John Turner was sworn in as Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OES) on November 13, 2001. In this capacity, he heads U.S. Department of State programs and activities concerning HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases, the environment, climate change, oceans affairs, and science and technology.
Prior to his appointment as Assistant Secretary, Mr. Turner was President and Chief Executive Officer of The Conservation Fund, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to public-private partnerships to protect land and water resources. With the support of over 200 corporations, during Mr. Turner's tenure the Fund protected more than 2.8 million acres of parks, wildlife habitat, and open space across America. Between 1989 and 1993, Mr. Turner served as the Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, where he was responsible for expanding collaborative approaches under the Endangered Species Act, increasing wetland protection and establishing 55 new National Wildlife Refuges, the most of any administration in the nation's history. He served for 19 years in the Wyoming State Legislature and is a past President of the State Senate.
Formerly, Mr. Turner served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Bank of Jackson Hole, and as Chairman of the Institute of Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Wyoming. Past Board of Directors' affiliations include Northeast Utilities, the Land Trust Alliance, the National Wildlife Refuge Association, the Murie Center, and the Trumpeter Swan Society. He has served as an advisor to the Hancock Timber Resources Group, Argonne National Laboratories-West, the Yale School of Forestry, and the University of Michigan's School of Natural Resources.
Awards presented to Mr. Turner include: the Times/Mirror Conservation Award, Chevron; National Wetlands Achievement Award, Ducks Unlimited; Sheldon Coleman Award, America's Recreation Roundtable; Audubon Stewardship Award, National Audubon Society, Western Region; President's Public Service Award, The Nature Conservancy; Conservation Achievement Award, National Wildlife Federation; Exemplary Service Award, American Outdoors; National Award, Take Pride in America, U.S. Department of the Interior; Citizen of the Year, Teton County, WY.
Among Mr. Turner's publications are: The Magnificent Bald Eagle, Our National Bird, Random House; "The Private Lands Challenge: Integrating biodiversity, conservation, and private property," Private Property and the Endangered Species Act, University of Texas Press; "Land Use: The Forgotten Agenda," in Thinking Ecologically: The next generation of environmental policy, Yale University Press; and numerous other publications regarding wildlife conservation, outdoor recreation, and natural resource policies.
Mr. Turner received a Master of Science degree in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from the University of Notre Dame. A native of Moose, Wyoming, Mr. Turner is a third-generation rancher who, with his brothers, operates the Triangle X Ranch in Grand Teton National Park.