Joel Clement

Senior Fellow, Center for Science and Democracy

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Joel Clement is a Senior Fellow with the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists and the public face of the UCS Science Protection Project, through which federal scientists may confidentially report political interference in government science. Mr. Clement served in the US Department of the Interior (DOI) before becoming a whistleblower in 2017. He now works to expose political interference in science from the Trump administration and Congress. See Joel's full bio.

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Photo: Christopher Michel/CC BY 2.0 (Wikimedia) https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:JJ7V2741_(40325750).jpg

Zinke Attends Pacific Islands Forum, Ignores Their Biggest Concern

This week, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke heads the United States delegation to the Pacific Islands Forum Leader’s Session on the Island of Nauru on September 4, 2018, an annual gathering of dozens of Pacific Island leaders and partners. In the Interior Department press release, Zinke noted that the Pacific Islands are strategically important and he wants to discuss trade and the rule of law. He did not indicate any interest in discussing the impacts of climate change in the Pacific Islands region – dramatic impacts that his own agency described in a publication earlier this year. Read more >

Photo: Christopher Michel/CC BY 2.0 (Wikimedia)
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UCS Survey Shows Interior Department is Worse Than We Thought—And That’s Saying Something

Can scientific staff at the US Department of the Interior rest easy knowing that their colleagues at other agencies have it worse when it comes to political interference?

Survey says: Nope. Read more >

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Department of the Interior. Photo: Matthew G. Bisanz. CC-BY-2.0 Wikimedia.

DOI Caught Lying About a Staff Purge. Congress Has Questions

Last week, the Interior Department Inspector General’s office released its report on Secretary Ryan Zinke’s controversial mass reassignment of senior executives last summer, requested by alarmed Senators shortly after the reassignments took place. 

Secretary Zinke does not like what they found.   Read more >

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Secretary Zinke’s Diversity Problem

I was a career senior executive and climate policy advisor at the Interior Department before I was involuntarily reassigned by the Trump Administration. In my role I had been focused on leading an interagency response to the slow-moving disaster in America’s Arctic, where Alaska Natives were faced daily with the impacts of a rapidly changing climate. With the safety of Americans at risk, I was stunned that the new Trump Administration would so callously leave these people to their own devices.

I should not have been surprised. Read more >

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