September 23, 2008
Retired Navy Vice Admiral Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Jr., Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator, today announced his resignation, effective Oct. 31. Lautenbacher served as NOAA’s eighth Administrator for nearly seven years.
Under Lautenbacher’s leadership, NOAA was instrumental in the creation of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, the second largest area in the world dedicated to marine preservation. Lautenbacher contributed to the President’s landmark Ocean Initiative and worked with Congress to pass the Magnuson-Stevens Act reauthorization, which requires overfishing end by 2011.
In the international arena, Lautenbacher has led U.S. efforts to create a Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), an effort that has been joined by more than 70 countries and 50 international organizations. Following the disastrous Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004, Lautenbacher led the development of a tsunami warning system in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and pushed for better warning capabilities in the Indian Ocean.
“I am most grateful for your leadership and offer my heartfelt thanks and appreciation to you and as well to NOAA’s dedicated career force that has made all of these and many more achievements possible,” Lautenbacher said in a letter to President Bush. “While I have both enjoyed my tenure and been proud to serve, it is time to make room for those who will follow and build on the legacy of NOAA created by this Administration.”
Other significant accomplishments during Lautenbacher’s tenure include:
NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources.