In her first contacts with UCAR, NCAR, and UOP, Katy says she's come to appreciate the institution's "commitment and involvement" in atmospheric research--"commitment to good science and commitment to the environment," which she also valued at NASA and the EPA. "I've always felt it would be hard for me to work in private industry."
Katy is inclined toward innovation in her approach to budget management. At the EPA, she acted as "midwife" in establishing the Working Capital Fund, a tool for keeping track of small-scale items that add up to large-scale costs. "In the past, things like postage and computer services had been centrally funded. Given that, nobody paid a lot of attention [to those expenses] because they weren't footing the bill." Once the fund was in place, users paid directly for the services, which tended to spur efficiency. "We starting seeing people thinking twice about running out a report, thinking about what they really need." For instance, a charge for electronic mailboxes resulted in a weeding of many unused mailboxes, including some maintained for people who had died or left the agency long before.
Thus far, Katy is more than satisfied with her new life. "I'm very impressed with the caliber of people here, including those who'll be reporting to me." And in Boulder, she adds, "there's such an easy atmosphere and such a friendly attitude. It's a less frenzied atmosphere than what I'm used to."
Like Katy, Jack climbed the Washington career ladder quickly. He spent 13 years in the White House's Office of Management and Budget, the last five of those as branch chief of the Science and Space Program Branch of OMB. In that role, he oversaw the fiscal management of NASA, NSF, and the Smithsonian Institution, comprising $18 billion and 25,000 employees. He also served as OMB coordinator for all federal R&D programs (roughly $75 billion).
After a childhood in Bloomington, Indiana, and the D.C. area, Jack attended the University of Maryland for undergraduate through doctoral programs in civil engineering. He and two brothers helped put each other through college and grad school by alternating stints at UM with operation of a commercial greenhouse. Jack embarked on a brief research career in hydrologic analysis and remote sensing before he was tapped by the American Geophysical Union (AGU) to be a 1983-84 congressional science fellow, serving as a consultant to California representative George Brown.
While Jack was working with Brown, NCAR founding president Walt Roberts paid a visit to his office, having been asked by Brown to help find ways to organize climate research. "I was very struck by [Walt's] energy level, his integrity, and his vision," recalls Jack. Since then, he says, "I've had a great respect for the scientific caliber of NCAR and UCAR. I really came here because of what I felt this institution is. I want to contribute in whatever ways I can, with my background of 13 years in the White House complex and the federal research community." Jack earned the 1997 Edward A. Flinn III medal from the AGU for his work helping to organize federal research on global change.
After being immersed in the "sine-wave" culture of Washington, where political appointees come and go--"a world of tremendous chaos"--Jack is looking forward to putting down roots in Boulder and at UCAR/NCAR/UOP. "I'm excited to be here. I've received a very gracious welcome. It's made the move here without the family much easier." BH