NOAA 2001-R121
Contact: David Miller

Retired Navy Admiral Will Become NOAA's New Administrator

The U.S. Senate today confirmed retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher Jr., as Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere. In this capacity, he will serve as administrator of the Commerce Department's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the nation's top science agency for oceans and the atmosphere.

"The appointment of Conrad Lautenbacher as NOAA's administrator is a clear affirmation of the Bush Administration's commitment to protect our nation's natural resources," said Commerce Secretary Don Evans. "With more than three decades of service to the nation, he brings a strong understanding of our oceans and environment. I am confident the nation and NOAA will be well served by this dedicated public servant."

NOAA serves the nation by forecasting all U.S. weather and climate, monitoring and archiving ocean and atmospheric data, managing marine fisheries and mammals, and conducting cutting-edge oceanic, atmospheric and solar research. It maintains a budget of more than $3.2 billion and 12,700 employees at posts in every U.S. state, at sea and many overseas locations, the agency manages the U.S. operational weather and environmental satellites, a fleet of research ships and aircraft, 12 environmental research laboratories and is home to one of the nation's seven uniformed services, the NOAA Corps.

"NOAA programs and services impact all Americans and I look forward to leading this fine agency," Lautenbacher said. "We face many critical environmental issues and it is vital that we continue to learn more about the interaction between our oceans and atmosphere."

A native of Philadelphia, Penn., and a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Lautenbacher has served in a broad range of command, operational, and staff billets. He served as deputy chief of Naval Operations in charge of resource allocation and requirements development for the Navy, commander of the U.S. Third Fleet and director of the Office of Program Appraisal. As a director on the Joint Staff, he reported to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff as principal strategic planning and resource allocation executive, making key recommendations affecting the size and composition of the U.S. Armed Forces. His background also includes operational tours in Vietnam and the Persian Gulf, as well as assignments as systems analyst with the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense.

Lautenbacher attended Harvard University receiving master's and doctorate degrees in applied mathematics. He was selected as a Navy Federal Executive Fellow and served at the Brookings Institution. Most recently he was the president of CORE, the Consortium for Oceanographic Research and Education. CORE is a Washington, D.C., based association of 66 U.S. oceanographic research institutions, universities, laboratories, and aquaria.