Former FAMU Administrator Leaves NOAA for Return to Academia

After a year at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, former Florida A&M administrator Larry Robinson has announced he is stepping down from his position to continue in his career in academia.

In May 2010, Robinson was confirmed by the U.S. Senate to his position as assistant secretary of commerce for conservation and management and a deputy administrator for NOAA.

As a NOAA employee, Robinson was the representative of Obama’s Administration in numerous task forces, including the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force launched after the oil spill.

Robinson also led a group that studied the possible damage to U.S. assets from the radiation released by the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant in Japan following the 2011 tsunami. The group focused on the movement of radioactive debris in the ocean.

“I deeply appreciate Larry’s service, especially his ability to engage in the breadth of scientific activities during his tenure at NOAA, and the mentoring he provided to senior NOAA managers,” said Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., an under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator in a press release dated Oct. 28.

Prior to his appointment to the NOAA, Robinson was a professor in the Environmental Sciences Institute at Florida A&M. Most notably, Robinson served as director of the NOAA Environmental Cooperative Science Center at FAMU since 2001 and appointed interim chief executive officer in 2007 by the Board of Trustees.

In 2007, Robinson became the first black to serve as Science Advisor to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service (CSREES).

Robinson’s resignation is effective Nov. 18.