New NOAA Administrator Named

The U.S. Senate has confirmed scientist and longtime environmental expert Richard Spinrad as the undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and the 11th NOAA administrator.

The 67-year-old New York native brings 40 years of experience in ocean, atmosphere and climate science and policy.

“As an accomplished and respected scientist, educator, communicator and executive, Rick has dedicated his career to the science that is at the core of NOAA’s mission,” U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said in a statement. “I am grateful for his ongoing public service to the agency and the nation, and I look forward to working alongside him as we tackle the climate crisis, conserve our oceans, and grow our blue economy.”

In his role as NOAA Administrator, Spinrad will oversee what’s expected to be a $7 billion budget in the proposed FY22 plan. He’ll also be tasked with addressing the climate crisis, raising awareness for a sustainable blue economy and moving modeling and forecasting U.S. weather efforts and new technology applications to enhance environmental observations forward.

Spinrad previously worked for NOAA in the roles of chief scientist, assistant administrator for research, and assistant administrator for Ocean Services and Coastal Zone Management.

Before that, he worked at the U.S. Navy in the Office of the Oceanographer of the Navy and the Office of Naval Research. He also served as executive director for research and education at the Consortium for Oceanographic Research and Education.

“I am thrilled to be back and am ready to hit the ground running,” Spinrad remarked. “I am humbled to lead NOAA’s exceptional workforce on a mission so relevant to the daily lives of people across America and to the future health of our planet.”

By Pacific Maritime