Dr. Thomas J. Bogdan is the sixth president of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research. As a researcher, administrator, educator, and science advocate and entrepreneur, Bogdan leads UCAR in its mission of providing science in service to society through innovative partnerships with UCAR’s 77 member universities and 25 academic affiliates. For over 50 years, UCAR has served as a nexus for basic and applied research, outreach, education, and community stewardship of the atmospheric, oceanic, space, and related sciences.
A world authority on solar-terrestrial physics, Bogdan began his scientific training at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York, from which he graduated summa cum laude in 1979 with a degree in physics and mathematics. He earned a doctorate in physics from the University of Chicago in 1984, specializing in plasma astrophysics, and came to UCAR as a postdoctoral researcher in NCAR's High Altitude Observatory, where he investigated solar magnetic activity and magnetohydrodynamics. He has completed advanced training programs in leadership and business management from the Federal Executive Institute and E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Company.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Bogdan's work took him to Germany as a Visiting Gauss Professor at Göttingen University Observatory and then as a researcher at the Max Planck Institute. He returned to NCAR in 1995 to lead the High Altitude Observatory's Solar-Terrestrial Research Program; during this time, he also began developing and teaching graduate courses at the University of Colorado Boulder.
From 2001 to 2003, Bogdan served as the National Science Foundation's program director for solar-terrestrial physics in Washington, D.C., managing grant proposals totaling over $6 million per year. He was instrumental in developing NSF’s first bridged faculty program in the space sciences, which resulted in the creation of eight new tenure track faculty lines devoted to solar-terrestrial research and education at U.S. universities.
Bogdan returned to NCAR in 2003 to assume senior management positions as the acting director of the Advanced Study Program and the acting associate NCAR director for societal and environmental programs. In 2006, he left NCAR to join the Senior Executive Service and lead the country's civil operational space weather program, NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Program. As SWPP director, he represented the space weather enterprise across every affected sector of government and society, working with federal and commercial stakeholders at home and abroad. Under Bogdan’s leadership, the NWS’s National Centers for Environmental Prediction successfully transitioned the first numerical space weather prediction model into operations and increased its customer base six-fold between 2006 and 2012, when Bogdan left government service to rejoin UCAR.
Bogdan, who has published more than 100 scientific papers, is a fellow of the American Meteorological Society and the Royal Astronomical Society. He is an active member of numerous other scientific societies, including the American Astronomical Society, American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Geophysical Union, International Astronomical Union, Sigma Xi, National Defense Industry Association, and American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He works closely with the World Meteorological Organization as the U.S. point of contact for space weather issues and has chaired and served on numerous NSF, NASA, and National Research Council committees and panels that advise federal agencies and policymakers. Bogdan has extensive experience working with a wide variety of federal stakeholders and developing international and commercial partnerships in basic research as well as operational prediction.
As an administrator, Bogdan has extensive experience in the formulation and execution of complex plans, budgets, and priorities. An inspiring public speaker, he is a passionate advocate for the role of science in driving our global economic prosperity, safeguarding our national security, and bettering our society’s ability to cope with the changing world of the 21st century. He is deeply committed to UCAR’s mission and to the success of the organization, its member communities, and its many diverse programs.