New Assistant Administrator for NOAA Ocean Service 

Lubchenco Names Kennedy Permanent NOS Chief

January 24, 2011

David Kennedy, NOAA assistant administrator for the National Ocean Service.

David Kennedy, NOAA assistant administrator for the National Ocean Service.

High resolution (Credit: NOAA)

David Kennedy has been named NOAA assistant administrator for the National Ocean Service effective immediately. He has served in an acting capacity since January 2010 when John Dunnigan was named a senior policy advisor to the NOAA administrator.  The announcement was made today by under secretary of commerce and NOAA administrator Dr. Jane Lubchenco.

“David has served both NOAA and the nation exceptionally well in his NOAA career, and in particular over the past nine months as the overall NOAA response coordinator for the  BP/Deepwater Horizon oil spill response,” said Lubchenco. “His overall experience, coupled with a leadership approach that promotes teamwork to effectively deal with issues are important attributes as we face tremendous challenges in the ocean and coastal environment.  I am delighted he has agreed to fill this important position.”

“I am both honored and pleased to accept this appointment,” said Kennedy. “The National Ocean Service is made up of highly dedicated, enthusiastic and extremely knowledgeable professionals. Over the past few months I have been able to see them directly in action. The Ocean Service is a diverse organization with a wide range of responsibilities involving scientific research, hazmat response and restoration, coastal and resource management and now the center of the national ocean policy, coastal and marine spatial planning. With NOS being the lead for NOAA’s coastal goal their synergy will be extremely important as we move forward.”

Kennedy, a 22-year NOAA career employee, was previously director of NOAA’s Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management (OCRM). Included in OCRM’s responsibilities are federal consistency, coordination with state and local coastal zone management programs and the National Estuarine Research Reserves System, the new National System of Marine Protected Areas, and the land acquisition grant program, Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program.

He previously served as director of NOAA's Office of Response and Restoration where he led a multi-disciplinary program to reduce risks to coastal and marine resources from environmental threats, including oil and chemical spills and hazardous waste sites. His duties also included overseeing the Pribilof Islands Remediation and Land Transfer Project, NOAA’s marine debris, coral reef conservation, and emergency response programs.

Kennedy has more than 20 years of experience leading hazardous materials management and response efforts, including coordinating federal scientific response to more than 100 oil and chemical spill incidents, including the Argo Merchant, Amoco Cadiz, IXTOC I oil-well blowout, Presidente Rivera, World Prodigy, and Exxon Valdez. Prior to 1976, Kennedy was director of the spilled oil research team at the University of Alaska Geophysical Institute.

In October 2009, Kennedy’s leadership, innovation, and vision were recognized with a prestigious Presidential Rank Award. And in November 2009, he was recognized in a group award for strong leadership and innovation leading to the completion of the environmental cleanup and historical preservation of the Pribilof Islands.

Kennedy is a native of Oskaloosa, Iowa, and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in anthropology from the University of Northern Colorado. He and his wife, Gini, reside in Capitol Hill in Washington D.C.

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