President Trump’s intention to appoint Newton was announced by the White House July 27, and the appointment was finalized on Aug.14.
Newton is one of eight commissioners tasked with establishing national policy, priorities and goals for scientific research related to the Arctic region. The seven commissioners directly appointed by the president include four members from academic or research institutions, two from private industries undertaking commercial activities in the Arctic, and one from among the indigenous Arctic residents of Alaska. The director of the National Science Foundation serves as an ex officio, non-voting eighth member of the commission.
Newton and other commissioners work with agency staff to develop and recommend national Arctic research policy, implement the federal plan for basic and applied scientific research programs, and advise the president, Congress and government agencies.
Newton is an expert on the Law of the Sea, human rights law, national security, transnational justice, and conduct of hostilities issues. Before entering the legal academy, he served in the U.S. Army for more than 21 years. He has published more than 90 books, articles, opinion pieces and book chapters addressing topics in international and humanitarian law. He has served on the executive council of the American Society of International Law and as an invited expert for the Genocide Prevention Task Force established by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and the U.S. Institute of Peace. He currently sits on the Advisory Board of the ABA International Criminal Court Project.
At Vanderbilt, he developed and teaches the innovative International Law Practice Lab, which provides expert assistance to judges, lawyers, legislatures, governments, and policy makers around the world. Newton is most recently the editor of The United States Department of Defense Law of War Manual: Commentary and Critique, published by Cambridge University Press.