NOAA Leadership

Dr. Mark Schaefer


Dr. Mark Schaefer, assistant secretary of commerce for conservation and management / deputy administrator (Download photo here)

As Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Conservation and Management, Dr. Mark Schaefer is responsible for oceans and fisheries activities at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Throughout his career, he served in a variety of positions in the federal government and private sector including, most recently, as director of the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution.

Dr. Schaefer previously served as deputy assistant secretary of the interior for water and science (1996-2000), acting director of the U.S. Geological Survey (1997-1998), and assistant director for environment, Office of Science and Technology Policy, Executive Office of the President (1993-1996). He served for several years as co-chair of the National Science and Technology Council’s Ecological Systems Subcommittee, responsible for coordinating ecosystem science activities across federal agencies. In the private sector, Dr. Schaefer was CEO of the Global Environment and Technology Foundation (2006-2007), president and CEO of NatureServe, a nonprofit conservation science organization (2000-2006), and director of the Washington Office of the Carnegie Commission on Science, Technology, and Government (1989-1993).  Early in his career he was a congressional science fellow and later an analyst in the Office of Technology Assessment of the U.S. Congress (1987-1989). He also served for several years as a staff member in the Office of Research and Development in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (1977-1983).

Dr. Schaefer served on the Board on Earth Sciences and Resources of the National Research Council within the National Academy of Sciences, and on the Board of Trustees of the Morris K. Udall Foundation.  For several years he taught an environmental policy seminar for Stanford University’s Stanford in Washington program. A biologist by training, he received a bachelor's degree from the University of Washington, and a doctorate (neurosciences) from Stanford University.