Following his promotion today from captain to rear admiral, Gerd Glang was named as director of the NOAA Office of Coast Survey and the nation’s chief hydrographer, responsible for mapping and charting of all United States coastal waters. The U.S. Senate has confirmed his nomination by President Obama to the rank of rear admiral (lower half), now a prerequisite for the position. Glang will be responsible for overseeing NOAA’s hydrographic services, vital to the nation’s $1.9 trillion maritime economy and supporting President Obama’s National Export Initiative. Glang succeeds Capt. John E. Lowell, who retired in June after 29-year career in the NOAA Corps, serving the last three years as director of NOAA's Office of Coast Survey and U.S. national hydrographer. “NOAA’s navigational services provide critical support to our nation’s maritime economy and position it for future growth,” said David Kennedy, NOAA assistant administrator for the National Ocean Service, in announcing Glang’s appointment. “As NOAA faces demands for the acquisition and use of hydrographic data for – and beyond – the maritime transportation system, Gerd Glang is the right person, in the right place.” Glang has spent the past two years as the co-deputy lead of NOAA’s planning efforts to make America’s coastal communities resilient and strengthen the coastal economy – an economy supporting 66 million U.S. jobs.
A NOAA Corps officer since 1989, Glang has a strong background in the hydrographic surveying and seafloor mapping sciences that are the foundation of Coast Survey’s primary mission. In addition, as a result of an 18-month sea tour as commanding officer of NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown when they mapped the ocean in support of tsunami modeling and conducted deep water coral studies, he has the experience to broaden the applications of hydrographic data acquired for updating charts. Glang initially gained his hydrographic expertise on three sea tours, as commanding officer of NOAA Ship Whiting, as executive officer of NOAA Ship Heck, and as junior officer on his first sea assignment with NOAA Ship Rainier in 1989. It was during his tour as the commanding officer of Whiting that Glang helped lead NOAA’s survey response to the crash of Egypt Air 990, and in the search for John Kennedy Jr.’s, downed aircraft in 1999. Glang received the Department of Commerce Silver Medal and the Coast Guard Commendation Medal, respectively, for his leadership in these two emergency responses. A 1984 graduate of the State University of New York Maritime College with a bachelor’s degree in engineering, Glang also received a graduate certificate in ocean mapping from the University of New Hampshire Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping, and is a graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School Senior Executive Fellows program. He and his wife, Cheryl, reside in suburban Maryland with their two children.
NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey, originally formed by President Thomas Jefferson in 1807, maintains and updates the nation’s nautical charts, surveys the coastal seafloor, responds to maritime emergencies and searches for underwater obstructions and wreckage that pose a danger to navigation. NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Join us on Facebook, Twitter and our other social media channels at http://www.noaa.gov/