Goldman School of Public Policy - University of California, Berkeley

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Dan Kammen Resigns from Post in Trump Administration

Read the full text of Professor Kammen's letter

August 23, 2017

Mr. President,

I am resigning from my position as Science Envoy for the Department of State of the United States. Since 1996, I have served the Departments of Energy, the US Environmental Protection Agency, and the State Department in a number of roles. Working closely with the talented teams at State Department Headquarters and at US embassies abroad, we have built significant partnerships in North and East Africa, and in the Middle East, around shared visions of national security, job creation in the US and sustainable energy.

My decision to resign is in response to your attacks on core values of the United States. Your failure to condemn white supremacists and neo-Nazis has domestic and international ramifications. On this issue, I stand with the unequivocal and authoritative statements of Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, Ohio Governor John Kasich, Senator John McCain, Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, Dr. Cornel West, Linda Sarsour, the Palestinian-American activist and one of the organizers of the Women's March, and many others.

Particularly troubling to me is how your response to Charlottesville is consistent with a broader pattern of behavior that enables sexism and racism, and disregards the welfare of all Americans, the global community and the planet.

Examples of this destructive pattern have consequences on my duties as Science Envoy. Your decision to abdicate the leadership opportunities and the job creation benefits of the Paris Climate Accord, and to undermine energy and environmental research are not acceptable to me.

Acts and words matter. To continue in my role under your administration would be inconsistent with the principles of the United States Oath of Allegiance to which I adhere.

Character is vital in leadership. I find particularly wise the admonition of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who cautioned that, “A people [or person] that values its privileges above principles soon loses both.”

Herein, with regret, I resign. I deeply respect and value the work of the many fine people I have encountered in our federal agencies and will miss the opportunity to work with and support them. Your actions to date have, sadly, harmed the quality of life in the United States, our standing abroad, and the sustainability of the planet.

Sincerely,
Professor Daniel M. Kammen
Science Envoy, U. S. State Department (former)