Press Statement

Statement on Biden’s Announcement of New Head of NOAA

Washington, DC – Today, President Biden announced the new head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Dr. Richard Spinrad, a professor of oceanography at Oregan State University with decades of experience as both a scientist and an executive. This position was left vacant during the Trump administration.

Sally Yozell, Director of the Environmental Security Program at the Stimson Center, released a statement on his appointment and what this means for the future of NOAA:

“On Earth Day, we commend the Biden Administration for continuing to nominate credible and well-qualified candidates who understand the urgency of the climate crisis and can employ science-based decision making to address the complex environmental issues facing the globe. Dr. Richard Spinrad is an excellent choice for the NOAA Administrator, as he understands the breadth of issues before NOAA: climate, weather, oceans, and fisheries. He knows how the federal government works and will be able to jump in on Day One to lead the agency and ensure its relevance.

As a well-regarded scientist, Dr. Spinrad will bring scientific credibility and science-based decision-making back to NOAA so that Americans and their communities can be confident that the information they receive for decisions about their health, safety and economic well-being is accurate.  NOAA provides a wide range of products and services related to weather, climate, tides, coastal resilience and the status of fisheries. Knowledge-based products are especially important after the previous administration jettisoned science for politics, as we witnessed during ‘Sharpiegate’ and the altering of climate reports. Dr. Spinrad will help NOAA produce and act on science-driven policies for the good of the country. On the global front, Dr. Spinrad’s leadership as the Director of the Office of Naval Research will help NOAA lead and coordinate efforts in the all-of-government approach to combat illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing and implement the Maritime Safe Act, a new and important law designed to fight IUU fishing around the globe.”

Stimson Center experts have been working to improve the implementation of the Seafood Import Monitoring Program (SIMP), a program led by NOAA, to improve seafood traceability around the world.

Learn more about this:

The Stimson Center promotes international security, shared prosperity & justice through applied research and independent analysis, deep engagement, and policy innovation.‌ For three decades, Stimson has been a leading voice on urgent global issues. Founded in the twilight years of the Cold War, the Stimson Center pioneered practical new steps toward stability and security in an uncertain world. Today, as changes in power and technology usher in a challenging new era, Stimson is at the forefront: Engaging new voices, generating innovative ideas and analysis, and building solutions to promote international security, prosperity, and justice.


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