Thomas Bogdan named president of University Corporation for Atmospheric Research

October 18, 2011

Boulder—Dr. Thomas J. Bogdan was named the next president of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) today, following an extensive international search. He will join UCAR from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC), where he is director. Bogdan will take over the reins at UCAR on January 9, 2012.

Tom Bogdan
Thomas J. Bogdan (©UCAR, Photo by Carlye Calvin. This image is freely available for media use. For more information, see Media & nonprofit use.*)

“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.”

UCAR is a not-for-profit consortium made up of 77 universities that grant doctoral degrees in atmospheric or related science, as well as other academic and international affiliates. It manages the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) on behalf of the National Science Foundation, NCAR’s sponsor. UCAR also oversees a variety of education and scientific support activities under the umbrella of the UCAR Community Programs.

Research at UCAR and NCAR advances understanding of severe weather, climate change, geomagnetic storms, and other environmental factors that affect the U.S. and global economy. The work helps to build society’s understanding of these phenomena as well as national and global resilience to them.

“This is an important and exciting time for discovery in the sciences as a cornerstone for national competitiveness and leadership,” Bogdan says. “I couldn’t be more pleased to be returning to UCAR as the atmospheric, Earth, and Sun sciences continue advancing our understanding of the natural world and its many impacts on our economies, society, and people.”

“NSF looks forward to working with Dr. Bogdan, the UCAR Board of Trustees, and the university community in addressing emerging national priorities—priorities that NCAR, the foundation’s largest federally funded research and development center, has the unique capacity to address,” says Michael Morgan, director of NSF’s Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences Division.

Bogdan assumes the presidency of UCAR as it prepares for the opening of a new supercomputing center in Wyoming that will provide substantial new capabilities to geoscience researchers in the United States and around the world. Colleagues familiar with him and his work point to his many skills that are so complementary to his new role.

“Tom is a broad thinker who brings a special understanding of atmospheric modeling, theory, and observations,” says Alexander "Sandy" MacDonald, director of NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory. “His background is especially appropriate for the wide-ranging responsibilities of UCAR.”

“Tom has a rich intellect that spans the physical domain, from the solar system and space weather to terrestrial weather and related Earth system sciences,” says Louis Uccellini, director of NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Prediction, which oversees the SWPC. “I am excited for UCAR and know Tom will provide the leadership, intellect, and strategic foresight that the community needs for this important position.”

Prior to joining the SWPC in 2006, Bogdan was a senior scientist at NCAR, where he had begun work as a postdoctoral scientist in 1983, researching solar magnetic activity.

He will take the helm from Richard Anthes, who is retiring after serving as president for 23 years and guiding UCAR during a period of substantial programmatic growth and new research directions.

Bogdan earned his Ph.D. (1984) and master’s degree (1981) in physics at the University of Chicago and his bachelor’s in mathematics and physics from the University at Buffalo, the State University of New York, in 1979.  He is the author or co-author of more than 100 papers in solar-terrestrial research.

Bogdan is a fellow of the American Meteorological Society and serves on its Council of the Members. He works closely with the World Meteorological Organization as the U.S. point of contact for space weather issues. Bogdan has chaired and served on numerous National Science Foundation, NASA, and National Research Council committees and panels that provide advice to federal agencies and policymakers. He also serves on the Advisory Council for the College of Arts and Sciences at the University at Buffalo.

“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.”


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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.