Lubchenco and Holdren officially join Obama’s team

24 March 2009 | News story

New administration welcomes two important allies for the environmental community

Last week the US Senate confirmed the nominations of Dr. Jane Lubchenco as the Administrator of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Undersecretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Dr. John P. Holdren as the Director of Science and Technology Policy in the Executive Office of the President. Dr. Holdren will also serve as co-chair for the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.

“IUCN has had the pleasure of working with Dr Lubchenco for a number of years,” reveals Scott Hajost, Executive Director of IUCN US. He, and Tom Laughlin, Deputy Head of the IUCN Global Marine Program said “We extend our heart-felt congratulations to both nominees on their official confirmation and look forward to working with them in advancing the understanding of climate change, biodiversity and marine ecosystem-based management.”

Dr. Lubchenco, who served as a Senior Advisor with IUCN’s World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) Marine, is one of the nation’s leading marine biologists. She is a former member of the National Science Board, past president of AAAS, the International Council for Science (ICSU), and the Ecological Society of America, and a MacArthur Fellow. Not only is Lubchenco the first marine ecologist to lead NOAA, but she is also the first woman to serve as administrator to the nation’s top science agency for climate, oceans, and the atmosphere.

Upon her confirmation, Dr. Lubchenco stated, "I'm deeply honored to have the opportunity to serve in the Obama administration and to work toward sustainable use of our planet. NOAA will play a central role in addressing many of the pressing challenges of our time – stabilizing the climate and adapting to a climate-changed world, restoring ocean health and coastal vitality, creating green jobs and revitalizing the economy, and providing Americans with critical information about the weather, weather-related disasters, and climate change."

Prior to joining the administration, Dr. Holdren was the Teresa and John Heinz Professor of Environmental Policy and Director of the Program on Science, Technology, and Public Policy in the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. He was also Professor of Environmental Science and Public Policy in Harvard's Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences and President and Director of the Woods Hole Research Center. A past president of AAAS, a MacArthur Fellow and one of the world’s leading experts on energy, Holdren will be another important ally in the new administration on climate, the environment and the role of science.