Biography of Dr. Jane Lubchenco

Dr. Jane Lubchenco has been the undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) since 2009. Nominated by President Barack Obama in December 2008 as part of his “Science Team,” she is a marine ecologist and environmental scientist by training, with expertise in oceans, climate change, and interactions between the environment and human well-being.

Dr. Jane Lubchenco received her B.A. in biology from Colorado College, her M.S. in zoology from the University of Washington, and her Ph.D. in ecology from Harvard University. Her academic career as a professor began at Harvard University (1975–1977) and continued at Oregon State University (1977–2009) until her appointment as NOAA administrator.

Dr. Lubchenco has served as president for the American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS), the International Council for Science, and the Ecological Society of America, and has been a board member for the National Science Board.

Dr. Lubchenco also has served on the National Academy of Sciences study Policy Implications of Global Warming under the administration of President George H.W. Bush. She has served on several commissions, including the Pew Oceans Commission, the Joint Oceans Commission Initiative, the Aspen Institute Arctic Commission, and the Council of Advisors for Google Ocean.

Dr. Lubchenco is one of the most highly cited ecologists in the world, and eight of her publications are recognized as Science Citation Classics. She is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences; the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; the American Philosophical Society; the Royal Society; and the academies of sciences for the Developing World, Europe and Asia, and Chile.

Dr. Lubchenco has received numerous awards including a MacArthur Fellows “genius award” and 14 honorary doctorates. She was named the 2010 Newsmaker of the Year by the scientific journal Nature.

Dr. Lubchenco cofounded three organizations—The Leopold Leadership Program, the Communication Partnership for Science and the Sea (COMPASS), and Climate Central—that aim to communicate scientific knowledge to the public, policy makers, media, and industry.