Biden Taps Oregon State Professor To Lead NOAA, Montanan To Head Bureau Of Land Management

President Joe Biden Thursday nominated an Oregon State University professor and a former chief of staff to former Montana Gov. Steve Bullock to lead two key agencies – the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Bureau of Land Management.

The two Pacific Northwest residents were among 12 nominees named “to serve and further the Biden Administration’s commitment to a modern sustainable infrastructure and clean energy future.”

Rick Spinrad is the nominee for Under Secretary for Oceans and Atmosphere and Administrator, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce.

Spinrad is a Professor of Oceanography at Oregon State University, and a member of the Ocean Studies Board of the National Academies.  In 2016 he retired as Chief Scientist of NOAA, appointed by President Obama. He was the VP for Research at OSU, and was the head of NOAA’s Research Office and the National Ocean Service. He co-led the White House Committee developing the nation’s first set of ocean research priorities.

Spinrad was a Senior Executive with the US Navy, and was awarded the Distinguished Civilian Service Award (highest Navy civilian award), has held faculty appointments at three universities, and was President of Sea Tech, Inc. He also created the National Ocean Sciences Bowl, and was the U.S. representative to the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission.

Spinrad received Presidential Rank Awards from Presidents Bush and Obama, and is a Fellow of 4 professional societies. He holds degrees from The Johns Hopkins University and OSU.

Tracy Stone-Manning is the nominee for Director of the Bureau of Land Management, Department of Interior.

Stone-Manning has spent her career devoted to public service and conservation. As senior advisor for conservation policy at the National Wildlife Federation, she advocates for the wise stewardship of our nation’s lands and waters.  Before joining the Federation, she served as Montana Governor Bullock’s chief of staff, where she oversaw day-to-day operations of his cabinet and the state’s 11,000 employees. She stepped into that post after serving as the Director of the state’s Department of Environmental Quality, overseeing the state’s water, air, mining and remediation programs.

She served as a regional director and senior advisor to Senator Jon Tester during his first term, focusing on forestry issues. Early in her career, she led the Clark Fork Coalition, a regional conservation group, as it advocated successfully for Superfund cleanups that created thousands of jobs and revitalized a river. The group also co-owned and managed a cattle ranch in the heart of the Superfund site.

She lives in Missoula, Montana and holds a M.S. in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana and an B.A. from the University of Maryland.

The other “key climate and infrastructure administration nominations” are:

–Carlos Monje, Nominee for Under Secretary of Transportation for Policy, Department of Transportation

–Amit Bose, Nominee for Administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration, Department of Transportation

–Shalanda Baker, Nominee for Director of the Office of Minority Economic Impact, Department of Energy

–Asmeret Berhe, Nominee for Director of the Office of Science, Department of Energy

–Robert Hampshire, Nominee for Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology, Department of Transportation

–Monica Medina, Nominee for Assistant Secretary, Bureau and Oceans and International Environmental and Science Affairs, Department of State

–Bryan Newland, Nominee for Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs, Department of Interior

–Annie Petsonk, Nominee for Assistant Secretary for Aviation and International Affairs, Department of Transportation

–Frank Rose, Nominee for Principal Deputy Administrator for National Nuclear Security, Department of Energy

–Margaret Schaus, Nominee for Chief Financial Officer, National Aeronautics and Space Administration

More information about the nominees can be found at

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