Speaker Biographies (in order of appearance)
Dr. Richard Spinrad, Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, and NOAA Administrator
Dr. Jane Lubchenco, Deputy Director for Climate and the Environment, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy
Dr. Vladimir Ryabinin, Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO and Assistant Director General of UNESCO
Dr. Robert Ballard, President of the Ocean Exploration Trust
Rolland Schmitten, Former NOAA Assistant Administrator for National Marine Fisheries Service, Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for International Affairs, and Former Chair, National Sea Grant Advisory Board
Rolland A. (Rollie) Schmitten has been a natural resources manager for 44 years, focusing on marine fish, shellfish, and mammals for the past 31 years. He has served as the Washington State Director of Fisheries and the National Marine Fisheries Service West Coast Regional Director for six western states. Upon moving to Washington, D.C. he became the Assistant Administrator/Director for the National Marine Fisheries Service; later the U.S. Department of Commerce Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Affairs in NOAA, and the National Director for NOAA Fisheries Office of Habitat Conservation. During his career he served four presidents with Presidential appointments as the U.S. Tuna Commissioner, U.S. Atlantic Salmon Commissioner, the Pacific and Alaska Fisheries Management Councils, and 12 years as the U.S. International Whaling Commissioner. His many awards and recognitions include: Presidential Merit Award, Trout Unlimited Washington Sportsman of the Year, Presidential award for outstanding achievement of a Vietnam veteran, and the Department of Transportation (USCG) Commandant’s Award for Meritorious Public Service.
In 2005, Mr. Schmitten retired and moved back to Sockeye Point Lodge in Washington State where he continues to work on marine and fresh water resource issues. He is currently serving his 6th year as a Fish and Wildlife Commissioner in Washington State.
Rear Admiral William Stubblefield, Former Director of NOAA Office of Marine and Aviation Operations and NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps
Rear Admiral Stubblefield served 37 years of uniformed service with the Navy and NOAA. In NOAA, he oversaw aircraft and ships as well as the Commissioned Officers Corps. Rear Admiral Stubblefield commanded research ships which sailed over much of the world's oceans, including the Arctic and Antarctica and held numerous senior research and operational positions in both the Navy and NOAA. He is the recipient of the Department of Commerce Silver Medal and the Reserve Officers' Association's Recognition of Exemplary Service. Dr. Stubblefield has a PhD in geological oceanography from Texas A&M University and has authored over 30 professional papers. Following retirement from NOAA, he served on the national Board of Directors of the Military Officers Association of America and the Advisory Board for the National Sea Grant College Association.
He and his wife, Bonnie, reside in Berkeley County, WV, where he serves/served on numerous Boards, including the President of Berkeley County Commission (elected), Board of Governors for a local college, Board of Directors for the Hospice of Eastern Panhandle of WV, and Founder and President of Berkeley Community Pride, an anti-litter organization. He and Bonnie sponsor the Stubblefield Institute for Civility in Political Discourse at Shepherd University. Commissioner Stubblefield is the recipient of Berkeley County’s Citizen of the Year for 2022.
Ko Barrett, NOAA Senior Advisor for Climate
Dr. Robin Webb, Director of NOAA Physical Sciences Laboratory
RDML Chad Cary, Deputy Director for Operations and NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps, Office of Marine and Aviation Operations
Craig McLean, Assistant Administrator for Oceanic and Atmospheric Research
Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) - or "NOAA Research" - provides the research foundation for understanding the complex systems that support our planet. Working in partnership with other organizational units of the NOAA, a bureau of the Department of Commerce, NOAA Research enables better forecasts, earlier warnings for natural disasters, and a greater understanding of the Earth. Our role is to provide unbiased science to better manage the environment, nationally, and globally.