NOAA 2005-R232
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Recognized for Directing Transformation at National Weather Service

Brigadier General John “Jack” Kelly, U.S. Air Force (Ret.), deputy under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere received the David O. Cooke Leadership in Federal Service Award from the National Capital Area Chapter (Washington, D.C.) of the American Society for Public Administration. Kelly is credited with spearheading technological and managerial changes that have made NOAA’s National Weather Service one of the most respected agencies in the federal government.

The award is presented annually to a federal career employee for their leadership in achieving public policy, breaking down barriers between political appointees and civil service executives, between the executive and legislative branches, and improving the public’s regard for government.

“Jack Kelly’s decades of meteorological and management experience have proven to be an outstanding asset for the NOAA team,” said retired Navy Vice Admiral Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Jr., Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “This recognition is a fitting tribute to his skills and contributions to government service and our nation.”

As deputy under secretary, Kelly is responsible for the day-to-day management of NOAA’s domestic and international operations. He has worked intensely to institutionalize NOAA’s Program, Planning, Budgeting and Execution System as well as NOAA’s corporate decision process. By encouraging NOAA’s senior leadership to focus on performance measures and the linkages between activities and resources, he has improved NOAA’s management of available funds.

In addition to his day-to-day activities, Jack Kelly is the U.S. principal representative to the World Meteorology Organization (WMO). Kelly has 39 years of experience in all facets of the weather field, including 21 years at the senior executive level in both government and private industry. Before serving as the deputy under secretary, Kelly was the assistant administrator of NOAA’s National Weather Service from 1998 to January 2004.

In the private sector, Kelly was director of Weather Systems for GTE Information Systems from 1994 to 1996. He retired from the Air Force in 1994 after serving for 31 years. His duties covered the entire spectrum of the weather field. He retired as director of Weather Headquarters, U.S. Air Force.

Kelly holds a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Seton Hall University and a master's degree in public administration from Auburn University. He also completed leadership programs at the Air Force Command and Staff College and the Industrial College of Armed Forces. Kelly is an American Meteorological Society Fellow and has received numerous U.S. and international awards.

NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce. It is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources.

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