President Clinton nominated D. James Baker as the Commerce Department's undersecretary for oceans and atmospheres on February 12. He would serve as the director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Doug Hall, vice-president of the Nature Conservancy, was nominated as assistant secretary for oceans and atmospheres. He would serve as NOAA's deputy director. The nominations are subject to confirmation by the Senate.
“We have found the perfect balance to lead NOAA,” said Clinton. “With Jim Baker and Doug Hall, we have a team that will bring scientific skills, laboratory management experience, a strong commitment to environmental protection, and the savvy required to deal effectively with sensitive issues.”