NOAA's Office of Weather and Air Quality Team

NOAA's Office of Weather and Air Quality receives 2019 Program EEO/Diversity Award

January 08, 2020

On Monday, Dec. 2, 2019, NOAA's Office of Oceanic & Atmospheric Research (OAR) EEO/Diversity Program Office presented NOAA’s Office of Weather and Air Quality (OWAQ) with the 2019 EEO Program/Laboratory Award for Diversity for their work on NOAA’s Diversity & Inclusion Initiatives. NOAA Administrator Dr. Neil Jacobs (far left in photo) joined a dozen Cherokee Nation Strategic Programs (CNSP) employees during the award ceremony.

Over the last year, under the guidance of Drs. John Cortinas and Kandis Boyd (holding the award), OWAQ has expanded to a 19-member, award-winning team and pushed education through community outreach efforts by serving as judges at symposiums; publishing the FY20 Notice of Funding Opportunity, which requires applicants to discuss their efforts to support Diversity & Inclusion (D&I); and hiring a diverse group through department-wide, bureau-level partner programs and collaborations with organizations who are aligned with OWAQ’s goal to create a diverse and inclusive organizational culture.

"OWAQ plays a critical role in helping OAR & NOAA effectively accomplish their mission by making a long-term commitment to maximize diversity and inclusion by placing people together who have different characteristics and backgrounds and have a variety of skills and experiences that support world-class weather and air quality research to save lives, reduce property damage and enhance the national economy," said John "JC" Coffey, executive director of unmanned systems for Cherokee Nation Businesses. "This is what a winning team looks like, and we look forward to continuing to provide the best and brightest people to support the nation's critical missions."

Dr. Neil Jacobs is the assistant secretary of Commerce for Environmental Observation and Prediction, performing the duties of undersecretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, and NOAA administrator. Dr. Jacobs is responsible for the strategic direction and oversight of NOAA’s mission areas and for unlocking the partnership potential of nongovernmental and private organizations to study our nation’s oceans and promote a blue economy.

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