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U.S. Census Bureau's Innovation Measurement Initiative 
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Building Smart Communities for the Future


Dr. Christopher Austin, National Institutes of HealthMr. Jay Benforado, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Dr. Jason Boehm, National Institute Standards & TechnologyDr. Thomas Christian, Air Force Research Laboratory
Dr. Bruce Darling, National Research Council Dr. Patricia Dehmer, U.S. Department of Energy 
Dr. Stephen Dennis, Department of Homeland Security Mr. Robert Detrick, Office of Oceanic & Atmospheric Research 
Dr. Steven Fine, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Mr. James Hinchman, National Research Council 
Ms. Cynthia Hope, FDP Chair, University of Alabama Mr. Karl Koster, UIDP President, MIT 
Mr. Andrew Reynolds, U.S. Department of State Dr. Lawrence Schuette, Office of Naval Research 
LTC Bull Holland, Army Research LaboratoryDr. Robin Staffin, U.S. Department of Defense 
Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, National Science FoundationDr. Neil Thakur, National Institutes of Health


Council Associate - Christopher AustinDr. Christopher P. Austin is director of the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Austin leads the Center’s work to improve the translation of observations in the laboratory, clinic and community into interventions that reach and benefit patients — from diagnostics and therapeutics to medical procedures and behavioral changes. Under his direction, NCATS researchers and collaborators are developing new technologies, resources and collaborative research models; demonstrating their usefulness; and disseminating the data, analysis and methodologies for use by the worldwide research community.

Austin’s career has spanned the spectrum of translational research in the public and private sectors. He joined NIH in 2002 as the senior advisor to the director for translational research at the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), where he was responsible for conceptualizing and implementing research programs to derive scientific insights and therapeutic benefits from the results of the newly completed Human Genome Project. While at NHGRI, Austin founded and directed the NIH Chemical Genomics Center (now the NCATS Chemical Genomics Center), Therapeutics for Rare and Neglected Diseases program, Toxicology in the 21st Century initiative, and NIH Center for Translational Therapeutics. When NCATS launched in late 2011, Austin became the inaugural director of the Center’s Division of Pre-Clinical Innovation, and then was appointed as the NCATS director in 2012. Before joining NIH, Austin worked at the pharmaceutical company Merck, where he directed programs on genome-based discovery of novel targets and drugs, with a particular focus on treatments for schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Austin is trained as a clinician and geneticist, and he is a member of the National Academy of Medicine, formerly the Institute of Medicine. He earned an M.D. from Harvard Medical School and an A.B. summa cum laude in biology from Princeton University. He completed a research fellowship in developmental neurogenetics at Harvard, studying genetic and environmental influences on stem cell fate determination. Austin also trained in internal medicine and neurology at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, after which he practiced medicine in academic and community hospitals, providing primary care in urban settings and in rural Alaska and Africa.

Jay Benforado Mr. Jay Benforado is a senior executive in the USEPA’s Office of Research and Development.  As Deputy Chief Innovation Officer, he encourages new approaches to sustainability, including a competitive program that provides internal awards to EPA scientists for high-risk, high-reward research – from sustainable alternatives to toxic chemicals to net zero approaches for water, waste and energy in communities.  Other innovation activities include challenges and prizes, development of real-time environmental sensors for air and water pollution, and using citizen science to empower communities.   Previous positions at EPA include Director of the National Center for Environmental Innovation and Deputy Associate Administrator for Policy, Economics and Innovation in the Office of the EPA Administrator. 



Jason BoehmDr. Jason Boehm joined the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in September 2006 as a policy analyst in the Program Office in the Office of the Director at NIST. As a policy analyst Dr. Boehm was responsible for providing objective analysis and evaluation to the Director of NIST on a portfolio of issues related to the biological sciences, homeland security, and programs that enhance innovation and competitiveness, in support of NIST strategic planning and budget development. Dr. Boehm came to NIST from the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), Executive Office of the President, where he was responsible for consultation, analysis, and policy development regarding science and technology related to multiple issues of homeland and national security including the development of medical and non-medical countermeasures against WMD, domestic nuclear defense, engineered threats and emerging infectious diseases, and biological and chemical agent decontamination, nuclear defense and detection, international collaborations on homeland security-related S&T, and a number of other issues. 

Dr. Boehm originally joined OSTP as a AAAS/NTI Fellow in Global Security, an award that provided him the opportunity to work anywhere within the U.S. government on issues related to biological terrorism. Prior to joining the federal government Dr. Boehm was involved in cancer research at Cornell University, where he led a team of researchers studying the role of the cellular protein tissue transglutaminase in cell survival and tumorigenesis. Dr. Boehm received his Ph.D. in 2000 from the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Eppley Institute for Cancer Research, where he studied the role of receptor tyrosine kinase signaling in cell survival.

Thomas ChristianDr. Thomas F. Christian, Jr., a member of the Senior Executive Service, currently serves as Director for the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), where he guides the management of the entire basic research investment for the Air Force. Dr. Christian leads a staff of 200 scientists, engineers and administrators in Arlington, Va., and foreign technology offices in London, Tokyo and Santiago, Chile. Each year, AFOSR selects, sponsors and manages revolutionary basic research that impacts the future Air Force. AFOSR interacts with leading scientists and engineers throughout the world to identify breakthrough opportunities; actively manages a $510 million investment portfolio encompassing the best of these opportunities; and transitions the resulting discoveries to other components of the Air Force Research Laboratory, to defense industries and to other federal agencies. The office's annual investment in basic research is distributed among over 200 leading academic institutions worldwide, 100 industry-based contracts, and more than 250 internal AFRL research efforts.

Dr. Christian entered federal service in 1968 as an aerospace engineer at the Warner Robins Air Materiel Area, Ga., where he designed depot structural repairs to C-130 and C-141 aircraft returning from Southeast Asia. Following completion of his doctoral research in 1973, he worked in both the nuclear power and manufacturing industries. In 1980, he re-entered federal service at the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center, establishing an organic durability and damage tolerance analysis capability for the C-130, C-141 and F-15 weapon systems. Dr. Christian became the technical adviser for the System Program Management Division and served on several national technical committees of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

As Chief Engineer for the Special Operations Forces System Program Office, he managed major modifications to the AC-130H and MH-53J weapon systems and a joint MH-60G flight test program with the Australian Defense Forces. He also served as Director of the 402nd Software Maintenance Group. Dr. Christian moved to the Aeronautical Systems Center at Wright-Patterson AFB, where he became the Director of Engineering for the Agile Combat Support Systems Wing. He provided systems engineering direction for aging aircraft, combat electronics, life support, propulsion and simulator systems with an annual budget of $3 billion. He then became a Senior Level executive as the Technical Adviser, Systems Engineering, at the Aeronautical Systems Center, where he provided technical oversight and advice to the highest Air Force and government officials concerning the $11 billion aeronautical enterprise's annual acquisitions. He then went on to become the Director at the Air Force Center for Systems Engineering, Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio

Prior to his current position, Dr. Christian served as the Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary (Science, Technology, and Engineering) responsible for assisting the DAS(ST&E) in development and formulation of Air Force Science, Technology, and Engineering strategy and policy spanning systems engineering; environmental safety and occupational health; industrial preparedness; and functional management of more than 14,000 military and civilian scientists and engineers.

Bruce DarlingDr. Bruce Darling has served as Executive Officer of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and the National Research Council (NRC) since July 2012

Prior to joining the Academy, Darling served from 1996 to 2012 as vice president, senior vice president and executive vice president of the University of California system. In fulfilling those roles, he was responsible for: acquisition of the University's state-funded budget; state and federal government relations; communications with the news media and public; alumni relations; private fundraising; overseeing the human resources and benefits office, including the University’s $56 billion pension plan; the internal audit office; integrating strategic and operational matters with the University's Board of Regents; and management oversight of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

He was co-chair with the University of California (UC) Provost of the UC Long Range Guidance Team that provided strategic guidance to the UC President and Board of Regents on future goals, objectives and strategies for the University. He was also co-chair with a UC Regent of the Eligibility and Admissions Study Group, which recommended to the UC President and Board of Regents changes to strengthen the University’s undergraduate admissions policies and practices. From 1980 to 1996, he held positions at the University of California San Diego, including as Vice Chancellor and President of the UC San Diego Foundation. From 1974 to 1980, he worked at the National Science Foundation, including as special assistant to the NSF Director.

Darling is a member of the Board of Directors of the California Council on Science and Technology. He was a member of an external advisory committee to advise the National Science Foundation on the Re-competition of Major Research Facilities, and served on the Dean’s Advisory Board for UC Santa Barbara’s Donald Bren School for Environmental Science and Management. He was appointed, by the Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court, as a member of the California Commission for Impartial Courts. And he was co-chair of the 2002 and 2004 California education bond campaigns that secured voter approval for $25 billion in new expenditures for facilities construction and modernization at California's public schools, colleges and universities.

He has been recognized as a Founding Father of the San Diego Supercomputer Center and as a Fellow of  the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is a recipient of the University of California Presidential Medal, the UC San Diego Foundation Civis Universitatis Award, the National Science Foundation Commendation for Notable Service, and the Rod Rose Award for the most outstanding paper published in the Journal of the Society of Research Administrators.

Darling graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of California, Los Angeles, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, Pi Gamma Mu, Alpha Mu Gamma and Sigma Delta Pi national academic honors societies. He speaks Spanish and Portuguese, having attended elementary and secondary school in South America and the Caribbean. 

Patricia DehmerDr. Patricia M. Dehmer is the Deputy Director for Science Programs in the Office of Science at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). In this capacity, Dr. Dehmer is the senior career science official in the Office of Science, which is third largest Federal sponsor of basic research in the United States, the primary supporter of the physical sciences in the U.S., and one of the premier science organizations in the world.  As Deputy Director for Science Programs, Dr. Dehmer provides scientific and management oversight for the six science programs of the Office of Science (basic energy sciences, biological and environmental research, fusion energy sciences, advanced scientific computing research, high energy physics, and nuclear physics), for workforce development for teachers and scientists, and for construction project assessment. The Office of Science supports research at 300 colleges and universities nationwide, at DOE laboratories, and at other private institutions.  

From 1995 to 2007, Dr. Dehmer served as the Director of the Office of Basic Energy Sciences (BES) in the Office of Science. Prior to coming to DOE, she was senior scientist at Argonne National Laboratory where she led research activities in experimental atomic, molecular, and optical physics; chemical physics; and multiphoton processes. She has published more than 125 refereed articles. As director of BES, Dehmer manages a $1.4 billion portfolio of research in condensed matter and materials physics, chemistry, geosciences and biosciences and also the nation's largest suite of user facilities for x-ray, neutron and electron-beam scattering. Included in this suite are the new Spallation Neutron Source and the Linac Coherent Light Source, a short wavelength free electron laser, which is still in construction. Dr. Dehmer was honored with the Meritorious Presidential Executive Rank Award (2000) and the Distinguished Presidential Executive Rank Award (2003) for her exemplary federal service. Dr. Dehmer received the Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from the University of Illinois in 1967 and the Ph.D. degree in Chemical Physics from the University of Chicago in 1972.
Dr. Stephen Dennis


Robert DetrickMr. Robert Detrick is the Assistant Administrator (AA) of NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) and chair of the NOAA Research Council. He is responsible for daily operations and administration of NOAA’s research enterprise including a network of research laboratories and academic partnerships, and the execution of NOAA programs including the Climate program, National Sea Grant, and Ocean Exploration. He joined NOAA in February 2012. 

A marine geophysicist, Dr. Detrick has extensive experience in marine science, technology, and marine operations. Before joining NOAA, Dr. Detrick was Director of the National Science Foundation’s Division of Earth Sciences. He joined NSF in 2008 following more than 20 years at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), where he was a Senior Scientist and Vice President for Marine Facilities and Operations.

Dr. Detrick’s research focused on aspects of marine geology.  He lists more than 100 scientific publications on the seismic structure of mid-ocean ridges and oceanic crust, the size, depth, and properties of ridge crest magma chambers; and the nature of mantle flow beneath mid-ocean ridges and relationship to ridge segmentation and axial topography.

A Fellow of the American Geophysical Union, Detrick received the A. G. Huntsman Medal in 1996 which honors “marine scientists who have had and continue to have a significant influence on the course of marine scientific thought.” 

He has participated in more than 30 major oceanographic cruises, 18 as Chief Scientist or Co-chief Scientist. He was Co-principal Investigator for WHOI's ocean bottom seismic instrumentation laboratory which builds and operates ocean bottom seismometers for the U.S. National Ocean Bottom Seismic Instrumentation Pool. He was Senior Principal Investigator on WHOI’s NSF-funded project to build a replacement for WHOI's Deep Sea Research Vessel Alvin.  Dr. Detrick has served on and chaired committees and panels for various international and national organizations including the RIDGE Steering Committee (Chair from 1992-1995), the Joint Oceanographic Institutions for Deep Earth Sampling (JOIDES) Executive Committee of the Ocean Drilling Program (Chair from 1996-1998) and the NSF Geosciences Advisory Committee (Chair 2004-2005). He was a member of the Board of Governors of Joint Oceanographic Institutions (JOI) (1995-2007) and chaired the JOI Board from 2002-2004. He is a Past President of AGU's Tectonophysics Section and is chair of the International Continental Drilling Program Assembly of Governors.

He holds a bachelor's degree in geology and physics from Lehigh University (1971), a master’s degree from the University of California, San Diego in marine geology (1974), and a doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology/WHOI Joint Program in Oceanography (1978). A native of Pittsburgh, Pa., he lives on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.  


Steven FineDr. Steven Fine is Deputy Assistant Administrator for Laboratories and Cooperative Institutes and Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator for Programs and Administration for NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR), assuming that role in 2013. He oversees OAR’s seven research laboratories, which conduct research and development on a wide range of oceanic, atmospheric, and Great Lakes topics. He also oversees NOAA’s Cooperative Institute Program, Science Advisory Board, and Technology Partnerships Offices, which respectively coordinate interactions with NOAA’s cooperative institutes, commercial technology development partners, and Science Advisory Board. As Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator for Programs and Administration, he is responsible for daily operations and administration of NOAA's research enterprise, and the execution of NOAA programs including the Climate program, the National Sea Grant Program, Ocean Exploration and Research, and Weather and Air Quality research.

Dr. Fine concurrently serves as the Director of NOAA’s Air Resources Laboratory (ARL), which he has led since 2007. ARL conducts research and development in the areas of atmospheric transport and dispersion, air quality, climate, and the atmospheric boundary layer. Prior becoming ARL Director, Dr. Fine worked in OAR supporting planning for NOAA’s air quality activities.

Since joining NOAA in 2000, Dr. Fine has enjoyed working on a number of long- and short-term assignments. Through an interagency agreement, he worked at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for several years, where he led the development of modeling tools to support cross-media (e.g., air-water-land) assessments and managed EPA’s Information Technology Research and Development Program. Short-term assignments included leading NOAA’s atmospheric dispersion activities in response to the Fukushima nuclear incident; leading the planning for improved hurricane and storm surge forecasting and resilience tools; assisting with the acquisition of a new radar system for NOAA’s hurricane hunter jet; and contributing to the planning for a NOAA-wide integrated mercury assessment project.

Dr. Fine has B.S. degrees in Meteorology and Computer Science, a Master’s Degree in Computer Science, and a PhD in Meteorology, all from The Pennsylvania State University. 


James HinchmanMr. James F. Hinchman is the Deputy Executive Officer of the National Academy of Sciences and Deputy Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer of the National Research Council at the National Academies, a private non-profit organization that also includes the National Academy of Engineering and the Institute of Medicine.  He has been a member of the National Academies staff since May of 1999 and was its General Counsel before assuming his current position.

At the time of his appointment to the National Academies staff, Mr. Hinchman was the Principal Assistant Comptroller General in the U.S. General Accounting Office. He joined the staff of GAO in 1985, and was General Counsel of the agency before becoming Principal Assistant Comptroller General in 1994.  From 1996 to 1998, he was the Acting Comptroller General of the United States.

Prior to joining GAO, Mr. Hinchman worked for 15 years in the executive branch of the federal government in positions of increasing responsibility.  He was an Associate General Counsel in the Department of Agriculture, a Deputy Associate Director in the Office of Management and Budget, and Associate General Counsel of the former Department of Health, Education and Welfare, where he began his federal career in 1971. Mr. Hinchman received his A.B. degree with honors from Harvard College in 1963 and his J.D. degree with honors from Harvard Law School in 1970.  While in law school, he was a member of the Board of Editors of the Harvard Law Review.  He is a member of the bar in Massachusetts and the District of Columbia.  He served in the United States Navy from 1963 to 1967.

Cindy HopeMs. Cynthia (Cindy) Hope (Chair, Federal Demonstration Partnership) is Assistant Vice President for Research and Director of the Office for Sponsored Programs at The University of Alabama (UA) where her responsibilities include Contract and Grant Accounting, Sponsored Programs Administration (pre-award and non-financial post-award) and Cost Analysis.  Prior to coming to UA, Cindy worked for the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) in the areas of Costing, Grant and Contract Accounting and Financial Accounting and Reporting.  Cindy came to UAB from Coopers and Lybrand, now PricewaterhouseCoopers.  Cindy serves on the Board and the Costing Policies Committee of the Council on Governmental Relations and is a member of the NSF Advisory Committee for Business and Operations. She has served as a frequent presenter for the National Council of University Research Administrators and as a member of the faculty for the National Association of College and University Business Officers, Facilities and Administrative Cost Rate Workshop. Cindy is a CPA (inactive) and holds a BS degree in Accounting and a BA degree in Psychology.

Karl KosterMr. Karl Koster is the Executive Director of the MIT Office of Corporate Relations. The Office of Corporate Relations at MIT includes the Industrial Liaison Program, which celebrates 65 years of service to the Institute and its corporate partners in 2013.

In that capacity, Mr. Koster and his staff work with the senior administrative and faculty leadership of MIT, as well as senior corporate leaders, to develop and implement strategies for enhancing corporate involvement with the Institute. Most recently these efforts have included a set of systematic activities further integrating the MIT/Cambridge innovation eco-system into MIT’s global corporate and university networks. In addition, Mr. Koster has worked to identify and design a number of major international programs for MIT, which are characterized by the establishment of strong, programmatic linkages among universities, industry, and governments.

Mr. Koster graduated from Brown University with a B.A. in geology and economics in 1974, and received a M.S. from the MIT Sloan School of Management in 1980. At the Sloan School he concentrated in international business management and the management of technological innovation. Prior to returning to MIT, Mr. Koster worked as a management consultant in Europe, Latin America, and the United States on projects for private and public sector organizations.
Andrew ReynoldsMr. Andrew W. Reynolds is the Deputy S&T Adviser to the Secretary of State U.S. Department of State Since August 2000, Mr. Reynolds, a career civil servant, has served as Deputy and chief of staff for the Office of the Science and Technology Adviser to the Secretary of State (STAS), U.S. Department of State. The STAS leads efforts to augment S&T personnel and literacy at the Department, to strengthen outreach to the domestic and international S&T community, and to foster mid- to long-term strategic planning to address science, engineering and technology issues in foreign policy at State Department and within the U.S. government, including the defense and intelligence communities. 

Mr. Reynolds began his career in 1974 with Systems Sciences Incorporated, Washington, D.C., as a researcher for energy and public health issues. He joined the Federal Energy Agency in 1975 and, subsequently, the Energy Information Administration of the Department of Energy (DOE), where he specialized in electricity, nuclear power and energy supply and demand forecasting and analysis. From 1983-1986 Reynolds was posted in Paris as DOE Representative for Europe in the US Mission to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. He returned to Washington as Deputy Director for the DOE Office of International R&D Cooperation where he managed the U.S./U.S.S.R. Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy agreement. He is an expert on the Three Mile Island and Chernobyl accidents. 

Mr. Reynolds joined the State Department in 1990 as Deputy Director of the Office of Science and Technology Cooperation and, in 1994-96, served as S&T advisor to the U.S./Russia Cooperative Commission co-chaired by Vice President Al Gore and Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin. From October 1996 to August 2000, Reynolds was posted as Counselor for Environment, Science and Technology at the U.S. Embassy in Rome under a Limited Foreign Service appointment. During his career he has been regularly recognized for his performance and service, including with Meritorious and Superior Honor Awards from the Department of State. 

As an undergraduate, Mr. Reynolds combined international relations and pre-medical studies as a University Scholar at the University of Virginia, including coursework at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. He holds graduate degrees in energy technology management from George Washington University and strategic intelligence from the National Defense Intelligence College. Mr. Reynolds capably speaks and reads Spanish, Italian, French, and some German.
Lawrence SchuetteDr. Lawrence Schuette is the Director of Research at the Office of Naval Research (ONR) in Arlington, VA. As the senior civilian responsible for Research at ONR, he oversees the basic and applied research investments which increase fundamental knowledge, foster opportunities for breakthroughs and provide technology options for future naval capabilities and systems. 

Dr. Schuette entered the Senior Executive Service in July 2007. He started his career as a research scientist at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) working in the Acoustics, Information Technology and Tactical Electric Warfare Divisions. Prior to joining ONR, Dr. Schuette also served as head of the Innovative Systems Subgroup of the OSD Technical Joint Cross Service Group during the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC). He also served as Deputy Chief of the Joint IED Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) Laboratory Board and as a Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition. 

Dr. Schuette received his Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctorate degrees in Electrical Engineering from The Catholic University of America. He is a 2008-2009 MIT Center for International Studies Seminar XXI Fellow and a Level III Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA) S&T Manager. Dr. Schuette’s awards include the Secretary of Defense’s award for Exceptional Civilian Service, the Department of the Navy Superior Senior Service Award, the Department of the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award, the Naval Unit Commendation, the Naval Meritorious Unit Commendation and the American Red Cross Certificate of Extraordinary Personal Action.
LTC Bull Holland

Robin StaffinDr. Robin Staffin is Acting Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Laboratories and Basic Sciences for the U.S. Department of Defense. He was previously the Director for Basic Research in the Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Laboratories and Basic Sciences, where he determines policy and exercises oversight for science and technology programs of the military services and defense agencies in Budget Activity 1. He ensures that the long-term strategic direction of the Department's basic research program develops the fundamental science that underpins continued technological superiority of U.S. forces.

Previously, Dr. Staffin served as Associate Director of Science for High Energy Physics at the Department of Energy, and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Research and Development in DOE's Office of Defense Programs, where he managed the experimental facilities portfolio for the Nation’s Stockpile Stewardship program. During the period 1998-2001, he directly advised the Secretary of Energy, first as Senior Policy Advisor for Science and Technology, and later as Senior Policy Advisor for National Security. From 1993-1996, Dr. Staffin was Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy, with a primary focus on nuclear weapons policy, stockpile stewardship, and nonproliferation. Prior to entering government service, Dr. Staffin was a senior physicist at the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory in California. Dr. Staffin earned his bachelors degree in physics at MIT and his doctorate in theoretical particle physics at Stanford University.

Kathryn SullivanDr. Kathryn Sullivan was confirmed by the Senate as the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator on March 6, 2014, having served as Acting NOAA Administrator since February 28, 2013. She is a distinguished scientist, renowned astronaut and intrepid explorer.

Prior to her appointment as Acting Administrator, Dr. Sullivan held the position of Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Environmental Observation and Prediction and Deputy Administrator, and also performed the duties of NOAA's Chief Scientist, a vacant position. As Assistant Secretary, Dr. Sullivan played a central role in directing Administration and NOAA priority work in the areas of weather and water services, climate science and services, integrated mapping services and Earth-observing capabilities. She also provided agency-wide direction with regard to satellites, space weather, water, and ocean observations and forecasts to best serve American communities and businesses. As Deputy Administrator, she oversaw the smooth operation of the agency.

Dr. Sullivan is the United States Co-chair of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO), an intergovernmental body that is building a Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) to provide environmental intelligence relevant to societal needs.

Dr. Sullivan’s impressive expertise spans the frontiers of space and sea. An accomplished oceanographer, she was appointed NOAA’s Chief Scientist in 1993, where she oversaw a research and technology portfolio that included fisheries biology, climate change, satellite instrumentation and marine biodiversity.

She was the inaugural Director of the Battelle Center for Mathematics and Science Education Policy in the John Glenn School of Public Affairs at Ohio State University. Prior to joining Ohio State, she served a decade as President and CEO of the Center of Science and Industry (COSI) in Columbus, Ohio, one of the nation's leading science museums. Dr. Sullivan joined COSI after three years of service as Chief Scientist.

Dr. Sullivan was one of the first six women selected to join the NASA astronaut corps in 1978 and holds the distinction of being the first American woman to walk in space. She flew on three shuttle missions during her 15-year tenure, including the mission that deployed the Hubble Space Telescope. Dr. Sullivan has also served on the National Science Board (2004-2010) and as an oceanographer in the U.S. Navy Reserve (1988-2006). She holds a bachelor's degree in earth sciences from the University of California at Santa Cruz and a doctorate in geology from Dalhousie University in Canada.

Dr. Neil Thakur