Stephen Volz, Ph.D.
Stephen Volz is performing the duties of Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Environmental Observation and Prediction. He is responsible for all NOAA observing systems, including in situ instruments and satellites, and the process of converting observations to predictions for environmental threats related to weather, climate, water, oceans, and space weather.
Dr. Volz also serves as the Assistant Administrator for NOAA's Satellite and Information Service. He has 35 years of professional experience in aerospace. He is a leader in the international Earth observation community, serving as the NOAA Principal both to the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) and to the Coordinating Group of Meteorological Satellites (CGMS). Dr. Volz is the Principal U.S. representative to the international Group on Earth Observations (GEO), and in this capacity he helps lead efforts to coordinate global satellite-based observations among international space agency partners to further the development of a Global Earth Observation System of Systems. He serves as the Co-Chair of the NOAA Observing Systems Council and is also a member of the NOAA Executive Council.
Dr. Volz previously served as the Associate Director for Flight Programs in the Earth Science Division of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate where he managed all of NASA’s Earth Science flight missions and associated activities. Prior to serving as the Flight Program Director, Dr. Volz was the Earth Science program executive for a series of Earth Science missions, including EO-3 GIFTS, CloudSat, CALIPSO, and ICESat, and he led the Senior Review for the Earth Science operating missions. Dr. Volz worked in industry at Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corporation from 1997–2002, where he was the Project Manager for the Space Infrared Telescope Facility superfluid helium cryostat and other flight projects. From 1986–1997 Dr. Volz worked for NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center as an instrument manager, an I&T Manager, a systems engineer, and a cryogenic systems engineer on missions and instruments including the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE), among others.
Dr. Volz is a member of several professional societies, including the American Physical Society (M’82), the American Astronomical Society (M’87), the American Geophysical Union (M’02), and the American Meteorological Society (M’08). He is a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), an active member of and participant in the Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society (GRSS), and a member of the GRSS Administration Committee (AdCom) for the period of 2013–2015.
Dr. Volz has a doctorate in Experimental Condensed Matter Physics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1986), a master’s in Physics from Illinois (1981), and a bachelor’s in Physics from the University of Virginia (1980). He has more than 20 publications in peer-reviewed journals.