Environmental Policy News

New Vice Admiral Promotion and NOAA Deputy Under Secretary Named

NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps Rear Adm. Nancy A. Hann has been selected for promotion to the rank of vice admiral and will serve as NOAA’s deputy under secretary for operations, beginning August 2024. Since 2021, Hann has served as director of the NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps and NOAA Office of Marine and Aviation Operations (OMAO). In her new role as deputy under secretary for operations, Hann will be responsible for the day-to-day management of the agency's national and international operations for oceanic and atmospheric services, research, and coastal and marine stewardship.

“Vice Adm. (select) Hann is an experienced and well-respected leader with an impressive resume of accomplishments," said NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad, Ph.D. “I look forward to working with her as a key member of my management team to further advance NOAA’s mission.”

Hann will succeed Benjamin Friedman, who has held the role for over eight years—the longest span of any NOAA deputy under secretary for operations. Later this year, Friedman will retire from the federal workforce after 30 years of service, of which 14 years were served within NOAA. After retiring, he will assume the role of chief operating officer for the SUNY Research Foundation.

“Ben is a strong leader and a compassionate civil servant with decades of public service,” Spinrad added. “I will miss his thoughtful counsel and insight and wish him all the best in this new endeavor.”

“I am honored to have the opportunity to serve as NOAA’s next deputy under secretary for operations and lead this team of accomplished and dedicated scientists,” said Hann. “I would like to thank my predecessor Benjamin Friedman for his service and look forward to working with him as I fully transition into my new position.”

Throughout her 25-year career as a NOAA Corps officer, Hann has served aboard NOAA aircraft as both a pilot and flight meteorologist and has supported a variety of scientific missions and multiple uncrewed aircraft as a pilot and project manager. She has also served aboard NOAA Ships Miller Freeman and Townsend Cromwell in support of fisheries surveys and oceanographic research in the Pacific.

Hann has also previously served as executive officer at the NOAA Marine Operations Center-Atlantic, associate director at the NOAA Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, and NOAA liaison to the US Pacific Command.

Hann holds a master’s degree in public administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, a master’s degree in aeronautical science and space studies from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and a bachelor’s degree in marine science and biology from the University of San Diego. She has received numerous awards, including the NOAA Corps Meritorious Service Medal and multiple Department of Commerce medals.

Rear Adm. Chad Cary has been nominated to succeed Hann as the next director of the NOAA Corps and OMAO, pending US Senate confirmation.

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