The Washington Post’s Jason Samenow broke a story today that Barry Myers, chief executive of Accuweather, has emerged as the front-runner to be selected as the next Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Filling this position is long overdue given the vital role NOAA plays for our nation. NOAA is the nation’s chief agency responsible for weather forecasting, climate monitoring, fisheries, space weather and oceans service. If you use weather forecasts, eat fish, fly in an airplane, boat or rely on GPS then NOAA impacts your life.
(Forbes/ Marshall Shepherd) — Other names that have emerged for NOAA Administrator include Tim Gallaudet (Oceanographer of the Navy), Kelvin Droegemeier (Professor of Meteorology at University of Oklahoma), Scott Rayder (UCAR and former NOAA staffer) and Jon White (President and chief executive of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership).
I am the former President of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) and served on NOAA’s Climate Working Group. I also served on NOAA’s top federal advisory committee, the NOAA Science Advisory Board at the invitation of Dr. Kathy Sullivan. As such, I feel that I am qualified to offer perspective on what the next NOAA administrator needs to bring to the table for the weather-climate enterprise. To be fair, I have interacted with all of the leading candidates and have no major issues with any of them. They can all do the job. I will let others quibble with who they feel is best qualified. I just want to lay out my “wishlist” of top five things that I am looking for in the next NOAA Administrator. They are are offered irrespective of whether the selection is Myers or someone else.