Visions for the Blue Economy
Monday, October 5
The Blue Economy has become a popular buzz phrase lately, yet there are a variety of definitions. Some define the Blue Economy as all sectors associated with a water asset and include traditional Ocean Economy sectors such as oil & gas, commercial & recreational activities, shipbuilding & transportation, and construction. The Blue Economy seeks to recognize newer sectors and includes ocean exploration & research, technology development & operations, nowcasting & forecasting, and even urban concerns. This panel will discuss the growing importance of the Blue Economy in local, regional, and national constructs.
Speaker: The Honorable Roger Wicker
U.S. Senate, MS
Roger F. Wicker has represented Mississippi in the United States Senate since December 2007. During his time in the Senate, Wicker has championed pro-growth policies to create jobs, limit federal overreach, protect life, and maintain a strong national defense.
Wicker is the chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation for the 116th Congress. He previously served as the chairman of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet.
Wicker is the second-highest ranking Republican member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. His other committee assignments include the Environment and Public Works Committee; and the Rules and Administration Committee.
Wicker is the chairman of the U.S. Helsinki Commission and Vice President of the OSCE’s Parliamentary Assembly. Wicker also serves as a member of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Congressional Board of Visitors.
In the 115th Congress, Wicker authored the “Securing the Homeland by Increasing our Power on the Seas (SHIPS) Act,” which made it the policy of the United States to achieve the Navy’s requirement for a 355-ship fleet. This legislation, which was designed to bolster national security and increase American shipbuilding capacity, was signed into law by President Trump as part of the National Defense Authorization Act.
Senator Wicker has been a strong advocate for economic development initiatives to help keep Mississippians competitive in a global marketplace. He has been honored by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) for his work on pro-growth, pro-manufacturing policies in Congress.
Senator Wicker served on active duty in the U.S. Air Force and then joined the Air Force Reserve. He retired from the Reserve in 2004 with the rank of lieutenant colonel.
Speaker: Dr. Kelvin K. Droegemeier
Director, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy
As Director of The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), Dr. Kelvin K. Droegemeier serves as President Donald J. Trump’s science advisor and leads OSTP in its coordination of science and technology initiatives across the Federal Government. Kelvin’s background is in extreme weather, numerical weather prediction, and data assimilation.
Before joining The White House, Kelvin served as Vice President for Research and Regents’ Professor of Meteorology at the University of Oklahoma, where he joined the faculty in 1985 as Assistant Professor of Meteorology. In his 33 years at the University of Oklahoma, Kelvin generated more than $40 million in research funding and authored or co-authored more than 80 refereed articles and 200 conference publications. He also co-founded, directed, and led the National Science Foundation (NSF) Science and Technology Center for Analysis and Prediction of Storms (CAPS) and served as co-founder and Deputy Director of the NSF Engineering Research Center for Collaborative Adaptive Sense of the Atmosphere (CASA).
Kelvin served two six-year terms on the National Science Board, the governing body of the NSF, including the last four years as Vice-Chairman, having been nominated by Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama and twice confirmed by the United States Senate. He has also served on and chaired numerous national boards and committees and is a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society and American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was appointed in 2017 as Oklahoma Cabinet Secretary of Science and Technology.
Born in Kansas, Kelvin earned a B.S. in meteorology from the University of Oklahoma and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in atmospheric science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Speaker: RDML Tim Gallaudet, Ph.D., USN Ret.
Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Deputy NOAA Administrator
Dr. Gallaudet is the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Deputy Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). From 2017-2019 he served as the Acting Undersecretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator. Before these assignments, he served for 32 years in the US Navy, completing his service in 2017 as the Oceanographer of the Navy. In his current position, Dr. Gallaudet leads NOAA’s Blue Economy activities that advance marine transportation, sustainable seafood, ocean exploration and mapping, marine tourism and recreation, and coastal resilience. He also directs NOAA’s support to the Administration’s Indo-Pacific Strategy, oversees NOAA’s Arctic research, operations, and engagement, and is leading the execution of the NOAA science and technology strategies for Artificial Intelligence, Unmanned Systems, ‘Omics, Cloud, and Citizen Science.
Dr. Gallaudet chairs or co-chairs several interagency bodies, including the Coordinating Board for the Committee on the Marine Transportation System (CMTS), the US Coral Reef Task Force, the Alaska Mapping Executive Committee, and the Ocean Resources Management Subcommittee (ORM) under the White House Ocean Policy Committee (OPC), of which he is also a member. Other committees on which he serves include the National Science and Technology Council’s (NSTC) Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence, the NSTC Committee on STEM Education, the Policy Coordination Committees (PCCs) under the National Security Council (NSC) on Pacific Island Countries, the Arctic, and Maritime Security, and the Executive Steering Group of the National Space Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) Executive Committee.
His top priority at NOAA has been people. He has been a vocal champion for NOAA’s diversity and inclusion, leader development, coaching, facilitating, new supervisor training, and awards programs. As acting Administrator, he directed the establishment of NOAA’s mentoring program, the agency’s sexual assault and harassment prevention and response program, and the establishment of NOAA’s workplace violence prevention director.
Dr. Gallaudet has a Bachelor’s Degree from the U.S. Naval Academy and a Master’s and Doctorate Degree from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, all in oceanography.