Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere

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United States
Under Secretary of Commerce
for Oceans and Atmosphere
Seal of the United States Department of Commerce.svg
Timothy Gallaudet official photo.jpg
Incumbent
Timothy Gallaudet
Acting

since October 25, 2017
Formation December 1971
First holder Robert M. White
Website Official website

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 Timothy Gallaudet, who took office on October 25, 2017, after being confirmed as Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere by the U.S. Senate. Donald Trump nominated former AccuWeather CEO Barry Myers to serve as Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere on Oct 12, 2017.

Overview[edit]

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.[1]

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.[1]

With the rank of Under Secretary, the USC(OA) is a Level III position within the Executive Schedule[2] Since January 2010, the annual rate of pay for Level III is $165,300.[3] The Under Secretary ranks fifth in the line of succession for the office of Secretary of Commerce.[4]

History[edit]

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.[5] 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.[6]

Reporting officials[edit]

Officials reporting to the USC(OA)/Administrator include:

Office holders[edit]

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.

  Denotes an Acting Administrator of NOAA
No. Portrait Name Took Office Left Office Days served President
serving under
1 Robert M. White Robert M. White October 3, 1970 July 13, 1977 1406 Richard Nixon
895 Gerald Ford
174
(2475 total)
Jimmy Carter
2 Richard A. Frank Richard A. Frank July 13, 1977 January 20, 1981 1287
- James P. Walsh January 20, 1981 July 19, 1981 180 Ronald Reagan
3 John V. Byrne Dr. John V. Byrne July 19, 1981 November 15, 1984 1215
4 Dr. Anthony J. Calio November 15, 1984 October 7, 1985 326
October 7, 1985 September 15, 1987 708
(1034 total)
- J. Curtis Mack II September 15, 1987 March 31, 1988 198
5 Dr. Bill Evans March 31, 1988 August 7, 1989[7] 295
199
(494 total)
George H.W. Bush
6 John A. Knauss Dr. John A. Knauss August 7, 1989 [7] February 26, 1993 1262
37
(1299 total)
Bill Clinton
- Diana Josephson February 26, 1993 May 28, 1993 91
7 Donald James Baker Dr. D. James Baker May 28, 1993[8] January 20, 2001 3128
- Scott Gudes Scott Gudes January 20, 2001 December 10, 2001[9] 324 George W. Bush
8 VADMConrad C. Lautenbacher VADM Conrad C. Lautenbacher, USN December 10, 2001[9] October 31, 2008 2517
- William J. Brennan Dr. William J. Brennan October 31, 2008 March 19, 2009 139
58
(139 total)
Barack Obama
9 Jane Lubchenco Dr. Jane Lubchenco March 20, 2009 February 28, 2013 1441
10 Kathryn D. Sullivan Dr. Kathryn D. Sullivan March 1, 2013 March 6, 2014 370
March 6, 2014 January 20, 2017 1051
(1421 total)
- Benjamin Friedman Benjamin Friedman January 20, 2017 October 5, 2017 258 Donald Trump
- RDML Timothy Gallaudet RDML Timothy Gallaudet, USN October 25, 2017 Present 239+

References[edit]