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NOAA Fisheries Appoints Dr. Cisco Werner as the New Director of Scientific Programs and Chief Science Advisor

June 12, 2017

Today, NOAA announced the appointment of Cisco Werner, Ph.D. as the new Director of Scientific Programs and Chief Science Advisor. As Director, Dr. Werner will continue the work of planning, developing, and managing a multidisciplinary scientific enterprise of basic and applied research on the living marine resources.  He will assume his new role on June 12, 2017.

Prior to being named Director of Scientific Programs and Chief Science Advisor, he served as the Director of NOAA Fisheries’ Southwest Fisheries Science Center (SWFSC). Cisco brings extensive experience leading scientific efforts in the federal government and previously in academia as Director and Professor of Rutgers University’s Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences and Chairman of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s (UNC-CH) Department of Marine Sciences. While at UNC-CH, Dr. Werner was the George & Alice Welsh Distinguished Professor from 2005-2008. From 2007-2017 he was co-Editor in Chief of the journal Progress in Oceanography.

Cisco’s research has focused on the oceanic environment through numerical models of ocean circulation and marine ecosystems in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. He has studied the effects of physical forcing on lower trophic levels and the subsequent effect on the structure, function and abundance of commercially and ecologically important species, and he has authored and co-authored over 100 papers in scientific journals and book chapters.

At the SWFSC with a staff of over 300 and a budget of $50M, Dr. Werner set the science priorities, and ensured delivery of the best scientific information to support our national mandates. In the international arena, Dr. Werner served as Head of NOAA Fisheries’ U.S. Science Delegation (HOD) in bilateral meetings with Mexico and Argentina, and as U.S./NOAA Fisheries’ HOD for the meetings of the International Scientific Committee for Tuna and Tuna-like Species in the North Pacific Ocean (from 2013-2015).  From 2003-2007, Dr. Werner served as Chair of the Scientific Steering Committee of GLOBEC (the Global Ocean Ecosystem Dynamics Program), which focused on addressing the role of physical forcing, e.g., climate variability, in shaping our marine ecosystems.

Cisco received his Doctorate in Oceanography in 1984, a Master of Science in Oceanography in 1981, and a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics in 1978, all from the University of Washington.

Highlights from Dr. Werner’s career: