NOAA 2002-034
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NOAA News Releases 2002
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At a Commerce Department ceremony in Washington, D.C., today James R. Mahoney, was sworn in as the assistant secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere. In this capacity, he is a chief manager of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the nation's top science agency for oceans and the atmosphere under its current administrator Vice Admiral Conrad C. Lautenbacher, USN (ret.). Commerce Secretary Don Evans administered the oath of office.

"President Bush and I are very pleased to have Jim Mahoney on the NOAA team," said Commerce Secretary Don Evans. "His scientific and private industry experience will greatly benefit our mission to facilitate environmental stewardship and economic security."

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.

"Dr. Mahoney's experience and reputation are well known and I, along with everyone at NOAA, look forward to working with him," Lautenbacher said. "The wealth of knowledge he brings with him will be a benefit to the NOAA team and the nation."

The agency manages the U.S. operational weather and environmental satellites, a fleet of research ships and aircraft, and 12 environmental research laboratories. 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. NOAA is home to one of the nation's seven uniformed services, the NOAA Corps.

"I am committed to supporting NOAA's highly important missions aimed at understanding, protecting and enhancing our ocean, coastal, fishery, atmospheric and climate resources," Mahoney said. "NOAA has the benefit of a large number of highly skilled scientific, technical and administrative personnel. I will do all I can to help enhance the careers of NOAA personnel and further improve NOAA's service to the nation and the world."

A native of Syracuse, N.Y., Mahoney has served in a broad range of educational, public and private positions. President of the American Meteorological Society from 1990-1991, he most recently served as president of Consulting and Ventures Group, which specializes in environmental consulting and hazardous waste remediation projects.

Mahoney received a doctorate in meteorology from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and joined the Faculty of Public Health at Harvard University. He then co-founded Environmental Research & Technology, Inc., an environmental management company that grew to become the nation's largest environmental firm by the end of the 1970s. He was later a senior executive at Bechtel Group in San Francisco and International Technology Corporation in Los Angeles and Washington.

He began public service in 1988 as director of the National Acid Precipitation Assessment Program, a 10-year program created by the Energy Security Act of 1979 charged with recommending sound approaches to controlling acid rain effects, while providing for continued energy and economic security. Mahoney has represented the U.S. government in specialist exchanges, advising government agencies on sustainable industry, and fishery and agricultural practices, as well as several United Nations and international agencies. He has served on several committees of the National Academy of Sciences, and completed a term as co-chairman of the Academy's Board on Atmospheric Science and Climate.