NOAA 2006-069
Contact: Frank Lepore
NOAA News Releases 2006
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Max Mayfield, long-time director of the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Fla., will retire at the end of the year after 34 years of federal service. Mayfield said he wishes to spend more time with his wife and family, which has been very limited during the last two record-setting hurricane seasons.

“I made this difficult decision knowing that the team here at the National Hurricane Center is the best there is,” said Mayfield. “They’re at the top of their game, and I’m confident whoever takes my place can count on the support of the most dedicated team in the hurricane forecasting business. The team’s performance during the last two years – certainly the busiest in my career – has been exemplary, and I am very proud of that… and them.”

“The entire nation will miss Max Mayfield’s extraordinary leadership, expertise and service when he takes his well-deserved retirement from the National Hurricane Center,” said Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez. “As a dedicated forecaster and a voice of calm during hurricane storm seasons, he helped save lives and property. We thank him and wish him well.”

Mayfield also said he’s given considerable notice to NOAA and National Weather Service leadership so they can begin the process of finding a successor and coordinate a seamless transition.

“I thank Max for his many years of service to America and for giving us this long-term notice,” said Vice Admiral Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Jr., U.S. Navy (Ret.), under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and noaa administrator. “Max is a national treasure… his calm, reassuring presence on TV has helped millions of Americans prepare for potentially deadly storms, and has helped saved countless lives,”

“Max will close out 34 years of exemplary service to the Federal government on a high note,” said Brigadier General D.L. Johnson U.S. Air Force (Ret.), assistant administrator for the National Weather Service. “Max is a hard act to follow, but we will work very hard over the next several months to find a suitable successor… one who shares his passion and dedication to the mission.”

In 2007 NOAA, an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, celebrates 200 years of science and service to the nation. Starting with the establishment of the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey by Thomas Jefferson in 1807, much of America’s scientific heritage is rooted in NOAA. The agency is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather- and climate-related events and information service delivery for transportation, and by providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners, more than 60 countries and the European Union to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts and protects.