Craig McLean, deputy assistant administrator for NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR), has been selected to head the office, which is responsible for NOAA’s research enterprise, including laboratories and programs across the country, NOAA Administrator Kathryn Sullivan, Ph.D, announced.
Prior to this position, McLean served as deputy assistant administrator for OAR’s Programs and Administration, as executive officer of the National Ocean Service, and was the founding director of NOAA's Office of Ocean Exploration. McLean served in uniform for nearly 25 years, retiring from NOAA's Commissioned Corps in the grade of captain. He served aboard hydrographic, oceanographic and fisheries research ships.
McLean is also an attorney and has practiced marine resource law for NOAA. He has been awarded the Department of Commerce Silver and Bronze Medals, the NOAA Corps Commendation Medal and Special Achievement Medal. He is a frequent speaker on ocean related subjects, drawing on his diverse NOAA career experience in fisheries, coastal and marine area management, directing research, law and both surface and submerged marine operations. He is a fellow of the Explorers Club and of the Marine Technology Society and a past-president and chairman of the Sea-Space Symposium.
“Our scientific and research activities are critical to the products and services we provide to millions of Americans every day,” said Sullivan. “Craig has been part of the NOAA family for more than three decades and is passionate about our mission and public service. His leadership and management expertise will serve our team well as we strive to provide science-based data and information to build community resilience against natural disasters and other long-term changes.”