At a Commerce Department ceremony in Washington, D.C., today James R. Mahoney
, was sworn in as the assistant secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere. In this capacity, he is a chief manager of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
(NOAA), the nation's top science agency for oceans and the atmosphere under its current administrator Vice Admiral Conrad C. Lautenbacher, USN (ret.). Commerce Secretary Don Evans administered
the oath of office.
"President Bush and I are very pleased to have Jim Mahoney on the NOAA team," said Commerce Secretary Don Evans. "His scientific and private industry experience will greatly benefit our mission to facilitate environmental stewardship and economic security."
NOAA manages the U.S. operational weather and environmental satellites, a fleet of research ships and aircraft, and 12 environmental research laboratories. It maintains a budget of more than $3.2 billion and 12,700 employees at posts in every U.S. state, at sea and many overseas locations. NOAA is home to one of the nation's seven uniformed services, the NOAA Corps.
"I am committed to supporting NOAA's highly important missions aimed at understanding, protecting and enhancing our ocean, coastal, fishery, atmospheric and climate resources," Mahoney said. "NOAA has the benefit of a large number of highly skilled scientific, technical and administrative personnel. I will do all I can to help enhance the careers of NOAA personnel and further improve NOAA's service to the nation and the world."
A native of Syracuse, N.Y., Mahoney has served in a broad range of educational, public and private positions. President of the American Meteorological Society from 1990-1991, he most recently served as president of Consulting and Ventures Group, which specializes in environmental consulting and hazardous waste remediation projects.
Mahoney received a doctorate in meteorology from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and joined the Faculty of Public Health at Harvard University.
He then co-founded Environmental Research & Technology, Inc., an environmental management company that grew to become the nation's largest environmental firm by the end of the 1970s. He was later a senior executive at Bechtel Group in San Francisco and International Technology Corporation in Los Angeles and Washington.