Among the many positions in the federal government that have gone unfilled during the first five months of the Donald Trump administration is someone to lead the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). With hurricane season only about to get more intense in the coming months, Charlie Crist is calling on the White House to fill that position now.
(Florida Politics/ Mitch Perry) — “Not only does NOAA’s work help support our local economy, but it also provides valuable information to my constituents — information that saves lives,” said Crist. “Leaving the position of NOAA Administrator vacant is taking an unnecessary risk with people’s lives and livelihoods. I’m urging President Trump to quickly nominate a qualified individual and work with the Senate to have them confirmed.”
The NOAA administrator oversees a wide portfolio of climate research, weather forecasting and ocean protection and a $5.6 billion budget. The long vacancy is in contrast to Barack Obama, which nominated Jane Lubchenco as his NOAA administrator a month before he was inaugurated. NOAA is currently being led by Benjamin Friedman, the Undersecretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere.
The Washington Post recently listed three officials as being the top contenders to be nominated by Trump; Scott Rayder, a senior adviser to the President of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research and former NOAA chief of staff; Barry Lee Myers, the CEO of AccuWeather; and Jon White, President and CEO of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership.