D. James Baker was the longest serving Administrator of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (1993-2001). As Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Administrator of NOAA he led the effort to establish a global network of ocean observing robotic instruments and was a member of the Gore-Chernomyrdin Commission that helped release satellite data from the Russians. He was a scientific advisor to former Vice President Al Gore on the Oscar-winning film “An Inconvenient Truth.” He is currently a consultant for the Global Forest Observations Initiative for the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.
He has also been Director for Forest and Land-Use Measurement at the Clinton Foundation, President of the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, President of Joint Oceanographic Institutions, Inc. and was the first Dean of the College of Ocean and Fisheries Science at the University of Washington. He co-founded and was the first President of The Oceanography Society. He shares a patent for a deep-sea pressure gauge. He was awarded the Vikram Sarabhai Medal for outstanding contributions to space research in developing countries by the international Committee on Space Research and the Indian Space Research Organization and is the author of the book “Planet Earth: The View from Space” published by Harvard University Press. He holds a B.S. in physics from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in physics from Cornell University.