Rick Spinrad Confirmed as NOAA Administrator
Richard (Rick) W. Spinrad, Ph.D., an internationally renowned scientist with four decades of ocean, atmosphere, and climate science and policy expertise, was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and the 11th NOAA administrator.
Building upon NOAA’s extensive mission, Spinrad intends to advance three overarching NOAA priorities:
- Developing a full portfolio of environmental products and services in the context of our changing climate, and in coordination and cooperation with NOAA’s sister agencies, industry, academia, NGOs and the philanthropic community, and ensuring these products and services are more accessible to underserved communities.
- Building a balanced portfolio of programs and policies that both enhance environmental sustainability and foster economic development in areas such as climate products and services, the new blue economy, and sustainable fisheries.
- Creating a more just, equitable, diverse and inclusive workforce. NOAA employs scientists and technologists and, perhaps even more impactfully, educates and trains future professionals. The scientific and technical workforce in the environmental and ecological fields in the U.S. must become more diverse.
Previous NOAA positions held by Spinrad include that of the chief scientist, assistant administrator for research, and assistant administrator for Ocean Services and Coastal Zone Management. Prior to joining NOAA, he held positions with the U.S. Navy, including the Office of the Oceanographer of the Navy and the Office of Naval Research, and was the executive director for research and education at the nonprofit Consortium for Oceanographic Research and Education.