President Trump taps his picks to lead the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Army Corps of Engineers; other nominees confirmed

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October 11, 2017

Setting a new record by waiting longer than any other president to nominate a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) administrator, President Donald Trump officially announced his intent to nominate Barry Myers, CEO of AccuWeather, to lead the federal agency in charge of weather and climate predictions, ocean and coastal research, and fisheries management.  

Some observers note that nomination of Myers, a businessman from Pennsylvania, could steer NOAA in a new direction if he chooses to refocus the nation’s weather enterprise and incentivize more private-public partnerships. The White House underscores that Myers is one of the world's leading authorities on the use of weather information and has pioneered a decade of expansive growth for AccuWeather. While previous NOAA administrators had extensive scientific backgrounds, Myers’ academic background includes a bachelor’s degree in business administration and economics, a master's degree in business management and organizational behavior from Pennsylvania State University, and a Juris Doctor degree from Boston University. Another player in the private weather industry, Dr. Neil Jacobs, Chief Atmospheric Scientist for Panasonic Weather Solutions, was nominated on October 3 to be the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Environmental Observation and Prediction.

President Trump's pick to lead the Army Corps of Engineers has decades of experience with the agency. R.D. James, a self-employed farmer and a qualified civil engineer, who has served on the Mississippi River Commission since 1981. He was nominated by President Trump on October 5 to be Assistant Secretary of the Army, Civil Works.

The Senate has also confirmed a number of key agency nominees, including Stephen Censky for Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, and Ted McKinney for Undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs, both approved on October 3. Two days later, the Senate confirmed Walter Copan as Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology, and Rear Admiral Timothy Gallaudet as Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere.

Sources: E&E News, Library of Congress, White House Press Office, U.S. Senate