NOAA Appoints Director of Corps and Office of Marine and Aviation Operations
NOAA Rear Adm. David A. Score assumed his new role as director of the NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps and the NOAA Office of Marine and Aviation Operations. Last month, President Obama approved U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker’s appointment of Score.
As director, Score will be responsible for the agency’s fleet of research and survey ships and aircraft, as well as guiding the 321 uniformed officers of the NOAA Corps and approximately 1,000 civilian personnel assigned to OMAO.
“Rear Adm. Score is a highly capable and proven leader who has shown consistent dedication to employing the highest level of science and environmental stewardship in service to NOAA and our nation,” said Secretary Pritzker. “Rear Adm. Score will play a key role in ensuring the safe and efficient operation of the agency’s ship and aircraft fleet, which supports vital NOAA missions and environmental priorities under the Commerce Department’s Open for Business Agenda.”
Score relieves NOAA Corps officer Michael S. Devany, who was recently appointed NOAA’s deputy under secretary for operations and promoted to the rank of vice admiral. Score served most recently as OMAO’s deputy director for operations and deputy director of the NOAA Corps. From December 2010 to June 2012, he was commanding officer of NOAA’s Marine Operations Center-Atlantic based in Norfolk, Va., which oversees the day-to-day operations of the agency’s Atlantic fleet.
Since his commission as a NOAA Corps officer in 1990, Score has served aboard six NOAA vessels and was commanding officer of NOAA Ship Gordon Gunter, which conducted key research missions during the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill response. Score has also served in a variety of management and operational roles with NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuary System and was superintendent of Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.
Score has a strong record of achievement. He has received eight NOAA Corps achievement medals, two U.S. Department of Commerce bronze medals, and was the 1999 NOAA National Association of Commissioned Officers Junior Officer of the Year. He is also an accomplished NOAA diver and divemaster who has supervised more than 2,000 dives.
Score holds a bachelor’s degree in marine biology and advanced research from the Florida Institute of Technology and studied biology at Georgia Southern University.
NOAA Corps officer Anita Lopez, who was recently promoted from captain to rear admiral (lower half), will serve as OMAO’s deputy director for operations and deputy director of the NOAA Corps, replacing Score. Lopez was previously commanding officer of NOAA’s Marine Operations Center-Atlantic. From February 2011 to May 2012, she was the executive director to the deputy under secretary of commerce for operations.
Lopez has received three NOAA Corps commendation medals, a U.S. Department of Commerce silver medal award, and a NOAA Administrator’s award. Lopez holds a bachelor’s degree in electronic engineering technology from DeVry University.
“Vice Adm. Devany, Rear Adm. Score and Rear Adm. Lopez have consistently put mission and people first while leading efforts to provide the best possible environmental intelligence,” said acting NOAA administrator Dr. Kathryn D. Sullivan. “Each of them embodies the virtues of honor, respect and commitment that have become the hallmarks of the NOAA Corps.”
The NOAA Corps is one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. NOAA fleet of ships and aircraft is operated, managed and maintained by the NOAA Office of Marine and Aviation Operations, which includes commissioned officers of the NOAA Corps and civilian wage mariners.
NOAA, January 03, 2014; Image: NOAA