Dr. Richard W. Spinrad

Chief Scientist, NOAA

Dr. Richard W. (Rick) Spinrad was appointed by President Obama as Chief Scientist of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in May 2014. An internationally recognized scientist and executive with more than 35 years of experience in government, the private sector, academia and a nongovernmental organization, Spinrad has extensive understanding of environmental research, management, and teaching. He served previously as vice president for research at Oregon State University, and was the head of NOAA's Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research and the National Ocean Service where he was a leader in the development of the nation’s firstever ocean research priorities strategy. As Technical Director to the Oceanographer of the U.S. Navy and Division Director at the U.S. Office of Naval Research he established priorities for the U.S. Navy investment in application of oceanographic and meteorological products to fleet operations. Dr. Spinrad was President of Sea Tech, Inc., and he served as executive director for research and education at the Consortium for Oceanographic Research and Education, Inc. (CORE, now the Consortium for Ocean Leadership). Spinrad has published extensively in preeminent peer-reviewed journals, was on the faculty at the U.S. Naval Academy, George Mason University, and Oregon State University. He has been awarded highest honors from three international professional societies, and has been recognized with the highest awards from the U.S. Government including two Presidential Rank Awards (from Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama), and the Distinguished Civilian Service Award from the U.S. Navy. Dr. Spinrad served as President of the Oceanography Society, and was elected President of the Marine Technology Society. He received a Chartered Marine Scientist certificate from the Institute of Marine Engineering Science and Technology in London, England. His B.A. in earth and planetary sciences is from The Johns Hopkins University and his M.S. and Ph.D. both in oceanography are from Oregon State University.