Lubchenco retiring from NOAA post
By Christina Williams
Sustainable Business Oregon editor
Jane Lubchenco was named under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and administrator of NOAA. She was nominated by President Barack Obama in 2008.
Oregonian Jane Lubchenco announced this week she will step down from her post as the administrator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration at the end of February.
In an email from Lubchenco, a former professor at Oregon State University, published in the Washington Post, she indicates her plan to return to academia. She joined NOAA in 2009.
"As many of you know, my home and family are on the West Coast," Lubchenco wrote in the email. "I’m deeply grateful for the support and love of my family, but as wonderful as Skype is for staying in touch, it is not a viable long-term arrangement!"
Lubchenco's tenure at NOAA was praised by conservationists including the Ocean Conservancy which issued a statement Thursday calling her a "steadfast champion of science."
"As the head of NOAA, she has led a forward-looking agency determined to preserve the ocean for generations to come," said Janis Searles Jones, interim president and CEO of the conservancy in the statement. "We are confident she will remain a strong voice for science and conservation."
Congresswoman Susan Bonamici, D-Ore., also issued a statement saying: "As a leader in the ecology and the study of how the world’s oceans impact our global climate, Dr. Lubchenco brought crucial scientific expertise to this important agency — including her emphasis on programs like salmon habitat restoration and marine debris mitigation that are especially important to Northwest Oregon. She also played a key role in bringing the NOAA Pacific Marine Operations Center to Newport, which created improved opportunities for NOAA researchers while giving an enormous boost to our state economy. Although Dr. Lubchenco’s contributions at NOAA will be sorely missed, I am excited to welcome her home to Oregon and look forward to her continuing work on marine ecology.”
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