Events & Media

Former NOAA Leader to Deliver Keynote Address
at Bren School's 2013 Commencement

The 2013 Bren School Commencement keynote address will be dilvered by Dr. Jane Lubchenco, who served as Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) from 2009-2013. The event will begin at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, June 14.

Dr. Jane Lubchenco


A marine ecologist and environmental scientist by training, with expertise in oceans, climate change, and interactions between the environment and human well-being, Dr. Lubchenco was nominated by President Obama in December 2008 as part of his “Science Dream Team.” For her senate confirmation hearing, Senator Ron Wyden described her to his senate colleagues as “the bionic woman of good science.”

Under her leadership, NOAA focused on restoring fisheries to sustainability and profitability, restoring oceans and coasts to a healthy state, protecting marine mammals and endangered species, ensuring continuity of the nation’s weather and other environmental satellites, developing a “Weather-Ready Nation,” promoting climate science and delivering climate information and services to inform understanding and adaptation, strengthening science and ensuring scientific integrity at NOAA, and delivering the highest-quality science, services and stewardship possible.

Her numerous awards include a MacArthur “genius” award, 18 honorary doctorates, the Heinz Award for the Environment, AAAS’s Public Understanding of Science and Technology Award, the Zayed International Prize for the Environment, the Blue Planet Prize, and the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Ecology and Conservation Biology. She was named “2010 Newsmaker of the Year” by the scientific journal Nature and received the U.S. Coast Guard’s Public Service Award, the highest honor given to a civilian.

Dr. Lubchenco is one of the most highly cited ecologists in the world, and eight of her publications are recognized as “Science Citation Classics.” Currently the Mimi and Peter Haas Distinguished Visitor in Public Service at Stanford University, Dr. Lubchenco received her BA in biology from Colorado College, her MS in zoology from the University of Washington, and her PhD in ecology from Harvard University. She served on the faculties at Harvard University from 1975-1977 and Oregon State University from 1977­ until her appointment as NOAA administrator in 2009.

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 Academy of Sciences for the Developing World, Europe, and Chile. She served as president of the American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS), the International Council for Science (ICSU), and the Ecological Society of America, and spent ten years on the National Science Board. She has served on numerous National Academy of Sciences panels, including a study on “Policy Implications of Global Warming” under the administration of George H. W. Bush. She 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 passionate about promoting the discovery, communication, and use of scientific knowledge in policy and management. She is recognized for promoting the concept of a “scientists’ social contract” calling for scientists to pursue knowledge that is relevant to society’s most pressing problems, and to do so with transparency, honesty, and humility. She co-founded a research consortium, PISCO, that studies the near-shore ocean along the coasts of Oregon and California, and three other organizations – The Leopold Leadership Program, the Communication Partnership for Science and the Sea (COMPASS), and Climate Central – that enhance communication of scientific knowledge to the public, policy makers, media and industry.