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Kathryn Sullivan confirmed as NOAA administrator

Kathryn Sullivan, NOAA Administrator
Kathryn Sullivan, Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (Photo courtesy USDA, via Wikimedia Commons.)

March 7, 2014 | In a news release dated March 6, NOAA announced that oceanographer and astronaut Kathryn Sullivan has been confirmed by the Senate as the new Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. She has been Acting Administrator since Jane Lubchenco stepped down last year.

Her community service includes terms on the National Science Board and leadership within the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

From the NOAA news release:

Sullivan’s expertise spans the frontiers of space and sea. An accomplished oceanographer, she was appointed NOAA’s chief scientist in 1993, where she oversaw a research and technology portfolio that included fisheries biology, climate change, satellite instrumentation and marine biodiversity.

Following her first appointment at NOAA, she served a decade as president and CEO of the Center of Science and Industry (COSI) in Columbus, Ohio, one of the nation's leading science museums. She was then the inaugural director of the Battelle Center for Mathematics and Science Education Policy in the John Glenn School of Public Affairs at Ohio State University.

Sullivan was one of the first six women selected to join the NASA astronaut corps in 1978 and holds the distinction of being the first American woman to walk in space. She flew on three shuttle missions during her 15-year tenure, including the mission that deployed the Hubble Space Telescope. Sullivan has also served on the National Science Board (2004-2010) and as an oceanographer in the U.S. Navy Reserve (1988-2006).

Sullivan holds a bachelor's degree in earth sciences from the University of California at Santa Cruz and a doctorate in geology from Dalhousie University in Canada.

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