Alan P. Leonardi, Ph.D.

Director, NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration & Research

Alan Leonardi leads a team responsible for providing direction to NOAA and the U.S. Department of Commerce in the field of ocean exploration, research, and advanced technology development. A key element in the Office of Ocean Exploration and Research’s portfolio is the expeditionary exploration activities, which combine the NOAA ship Okeanos Explorer and high-speed networks and infrastructure for live communications - including high-definition video of the seafloor - to scientists and other audiences ashore. It is the only federal program dedicated to systematic telepresence-enabled exploration of the world ocean.

A meteorologist and oceanographer, Leonardi has been with NOAA since 2003. Previous roles include Program Manager for NOAA’s Environmental Modeling Program; Deputy Director of Policy, Planning, and Evaluation within NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research; and Deputy Director of NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory.

Leonardi earned his undergraduate degree in meteorology from the University of Wisconsin - Madison, and his master’s and doctorate degrees in physical oceanography from the Florida State University.

Leonardi was awarded the Department of Commerce Silver Medal for his leadership efforts fostering a partnership with Google on the development and deployment of NOAA data and information in Google’s popular Google Earth platform.