BOEM Appoints Chief Environmental Officer

U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Director Tommy P. Beaudreau has announced the selection of Dr. William Yancey Brown, the former chief executive officer of the Woods Hole Research Center, to serve as the bureau’s Chief Environmental Officer.


“We are very excited to welcome Dr. Brown to BOEM,” said Beaudreau. “He will have a critical role in setting the scientific agenda for the nation’s oceans and in developing the research and analysis necessary for sound offshore energy and resource decisions.”

“Dr. Brown’s extensive experience, education and lifelong dedication to science and environmental responsibility make him an excellent selection for the position of Chief Environmental Officer.”

Brown served as the Science Advisor to the Secretary of the Interior, Bruce Babbitt, from 1997 to 2000 and also worked for the Interior Department earlier in his career. He is a former President and CEO of the Woods Hole Research Center, a leading non-profit research organization that applies science to global environmental challenges. Brown also is a former President and CEO of the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, PA, the nation’s oldest natural history museum, and former President and CEO of the Bishop Museum, the leading cultural and natural history museum of the Pacific. He has also served as a volunteer director on many non-profit boards, including chairing the Ocean Conservancy Board.

“I am delighted and honored to join Director Beaudreau and BOEM to further our understanding of the oceans and their resources and to ensure that effective, appropriate and scientifically-based environmental safeguards are applied in energy development on our nation’s vast outer continental shelf,” said Brown.

As the Chief Environmental Officer, Brown will direct BOEM’s environmental studies program, which addresses research issues concerning decisions about energy development on the outer continental shelf and priorities for ocean science generally. He will also direct BOEM’s environmental assessment program, which assesses the environmental impacts of bureau decisions and provides recommendations on alternatives and on conditions and stipulations to prevent environmental harm. The environmental assessment program is implemented primarily through review under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 and the requirements of other applicable environmental laws.

Brown earned the degrees of Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School in 1977, Doctor of Philosophy in zoology from the University of Hawaii in 1973, Master of Arts in teaching from Johns Hopkins University in 1970, and Bachelor of Arts in biology from the University of Virginia in 1969.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management manages the exploration and development of the nation’s offshore resources. The bureau seeks to balance economic development, energy independence, and environmental protection through oil and gas leases, renewable energy development and environmental reviews and studies.

Press Release, October 25, 2013


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