Directors of the National Science Foundation, U.S. Geological Survey, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Resigning Their Positions

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Publication date: 
12 February 2013


National Science Foundation Director Subra Suresh, U.S. Geological Survey Director Marcia McNutt and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Administrator Jane Lubchenco are leaving their positions.

Suresh announced on February 5 that he will leave NSF at the end of March to become president of Carnegie Mellon University. Suresh came to the foundation from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and was confirmed by the Senate in October 2010 for a six year term. Commenting on this announcement, Office of Science and Technology Policy Director John Holdren stated “Subra has made critical contributions to a broad range of science and technology priorities, including expanding federal investments in fundamental research, accelerating the commercialization of university research, and strengthening our scientific collaborations with partners around the world.”

McNutt will be leaving on February 15. In her January message to USFS staff, she explained “If it just weren’t for the fact that this job is more than 2,000 miles away from my family and my home, I would be pleased to stay on as long as I was invited to do so.” McNutt came to USGS in October 2009 from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute where she served as president and chief executive officer. She was the president of the American Geophysical Union, an AIP Member Society, from 2000-2002. In her letter she noted “A committee of the National Academy is poised to move on making recommendations for my successor.”

Also leaving at the end of this month is Jane Lubchenco, who announced her departure from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in December. She has served as under secretary of commerce for oceans and director of NOAA since March 2009. In her letter to NOAA staff, she stated “I write to let you know that I have decided to return to my family and academia at the end of February.” Before starting her service in Washington Lubchenco co-founded three organizations “to communicate scientific knowledge to the public, policy makers, media and industry” and a research consortium.

Successors to all three positions will require Senate confirmation.