Paul
Exempt From Renewal*NoDesignated Federal Officer Middle Name
Specific Termination Authority22 U.S.C. 287o et seq.Designated Federal Officer Last Name*Mungai
Establishment Authority*Authorized by LawDesignated Federal Officer Suffix
Specific Establishment Authority*22 U.S.C. 287o et seq.Designated Federal Officer Phone*202-663-2407
Effective Date Of Authority*7/30/1946Designated Federal Officer Fax*202-663-3194
Committee Type*ContinuingDesignated Federal Officer Email*
Committee Function*Other Committee


Agency Recommendation*Continue
Legislation to Terminate RequiredNo
Legislation StatusNot Applicable
How does cmte accomplish its purpose?*-- The U.S. National Commission for UNESCO advises the U.S. Government regarding its activities as a member state of UNESCO by:-- 1) Providing expert advice in the areas of UNESCO's mandate, which include: natural science, education, social and human science, culture, and communication and information. The Commission can be solicited for advice in these areas, or members of the Commission may offer advice proactively.-- 2) Highlighting opportunities and benefits Americans may receive because the U.S. is a member state of UNESCO. These include access to UNESCO programs such as Creative Cities, the World Heritage Program, ASPnet Schools, Category II Centers, University Chairs, UNITWIN Networks, and clubs. In addition, members of the Commission highlight UNESCO opportunities eligible to Americans such as, fellowships, internships, participation in international conferences/meetings, and jobs at UNESCO.-- 3) Raising the profile of UNESCO in the United States to better familiarize Americans with what UNESCO is, what it does, and how the U.S. relates to this international organization.
How is membership balanced?*-- Under it's charter, the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO seats no more than 100 Americans with no more than 60 percent representing NGOs, 15 percent representing state/local government, 10 percent representing the Federal government, and 15 percent as Members-at-Large.-- Appointments to the Commission are from a large cross section of American civil society and represent a full spectrum of diversity in terms of ethnicity, geography, age, subject matter expertise, gender, background, professional affiliations, and viewpoints.-- As members rotate off the Commission, nominations for new members are sought from a diverse range of sources to ensure the Commission is continually able to offer a range of viewpoints representing our nations diversity.
How frequent & relevant are cmte mtgs?*-- Per enabling legislation, the Commission holds at least one general meeting annually. However, the full Commission has had one additional meetings this year via teleconference.-- Committees, working groups, and task forces under the framework of the Commission meet, depending on the work at hand. Because Commission projects are specific and often require technical expertise, the convening of smaller working groups and subcommittees are ideal for making the most effective and productive use of Commissioners' time.-- Commissioners are encouraged to make full use of technology for communicating with each other and with the government.
Why advice can't be obtained elsewhere?*-- National Commissions are common as part of member states' participation within the UNESCO international organization (article VII of its constitution). Per the U.S. enabling legislation, while the U.S. is engaged with UNESCO, a National Commission shall be established.-- In addition to the recommendations provided, the Commission also serves as a liaison with U.S. civil society regarding UNESCO issues. The Commission is vital in the work to achieve U.S. Government objectives within UNESCO.
Why close or partially close meetings?The Commission occasionally receives approval from the Department of State to close sections of meetings because it sometimes reviews and gives advice on individuals' applications for employment or fellowships. Due to the personal nature of this material, the Commission has received approval to close portions the relevant portions of the meetings/conference calls; all other portions of calls are open to the public and specific designated time is given for public comments. There was not a need to hold a closed meeting this year.
Recommendation Remarks-- On October 12, 2017, the United States announced its withdrawal from UNESCO, effective December 31, 2018. Per the U.S. enabling legislation, while the U.S. is engaged with UNESCO, a National Commission shall be established. Continuation or termination of the committee after our withdrawal is pending further decisions by agency officials. Agency recommends that the committee be administratively inactive in FY 2019.

-- Additional ad hoc experts who are not members of the Commission but provided advice via subcommittees this year are as follows:

-- (a) U.S. NATIONAL COMMITTEE FOR THE IHP (establishment date N/A): Jerad Bales, USGS; Michael Campana, American Water Resources Association; Chuck Chaitovitz, U.S. Water Partnership; Bill Cunningham, USGS; Terry Davies, NSF; Maria Donosa, Florida International University; Bradley Doorn, NASA; Thomas Graziano, NOAA; William Logan, USACE; Lauren Schapker, National Ground Water Association; Soroosh Sorooshian, University of California at Irvine; Richard Volk, USAID; Reagon Waskom, Colorado State University; and Eric Wood, Princeton University.

-- (b) U.S. NATIONAL COMMITTEE FOR THE IOC (establishment date N/A): Richard Ben-Veniste, National Marine Sanctuary Foundation; Peter Brewer, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute; Andrew Clark, Marine Technology Society; Christopher D’Elia, Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation; John Downing, American Society of Limnology and Oceanography; Rana Fine, American Geophysical Union; Scott Glenn, IOOS Association; Hank Hatch, American Association of Engineering Societies; Michael Kelly, Consortium for Ocean Leadership; Walter Mooney, Geological Society of America; Susan Roberts, National Academies-Ocean Studies Board; Dean Roemmich, Scripp’s Institute of Oceanography; and Robert Weller, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

-- (c) U.S. NATIONAL COMMITTEE FOR MAB (established January 28, 2015): John Dennis, NPS; Sarah Gaines, Vernon (Tom) Gilbert; William Gregg; Gwyneira Isaac, Smithsonian Institution; Pat Mangan, NPS; and Jennifer Thomsen, University of Montana.

-- The World Heritage Tentative Subcommittee was active in 2018, membership was by organization, National Geographic, US/ICOMOS, National Park Service, NOAA,, Smithsonian, Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Bureau of Land Management, International Committee for the Conservation of Industrial Heritage, Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, Society of Architectural Historians, American Historical Association, Geological Society of America, US Department of State.

-- The Culture, Education, Natural Science, Social and Human Sciences, and Communication and Information Committees are informal working groups that only meet during the Annual Meeting.

-- Note that the US National Commission for UNESCO does not issue reports or write papers.

-- Please also note that at the time of this reporting the Committee URL was temporarily down. We are working to restore the page.


Outcome Improvement To Health Or Safety*YesAction Reorganize Priorities*No
Outcome Trust In GovernmentYesAction Reallocate ResourcesNo
Outcome Major Policy ChangesYesAction Issued New RegulationsNo
Outcome Advance In Scientific ResearchYesAction Proposed LegislationNo
Outcome Effective Grant MakingNoAction Approved Grants Or Other PaymentsYes
Outcome Improved Service DeliveryNoAction OtherYes
Outcome Increased Customer SatisfactionNoAction CommentThe Commission has recommended UNESCO University Chairs, of which all have been approved by UNESCO. The Executive Secretariat welcomes advice of Committee members with regards to the operation and structure of this National Commission. The Commission continues to use the recommendations to engage youth more and foster international work which was realized with the establishment of the privately funded U.S. National Commission for UNESCO Laura W. Bush Traveling Fellowship.
Outcome Implement Laws/Reg RequirementsNoGrants Review*No
Outcome OtherYesNumber Of Grants Reviewed0
Outcome CommentThe Commission's work to promote dialog among various educational, scientific, cultural and communications groups on the commission produces tangible results. The United States is looked to for its leadership within UNESCO and for its expertise in administration and management.Number Of Grants Recommended0
Cost Savings*Unable to DetermineDollar Value Of Grants Recommended$0.00
Cost Savings CommentAs mentioned above, the U.S. hopes to continue to bring increased fiscal responsibility and accountibility to UNESCO.Grants Review CommentThe Committee does not review grants, but is part of a review of UNESCO Chairs, UNESCO Creative Cities, and UNESCO ASPnet schools. The Commission does review applications received and provide recommendations for the U.S. National Commission Laura W. Bush Traveling Fellowship, of which one fellowship was awarded this year.
Number Of Recommendations*392Access Contact Designated Fed. Officer*Yes
Number Of Recommendations CommentThroughout the year, the Commission met on an ad hoc basis and offered recommendations on various applications for UNESCO programs. The total number of recommendations for the year was 18.Access Agency WebsiteYes
% of Recs Fully Implemented*50.00%Access Committee WebsiteYes
% of Recs Fully Implemented CommentMany of the Commission recommendatios continue to be used and implemented. As the UNESCO organization works on a two-year cycle, many issues are longer term and their full implementation might not yet be realized. Any recommendations relating to legislation might require additional action and time.Access GSA FACA WebsiteYes
% of Recs Partially Implemented*25.00%Access PublicationsYes
% of Recs Partially Implemented CommentNAAccess OtherYes
Agency Feedback*YesAccess CommentThe Commission Secretariat provides periodic email updates. Information is posted on our Facebook page, and through a Twitter feed, in addition to our website.
Agency Feedback CommentThe Commission has been updated with periodic emails or phone calls. The Annual Meeting also provides an opportunity to update the Commission on what was accomplished in the last year and plan for the next years. In addition to a website, Facebook page, and Twitter feed, we continue to also maintain a general email account for any member of the public to send in comments or questions.Narrative Description*The U.S. National Commission for UNESCO is a Federal Advisory Committee housed within the Department of State, which is charged with providing advice to the U.S. Government regarding its activities as a Member State of UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization). The Commission is composed of no more than 100 Americans representing NGOs, Federal Government, State/Local Government. There are also several members who serve At-Large. Commissioners are appointed by the Secretary of State to terms of 3 years, and are limited to two consecutive terms.While the Commission meets in person or by conference as necessary, but not less frequently than once per year, much Commission activity is conducted on an individual level and leverages members of the Commission for their leadership, special expertise, and ability to form a network. For example, staff within the State Department Bureau of International Organization Affairs might consult individually with specific Commissioners for their expert knowledge in a specific area. Partnership initiatives relating to UNESCO or UNESCO’s areas of focus often precipitate out of the Commission organically. The Commission also plays a role in circulating and administrating special opportunities (jobs, fellowships, awards) available to Americans through our membership in UNESCO.
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Payments to Federal Members* Est. Payments to Fed Members Next FY* 
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Travel Reimb. For Non-Federal Members* Est Travel Reimb Non-Fed Members nextFY* 
Travel Reimb. For Federal Members* Est Travel Reimb For Fed Members* 
Travel Reimb. For Federal Staff* Est. Travel Reimb to Fed Staff Next FY* 
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Other Costs Est. Other Costs Next FY* 
Total Costs$0.00Est. Total Next FY*$0.00
Federal Staff Support (FTE)* Est. Fed Staff Support Next FY* 
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     Committee Level Reports               


To View all the members, meetings and advisory reports for this committee please click here




ActionCommittee System IDSubcommittee NameFiscal Year
 COM-032391Communications and Information Working Group2019
 COM-032441Culture Working Group2019
 COM-031449Education Working Group2019
 COM-031494Natural Sciences and Engineering Working Group2019
 COM-032056Social and Human Sciences Working Group2019
 COM-031451U.S. National Committee for MAB2019
 COM-032031US National Committee for the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission2019
 COM-030472US National Committee for the International Hydrological Program2019
 COM-032451World Heritage U S Tentative List2019


No Documents Found



Data from Previous Years

ActionCommittee System IDCommittee NameFiscal Year
 COM-033677United States National Commission for UNESCO2018
 COM-001448United States National Commission for UNESCO2017
 COM-002720United States National Commission for UNESCO2016
 COM-003757United States National Commission for UNESCO2015
 COM-004942United States National Commission for UNESCO2014
 COM-005936United States National Commission for UNESCO2013
 COM-006916United States National Commission for UNESCO2012
 COM-007804United States National Commission for UNESCO2011
 COM-009231United States National Commission for UNESCO2010
 COM-009899United States National Commission for UNESCO2009
 COM-011154United States National Commission for UNESCO2008
 COM-011888United States National Commission for UNESCO2007
 COM-012836United States National Commission for UNESCO2006
 COM-013815United States National Commission for UNESCO2005