Michael Thompson named interim UCAR president

July 9, 2015

BOULDER – The Board of Trustees of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research is pleased to announce that it has appointed Michael Thompson to the position of interim UCAR president, beginning July 11.

Michael Thompson, Interim UCAR President
Dr. Michael J. Thompson (©UCAR. Photo by Carlye Calvin. This image is freely available for media & nonprofit use.)

Thompson has served as deputy director and chief operating officer of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) since October 2013. UCAR manages NCAR through a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation.

“Michael Thompson is extremely well placed to lead UCAR forward, promoting our science, strengthening our relationships with our university community and federal funding agencies, and assuring operational excellence,” said Eric Betterton, chair of the UCAR board. “He is highly knowledgeable about the organization and our university community and has gained tremendous respect for his leadership.”

Thompson will be interim president for the next 6 to 12 months while an international search takes place for a permanent president. Thompson follows Thomas Bogdan, who is departing the organization after three and a half years as UCAR president. Thompson’s selection allows NCAR Director James Hurrell to continue providing strong leadership for NCAR.

"I'm happy to see Michael step into this important interim role," said Hurrell. "The partnership that he and I have established will serve to strengthen both UCAR and NCAR and help us continue to provide world-class research, education, and service to the atmospheric science community."

An internationally recognized solar physicist with expertise in the structure and dynamics of the interior of the Sun, Thompson previously served as director of NCAR’s High Altitude Observatory. Prior to joining NCAR, he was head of the School of Mathematics and Statistics in the University of Sheffield, United Kingdom, and before that a professor of physics in the Space and Atmospheric Physics group at Imperial College London.

The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research is a nonprofit consortium of 105 colleges and universities providing research and education in the atmospheric and related sciences.


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The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research manages the National Center for Atmospheric Research under sponsorship by the National Science Foundation. Any opinions, findings and conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.