Thomas Bogdan named next president of UCAR

Will take the helm in January

18 October 2011  •  After an international search, the UCAR Board of Trustees has named Thomas J. Bogdan to succeed Richard Anthes as UCAR president. His new role begins on January 9, 2012. Bogdan, who has led NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center for over six years, has a rich history with NCAR, UCAR, and NSF.

Tom Bogdan
Tom Bogdan (©UCAR.)

“Tom Bogdan is an excellent scientist, an experienced manager, and an effective communicator and advocate for science both nationally and internationally,” says Dennis Hartmann of the University of Washington, chair of the UCAR Board of Trustees. “We are very excited that he will be leading UCAR into the future.”

“I am delighted with this choice,” Anthes says. “I have known Tom for many years as a superb scientist and leader, a thoughtful and considerate person, and a man of highest integrity. I have great confidence that he will provide UCAR with distinguished leadership.”

For more details on the announcement, see the UCAR news release issued on 18 October and the letter from Dennis Hartmann, below.

Bogdan's interest in the history of NCAR's High Altitude Observatory is chronicled in a 2000 Staff Notes article, The archaeologist of HAO . He describes his stint in Washington in a 2005 feature, Rotating scientists recall time at NSF.

Letter from Dennis Hartmann, chair of the UCAR Board of Trustees

Dear Colleagues,

It is with great pleasure that we announce the appointment of Thomas  J. Bogdan to be the next President of UCAR.  Tom’s career includes a  breadth of experience with many aspects of the UCAR community and our  partners in government and industry.  Tom has worked at UCAR as a  senior scientist and a senior manager at NCAR, as well as with NCAR’s  primary sponsor, the National Science Foundation. At NSF he served as  Program Director for the Solar-Terrestrial Research Section of the  Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences Division from 2001 to 2003.  He has  extensive experience in working with a wide variety of federal  stakeholders, and in developing international and commercial  partnerships not only in basic research, but also in operational  prediction. Tom is an inspiring public speaker and an excellent  advocate for the role of science in the larger community.  He is also  an adept administrator experienced in the formulation and execution of  plans, budgets, and priorities. He is deeply committed to UCAR’s  mission, is visionary about its future, and will be an effective  advocate and eloquent spokesperson for UCAR, its member communities,  and its many diverse programs. 

Tom comes to UCAR from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric  Administration, where he is currently the Director of the Space  Weather Prediction Center.  He will assume the presidency of UCAR on  January 9, 2012, succeeding Rick Anthes, who has served UCAR with  distinction as president for the past 23 years.  Rick will continue to  support UCAR and NCAR in a variety of special projects. 

Many of you will know Tom from his years at NCAR and UCAR, where his  research focused on solar magnetic activity and variability.  Tom came  to NCAR as a postdoc in 1983 and was promoted to Senior Scientist in  1993.  He was a founding member of the NCAR Senior Scientist Assembly  and then served two years as the Science Liaison to the NCAR Director.  He served as the Acting Director of the Advanced Study Program and  then as the Founding/Acting Director of the Laboratory for  Societal-Environmental Research and Education (SERE).  He also served  as the NCAR representative to the UCAR COMET Program Advisory Board. 

While at NCAR Tom was encouraged to spend two years on an Inter-Agency  Personnel Agreement with the Atmospheric Sciences Division at the  National Science Foundation in Arlington, Virginia, where he was the  first NCAR scientist to work side-by-side at the foundation with the  NSF Program Managers.  During this time he was instrumental in  developing NSF’s first bridged faculty program in the space sciences,  which resulted in the creation of eight new tenure track faculty lines  devoted to solar-terrestrial research and education at U.S.  universities. 

In May of 2006, Tom left NCAR to tackle the challenge of leading  America’s civil operational space weather program, serving as the  Director of one of only four U.S. Department of Homeland Security  National Critical Systems within the National Weather Service. The  Space Weather Prediction Center is the source for 24x7 space weather  alerts, watches, warnings, and guidance to customers in 122 countries  around the globe. As its Director, he represents the space weather  enterprise across every affected sector of government and society,  working with federal and commercial stakeholders to create the  partnerships necessary for success.  With the rapidly growing  international awareness of the global impact of space weather, Tom has  developed working relationships with space weather practitioners and  users from the European Commission, Canada, South Korea, and the  United Kingdom under the aegis of the World Meteorological  Organization; the International Civil Aviation Organization; and the  UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.  He has negotiated  bilateral Memoranda of Understanding and Service Level Agreements with  the assistance and approval of the State Department and the National  Security Staff, giving him a rich set of international experiences  that add to his core competencies as incoming UCAR President.  In his  role as Director of the Space Weather Prediction Center, Tom has been  a very effective communicator in raising awareness and appreciation  for the impacts of extreme space weather at the highest levels of  government and industry, and he has gained the resources to better  enable space weather prediction and warnings. We are confident that  Tom will translate the leadership, management, communication, and  advocacy skills he has demonstrated at NOAA to UCAR, NCAR, and UCAR’s  Community Programs. 

Tom is currently a member of the Council of the American  Meteorological Society and works closely with the World Meteorological  Organization as the U.S. point-of-contact for space weather issues. He  has been honored as a fellow of the AMS. He serves on the Advisory  Council for the College of Arts and Sciences of the University at  Buffalo, the State University of New York, and as a co-chair of the  National Space Weather Program’s Committee on Space Weather.  He has  chaired and served on numerous NSF, NASA, and National Research  Council committees and panels that provide community-based advice to  the federal agencies and policymakers. 

Tom earned a doctorate in physics at the University of Chicago in 1984  and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a B.S. in mathematics/physics from  the University at Buffalo in 1979.  He is the author of over 100  papers in solar-terrestrial research, was the recipient of the Gregor  Wentzel and Valentine Telegdi Prizes from the University of Chicago,  and spent the summer of 1989 as a Visiting Gauss Professor at the  Göttingen University Observatory in Germany. 

I’m sure you will join us in welcoming Tom back to UCAR in his new  capacity, leading a team that will allow UCAR and NCAR to continue  their strong record of science achievement, facility development, and  service to meet the challenges of the future.

Dennis Hartmann,
on behalf of the UCAR Board of Trustees



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