NOAA veteran Nicole LeBoeuf has been tapped to lead the National Ocean Service as director and will also serve as assistant administrator for Ocean Services and Coastal Zone Management, the agency announced in July.
U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo appointed LeBoeuf to the role; she had already been serving as acting director since August 2018, and prior to that was named deputy director in December 2016.
“Nicole is well positioned to lead NOAA’s National Ocean Service and to continue its rich history of addressing evolving economic, environmental, and social pressures on our ocean, coasts, and coastal communities,” Raimondo said in a statement.
Before her work in the National Ocean Service, LeBoeuf was chief of Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Conservation Division of NOAA Fisheries Office of Protected Resources, then became its acting deputy director.
Under her tenure, LeBoeuf has led the National Ocean Service in partnership with community, cultural and national conversation leaders on various initiatives, including an effort to designate the Wisconsin Shipwreck Coast National Marine Sanctuary. She also supervised the start of NOAA’s first national rip current forecast model and the formation of a data-sharing agreement with an offshore wind firm, according to NOAA.
“With Nicole at the helm, the Ocean Service established itself at the forefront of technology for disaster preparedness, response and recovery, mapping and charting, hypoxia and harmful algal bloom forecasting, and safeguarding communities from risks such as sea level rise and coastal inundation,” said NOAA administrator Rick Spinrad.