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 Neal Jacobs, the agency’s assistant secretary for environmental observation and prediction, who took office on February 25, 2019, after being promoted to replace Timothy Gallaudet so that Gallaudet could focus on his Senate-confirmed post as the assistant secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere.
Donald Trump nominated former AccuWeather CEO Barry Myers to serve as Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere on Oct 12, 2017. His nomination was returned to President Trump by the Senate on January 3, 2018, resubmitted on January 8, 2018 returned again on January 3, 2019, and resubmitted again on January 16, 2019.
Under Secretary of Commerce
for Oceans and Atmosphere
since February 25, 2019
|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||February 25, 2019||488|
|-||Neil Jacobs||February 25, 2019||Present||54+|
Barry Lee Myers is an American attorney and businessman who served as chief executive officer and general counsel for AccuWeather, a privately owned for-profit weather-forecasting company founded by his elder brother, Joel Myers. As an AccuWeather executive, Myers lobbied unsuccessfully to restrict or undermine the National Weather Service, a governmental service which provides free weather forecasting and thus competes with AccuWeather's business model.In 2017, Myers was nominated by President Donald Trump to lead the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Myers's nomination was controversial because he lacked scientific expertise (in contrast to previous NOAA leaders) and because of concern over Myers's financial conflicts of interest, and as of April 2019 Myers's appointment had not been voted upon by the U.S. Senate. In 2018, a federal investigation found rampant, pervasive, and severe sexual harassment at AccuWeather, and determined that the company, under Myers's leadership, ignored the harassment and retaliated against victims who complained.Conrad C. Lautenbacher
Conrad Charles Lautenbacher Jr. (born June 26, 1942) is a retired Navy Vice Admiral, was the Under Secretary for Oceans and Atmosphere within the United States Department of Commerce and the eighth administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. He was appointed to the position on December 19, 2001 and resigned effective October 31, 2008 in anticipation of a new White House administration. He was born in Philadelphia.D. James Baker
Donald James Baker (born March 23, 1937) is an American scientist who was trained as a physicist, practiced as an oceanographer, and has held science and management positions in academia, non-profit institutions, and government agencies. He a former Under Secretary of Commerce for Atmosphere and Oceans and Administrator of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and currently Director, Global Carbon Measurement Program, William J. Clinton Foundation working with forestry programs in developing countries with the aim of reducing carbon dioxide emissions and at the same time helping alleviate poverty.Diana Josephson
Diana H. Josephson (October 17, 1936 – March 6, 2006) was the first woman to lead the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) when she became the acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere in 1993.Jane Lubchenco
Jane Lubchenco (born December 4, 1947) is an American environmental scientist and marine ecologist who teaches and does research at Oregon State University. Her research interests include interactions between the environment and human well-being, biodiversity, climate change, and sustainable use of oceans and the planet. From 2009 to 2013, she served as Administrator of NOAA and Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere.After resigning from NOAA, she was the Mimi and Peter Haas Distinguished Visitor in Public Service at Stanford University (March–June 2013). In June 2013, she returned to Oregon State University where she was on the faculty prior to being invited by President-Elect Obama to serve on his 'science team.' Her many awards include the MacArthur 'genius' award in 1993 and more than 15 Honorary Degrees.Joint Ocean Commission Initiative
The Joint Ocean Commission Initiative (commonly referred to as the Joint Initiative) is a bipartisan, collaborative group in the United States that aims to "accelerate the pace of change that results in meaningful ocean policy reform." The Joint Initiative was established by the members of two major U.S.-based oceans commissions: the Pew Oceans Commission and the United States Commission on Ocean Policy. It was originally co-chaired by former White House Chief of Staff Leon Panetta and former Chief of Naval Operations Admiral James D. Watkins (United States Navy, Ret.), chairs of the Pew and U.S. Ocean Commissions, respectively. Currently, the Joint Initiative is led by a Leadership Council, which is co-chaired by Christine Todd Whitman, former EPA Administrator under President George W. Bush and former governor of New Jersey, and Norman Y. Mineta, Secretary of Commerce under President Bill Clinton and Secretary of Transportation under President George W. Bush.
The Joint Initiative Leadership Council members include leaders from prominent universities and environmental groups, scientists, national security leaders and representatives from a variety of ocean industries including fisheries, the science and technology, and shipping. The Joint Initiative works with networks of people involved in national, regional, state and local ocean policy issues from all fields, including scientists, industry representatives, advocacy groups and policy makers. The Joint Initiative, its members, and its publications are offered as resources to policy makers at all levels of government interested in pursuing ocean policy reforms consistent with the Commissions' recommendations. The Joint Initiative's most recent publication, an interactive digital report, is entitled Ocean Action Agenda: Supporting Regional Ocean Economies and Ecosystems.Jonathan W. Bailey
Jonathan W. Bailey is a retired rear admiral in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Corps and a former Director, NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps and Director, NOAA Office of Marine and Aviation Operations. He was appointed by Secretary of Commerce Carlos M. Gutierrez on October 1, 2007, after nomination for the position by President George W. Bush, confirmation by the U.S. Senate, and subsequent promotion by the Secretary to the two-star rank of rear admiral. On August 15, 2012, Admiral Bailey was succeeded as Director, NOAA Corps by Rear Admiral Michael S. Devany, and formally retired on September 30, 2012.A commissioned officer for over 30 years, Bailey has had a balanced operational career, with seven years of sea duty aboard five NOAA ships and almost nine years of flight duty piloting three NOAA aircraft.
From 2005 to 2007, Bailey served as Executive Director to the Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere. In 2003, he became Director of the Commissioned Personnel Center, where he directed the management of a complex system of policies, including compensation and benefits. His efforts had positive impact across the Service. Admiral Bailey played a critical role in developing innovative strategies to improve the NOAA Corps workforce. These strategies included the establishment of NOAA Corps core values, new officer evaluation and billet systems, deployment of technological improvements, and new training to educate officers and supervisors about NOAA Corps policies.
In 1999, he became the Chief of NOAA’s National Ocean Service Remote Sensing Division. There he led technology advancement in the simultaneous collection and processing of digital aerial photography, airborne laser mapping data, and airborne imaging spectroscopy for NOAA’s shoreline mapping program and the Federal Aviation Administration’s Airport Survey Program. He also introduced innovative processes for rapid shoreline change detection to correct gross nautical chart anomalies in a very short period of time. At the time of the September 11 terrorist attacks, he oversaw NOAA’s aerial- and ground-based mapping operations that aided search and recovery efforts at the World Trade Center and Pentagon. He received the Commerce Gold Medal group award for technical skill and coordination in 2002 for his role following the attacks.
Admiral Bailey has a master's degree in aeronautical science and a bachelor's degree in natural resources. He is a graduate of Harvard’s Senior Executive Fellows and The Art and Practice of Leadership Development programs. Bailey lives in Maryland with his wife Cindy and their three sons.Karen Dunn Kelley
Karen Dunn Kelley is an American financial investment manager and government official who currently serves as Deputy Secretary of Commerce. Prior to assuming her current role, she was senior managing director of investments at Invesco.Kelley began her career at Drexel Burnham Lambert, where she worked on the Fixed Income High Grade Retail Desk and eventually became vice president in the bond department. She joined Invesco in 1989 as a money market portfolio manager. In 1992, Kelley became chief money market and government officer at the company. In 2007, she was named head of Invesco's fixed income and cash management team. In 2011, she became the firm's senior managing director of investments.Kathryn D. Sullivan
Kathryn Dwyer Sullivan (born October 3, 1951) is an American geologist and a former NASA astronaut. A crew member on three Space Shuttle missions, she was the first American woman to walk in space on October 11, 1984. She was Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration after being confirmed by the U.S. Senate on March 6, 2014. Sullivan's tenure ended on January 20, 2017 with the swearing in of President Donald Trump. Following completion of her service at NOAA, she was designated as the 2017 Charles A. Lindbergh Chair of Aerospace History at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum., and has also served as a Senior Fellow at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies.List of undersea explorers
This is a list of amateur and professional explorers of the oceans, including
Archaeologists, Treasure hunters, Biologists, Marine Geologists, Geophysicists,
Ocean Engineers, Oceanographers, Submersible Designers, Pilots of Submersibles,
Cave Divers, Cavers, and Speleologists, and First Generation Diving Safety Officers.Michael S. Devany
Michael S. Devany is a former vice admiral in the NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps who last served as the Deputy Under Secretary for Operations at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration from January 2, 2014 to April 2016. He previously served as director of the NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps from August 13, 2012 to January 1, 2014, succeeding RADM Jonathan W. Bailey. As Deputy Under Secretary for Operations at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, he was NOAA’s chief operating officer. VADM Devany was responsible for the day-to-day management of NOAA’s national and international operations for oceanic and atmospheric services, research, and coastal and marine stewardship. He is a key advisor to the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere/NOAA Administrator on NOAA program and policy issues. Devany was the first NOAA Corps officer to achieve the rank of vice admiral since VADM Henry A. Karo in 1965, and the second NOAA Corps officer overall. Devany retired from NOAA in April 2016 after over 30 years of combined uniformed service.NOAA Administrator's Award
The NOAA Administrator's Award is an award of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The award is granted by the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere who serves concurrently as the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The award, which may go to an individual or a group, is presented in recognition of significant contributions to NOAA programs. The award is presented to civilian employees of NOAA as a plaque and as a medal set to members of the NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps. Individual recipients of the award receive a monetary award of $5,000. Recipients of group awards split the monetary award evenly. Administrator's Award recipients are formally recognized at an award ceremony held annually.National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA, like Noah) is an American scientific agency within the United States Department of Commerce that focuses on the conditions of the oceans, major waterways, and the atmosphere.
NOAA warns of dangerous weather, charts seas, guides the use and protection of ocean and coastal resources, and conducts research to provide understanding and improve stewardship of the environment.
NOAA was officially formed in 1970 and in 2017 had over 11,000 civilian employees. Its research and operations are further supported by 321 uniformed service members who make up the NOAA Commissioned Corps.Since October 2017, NOAA has been headed by Timothy Gallaudet, as acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA interim administrator.Samuel P. De Bow Jr.
Samuel P. De Bow Jr. is a retired rear admiral in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps who served as the Director, NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps and Director, Office of Marine and Aviation Operations from 2004 until his retirement September 30, 2007. He was nominated for this position by President George W. Bush, confirmed by the Senate, and subsequently promoted from captain to rear admiral.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Commissioned Corps (NOAA Corps) is a small, elite corps of officers—all with college degrees in science, engineering, or mathematics—who command NOAA ships and aircraft as well as serve within the many environmental research programs of NOAA. The NOAA Corps is one of the United States’s seven uniformed services.
NOAA's Office of Marine and Aviation Operations (OMAO) is composed both of NOAA Corps officers and civilians who operate, manage, and maintain the agency’s fleet of research and survey ships and aircraft.
RADM De Bow was appointed into the NOAA Corps in 1976. His career has focused on NOAA's mission to ensure safe navigation. He has served aboard three NOAA hydrographic survey ships that acquire data to update the nation’s nautical charts, and two mobile hydrographic field units. Hydrographic surveys accurately determine least water depths and locate obstructions and other dangers to navigation on the sea floor. His last sea tour was as commanding officer of the NOAA Ship RUDE; under his direction, RUDE located the wreckage of TWA Flight 800 after the jet’s disastrous crash in 1996. During his career, RADM De Bow has conducted hydrographic surveys throughout the coastal waters of the United States, including Alaska. While in graduate school, he was an NOAA exchange hydrographer, working with the Norwegian Hydrographic Service in Stavanger, Norway.
RADM De Bow’s shore tours have included a variety of staff, management and technical positions, the majority of which were in support of NOAA’s mapping and charting mission. Most recently (7/03-6/04), he served as executive assistant to the Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, who manages NOAA’s workforce of approximately 13,000 and budget of $3.9 billion. Prior to that, RADM De Bow was chief of the Hydrographic Services Division (3/99-7/03), where his primary responsibility was to provide overall guidance and leadership for NOAA’s national hydrographic survey program. Here he was instrumental in revitalizing NOAA’s aging hydrographic fleet while managing close to $100 million in private sector contracts for data. He also served as NOAA’s on-scene operations officer during the search for John F. Kennedy Jr.’s downed aircraft in 1999 (found by NOAA Ship RUDE), and coordinated NOAA’s search efforts for Egypt Air 990 in 1999 (found by NOAA Ship WHITING).
In September 2006, RADM De Bow was confirmed as a member of the Mississippi River Commission. During his career, he has been a member of a group awarded the Department of Commerce Gold Medal (the Department's highest award), and has received two individual Department of Commerce Silver Medals and a Department of Commerce Bronze Medal for his achievements. He has also received a U.S. Coast Guard and three NOAA Corps Commendation Medals in addition to numerous other medals and ribbons.
RADM De Bow holds a bachelor's degree in commerce and engineering from Drexel University and a master's degree in hydrographic sciences from the Naval Postgraduate School. He was a senior executive fellow at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and attended the Leadership for a Democratic Society course at the Federal Executive Institute. RADM De Bow is a native of Philadelphia, PA. He and his wife, Susan, have a son and two daughters.Timothy Gallaudet
Timothy Cole Gallaudet is an American oceanographer who is a retired Rear Admiral in the United States Navy. Gallaudet currently serves as the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere within the U.S. Department of Commerce. In this function, he fulfilled the roles of Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, as well as Acting Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) until February 28, 2019. He was the longest tenured Acting Administrator of NOAA in the organization's history.United States Department of Commerce
The United States Department of Commerce is the Cabinet department of the United States government concerned with promoting economic growth. Among its tasks are gathering economic and demographic data for business and government decision-making, and helping to set industrial standards. This organization's main purpose is to create jobs, promote economic growth, encourage sustainable development and improve standards of living for all Americans. The Department of Commerce headquarters is the Herbert C. Hoover Building in Washington, D.C.
Wilbur Ross is the current Commerce secretary.United States Secretary of Commerce
The United States Secretary of Commerce (SecCom) is the head of the United States Department of Commerce. The Secretary is appointed by the President of the United States with the advice and consent of the United States Senate and serves in the President's Cabinet. The Secretary is concerned with promoting American businesses and industries; the Department states its mission to be "to foster, promote, and develop the foreign and domestic commerce".Until 1913 there was one Secretary of Commerce and Labor, uniting this department with the Department of Labor, which is now headed by a separate Secretary of Labor.The current Commerce Secretary is Wilbur Ross, who was nominated by President Donald Trump and approved by the Senate on February 28, 2017.United States Travel Service
The U.S. Travel Service was created by the United States Secretary of Commerce on July 1, 1961 pursuant to the International Travel Act of 1961 (75 Stat. 129; 22 U.S.C. 2121 note) after President John F. Kennedy signed Senate Bill 610 on June 29, 1961. It was created to address a deficit in tourism in the United States.In 1981, it was replaced by the creation of the United States Travel and Tourism Administration.
|Deputy Secretary of Commerce|
|Under Secretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs|
|Under Secretary of Commerce for Industry and Security|
|Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property|
|Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade|
|Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere|
|Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology|