The Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, or USC(OA), is a high-ranking official in the United States Department of Commerce and the principal advisor to the United States Secretary of Commerce on the environmental and scientific activities of the Department. The Under Secretary is dual hatted as the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration within the Commerce Department.
The Under Secretary is appointed by the President of the United States with the consent of the United States Senate to serve at the pleasure of the President. The current acting Under Secretary is Timothy Gallaudet, who took office on October 25, 2017, after being confirmed as Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere by the U.S. Senate. Donald Trump nominated former AccuWeather CEO Barry Myers to serve as Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere on Oct 12, 2017.
Under Secretary of Commerce
for Oceans and Atmosphere
|First holder||Robert M. White|
As the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Under Secretary oversees the day-to-day functions of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, as well as laying out its strategic and operational future.
Components of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that the Administrator oversees include the National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service, National Marine Fisheries Service, National Ocean Service, National Weather Service, Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, Marine and Aviation Operations, and the NOAA Corps.
With the rank of Under Secretary, the USC(OA) is a Level III position within the Executive Schedule Since January 2010, the annual rate of pay for Level III is $165,300. The Under Secretary ranks fifth in the line of succession for the office of Secretary of Commerce.
The position of Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere was created by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Marine Fisheries Program Authorization Act of 1985. The position was created to serve as the Administrator of NOAA. It also created an Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere to serve as Deputy Administrator of NOAA. William Evans was the first person to have the title of Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere. The position of Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration was created earlier by the Reorganization Plan No. 4 of 1970.
Officials reporting to the USC(OA)/Administrator include:
From 1970 to 1988, the head of NOAA was the NOAA Administrator. Starting with Bill Evans in 1988, that person held the title of Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere.
|No.||Portrait||Name||Took Office||Left Office||Days served||President|
|1||Robert M. White||October 3, 1970||July 13, 1977||1406||Richard Nixon|
|2||Richard A. Frank||July 13, 1977||January 20, 1981||1287|
|-||James P. Walsh||January 20, 1981||June 10, 1981||141||Ronald Reagan|
|3||John V. Byrne||June 10, 1981||November 15, 1984||1254|
|4||Anthony J. Calio||November 15, 1984||October 4, 1985||323|
|October 4, 1985||September 15, 1987||711|
|-||J. Curtis Mack II||September 15, 1987||March 31, 1988||198|
|5||William Eugene Evans||March 31, 1988||August 7, 1989||295|
|George H.W. Bush|
|6||John A. Knauss||August 7, 1989 ||February 26, 1993||1262|
|-||Diana Josephson||February 26, 1993||May 28, 1993||91|
|7||D. James Baker||May 28, 1993||January 20, 2001||3128|
|-||Scott Gudes||January 20, 2001||December 10, 2001||324||George W. Bush|
|8||Conrad C. Lautenbacher||December 10, 2001||October 31, 2008||2517|
|-||William J. Brennan||October 31, 2008||March 19, 2009||81|
|9||Jane Lubchenco||March 20, 2009||February 28, 2013||1441|
|10||Kathryn D. Sullivan||March 1, 2013||March 6, 2014||370|
|March 6, 2014||January 20, 2017||1051|
|-||Benjamin Friedman||January 20, 2017||October 25, 2017||278||Donald Trump|
|-||Timothy Gallaudet||October 25, 2017||Present||401+|