NOAA 2002-R209
Contact: Andrew C. Freedman
NOAA News Releases 2002
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The Commerce Department's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration today named Ralph J. "Jeff" LaDouce as the new director of NOAA's National Weather Service Pacific Region. In this position he will oversee the region's programs and facilities throughout Hawaii, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Republic of Palau, and American Samoa.

The Pacific Region is also home to the Tsunami Warning Center and the International Tsunami Information Center, providing the Pacific-basin tsunami watches, warnings, and information and educational services to the disaster preparedness community.

LaDouce comes to NOAA Weather Service with an outstanding managerial background. As Manager of operations and support for Lockheed Martin Space Operations at Stennis Space Center, Miss., LaDouce managed facilities, aircraft, computer systems, and satellite ground station equipment. He also developed and coordinated execution of the budget for technical support provided by Lockheed Martin to the NASA Earth Science Applications Directorate.

LaDouce is a retired U.S. Navy Captain with 30 years service. In his last position with the Navy, from 1996-1998, he was director of operations and director of plans and programs with the Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command at Stennis Space Center. In that role, LaDouce managed operational aspects of an organization that provides meteorology and oceanography products and services to all levels of the Department of Defense.

Among his other duties, he was the Navy representative for planning and development of the Pacific Disaster Center, where he participated in developing an operational framework for the center to provide prevention, mitigation, and recovery support to tropical cyclone, volcano, tsunami, forest fire, and other disaster events. He also served with the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, while it was located in Guam, and was the commanding officer of the Naval Pacific Meteorology and Oceanography Center.

"We're fortunate to have Jeff as part of our team to oversee the most diverse region in the weather service. He brings a wealth of experience and a distinguished record of public service," said NOAA Weather Service Director retired USAF Brig. Gen. Jack Kelly.

LaDouce said he is looking forward to returning to the Pacific where he spent most of his operational Navy career. "I look forward to the challenges of bringing in new technology, and hope to make improvements with the implementation of satellite communications," he said.

"I have had an opportunity to interface with a number of people at the headquarters staff, and I can sense the professionalism that's out there and am eager to work with them as a strong team to enhance the stature of the National Weather Service and NOAA," LaDouce said.

NOAA's National Weather Service is the primary source of weather data, forecasts and warnings for the United States and its territories. NOAA Weather Service operates the most advanced weather and flood warning and forecast system in the world, helping to protect lives and property and enhance the national economy.

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