Contact: Kent Laborde
NOAA News Releases 2005
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Dr. James R. Mahoney, assistant secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and deputy NOAA administrator, announced plans today to retire from his position upon confirmation of a successor.

In a letter to the President dated today, Mahoney outlined his plan to retire from his position at NOAA and his special assignment as director of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program once a replacement has been selected and confirmed.

Mahoney and his family made the decision for him to retire from full-time employment based on chronic health conditions. He plans to remain in place long enough to continue implementation of ongoing interagency climate science programs and NOAA initiatives, as well as to transition his oversight of these to his replacement.

“Jim Mahoney has been my strong right arm at NOAA,” said retired Navy Vice Admiral Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Jr., Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “His dedication and commitment to NOAA, coupled with his leadership, enthusiasm and expertise have made him a major contributor to the effort to improve the operations of NOAA and in the delivery of its critically-important services to our nation. It has been an honor and privilege to serve with an individual of his extraordinary skill and integrity.”

Mahoney, in his letter to the president, said that it was a great honor to be part of the administration’s team. Mahoney wrote that he is particularly proud of the work he has done focusing on the development of scientific information that benefits society, the environment and the nation’s economy. He stated, “I heartily endorse the need for environmental stewardship built on the foundation of economic strength.”

As deputy NOAA administrator, Mahoney helps oversee the day-to-day functions of NOAA, as well as laying out its strategic and operational future. The agency manages an annual budget of $4 billion. He is managing the development of a comprehensive research program realignment aimed at better integrating observations and research across all of NOAA. He is also the Executive Sponsor of the NOAA Science Advisory Board.

As director of the U.S. Climate Chance Science Program, he manages the $2 billion annual budget U.S. government organization that coordinates and integrates scientific research on changes in climate and related systems. CCSP involves 13 federal scientific agencies and integrates the planning and budgeting their climate and global change activities. CCSP was formed by the Bush Administration to accelerate research to improve understanding of global climate change, and incorporates the congressionally mandated U.S. Global Change Research Program.

During his tenure as director, he was instrumental in the development and implementation of the CCSP Strategic Plan. This plan outlines the research goals and timelines that guide federal climate science for the next 10 years.

Mahoney holds a Ph.D. degree in meteorology from MIT. He was a faculty member at Harvard University’s School of Public Health from 1966 to 1974. He also co-founded the environmental management company Environmental Research & Technology Inc. that grew to become the nation’s largest environmental firm by the end of the 1970s. He first entered public service in 1988 as director of the National Acid Precipitation Assessment Program. His service as NAPAP director included the completion of the 10-year program that included extensive issue analyses supporting the development of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990.

Mahoney is a fellow and former president of the American Meteorological Society. He has served on several committees of the National Academy of Sciences and, in 1999, completed a term as co-chairman of the Academy’s Board on Atmospheric Science and Climate. He was sworn in to his current position on April 2, 2002, after confirmation by the United States Senate.