Jack D. Fellows, who oversaw a $110 billion federal science portfolio under two U.S. presidents and co-founded the U.S. Global Change Research Program integrating all federal Earth system science research programs, has been appointed director of the Climate Change Science Institute at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Martin Keller and Jeff Nichols, leaders of the Energy and Environmental Sciences Directorate and the Computing and Computational Sciences Directorate respectively, announced Fellows’ appointment.
“Jack Fellows is a welcome addition to our climate change science program,” said ORNL Director Thom Mason. “His extensive experience in directing research and education programs, most recently as vice-president for the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, will be particularly valuable as CCSI moves forward in its work of advancing the understanding of the Earth system, describing the consequences of climate change, and evaluating and informing policy on the potential outcomes of responses to climate change.”
Established in 2009, the Climate Change Science Institute comprises more than 100 ORNL staff and post-graduate researchers who receive research funding in excess of $35 million per year. Fellows will lead and continue development of programs and strategic initiatives for ORNL in climate change science.
CCSI researchers focus on four science themes: Earth system modeling; data integration, dissemination and informatics; terrestrial ecosystem and carbon cycle science; and impacts, adaptation and vulnerability regarding climate change. Their aim is to provide knowledge that helps decision makers assess risks to infrastructures, environments and human health, and to weigh the costs and benefits of related policies and practices.
“I look forward to working with the institute staff and its partners to guide the institute into the future,” Fellows said. “Building on the existing strengths of the climate institute, I want to make sure that the institute continues to have a full suite of relevant basic climate research coupled with responsive climate adaptation activities.”
Fellows succeeds founding CCSI director James J. Hack, who came to ORNL in 2008 to direct the National Center for Computational Sciences and since 2009 has been directing both organizations. Hack will continue as NCCS director.
“We are extremely pleased that Jack will be joining ORNL to take on the leadership of CCSI,” Hack said. “He brings decades of high-quality experience in developing and leading large programs and interacting at the highest levels across government agencies engaged in the study of the climate system.”
In 2012 Fellows founded G2Groups LLC, to provide organizations with tools to improve their ability to lead and manage their organizations, and the Envirogen International Foundation, to create the next generation of environmental leaders and citizen scientists. He currently serves as president of both and plans to remain active in the two organizations. “I’m hoping to incorporate some of EIF into the [ORNL] climate institute,” he said.
In 1993 Fellows worked with Vice President Al Gore to create The Globe Program, which continues to operate in more than 112 countries and teaches children to take and analyze environmental measurements and use the data to address pressing environmental problems. From 2002 to 2012, Fellows served as the program’s executive director and principal investigator.
From 1997 to 2012, he was vice president of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, a private, nonprofit consortium of more than 100 universities that study weather and climate and embrace national- and community-level issues.
Fellows co-led the 2010 National Climate Adaptation Summit, which fostered a national-level discussion of effective adaptation strategies to respond to climate change and its impacts.
From 1984 to 1997 he served as branch chief in the Executive Office of the President for the Office of Management and Budget, where he oversaw budget, programs and policy related to federal research and development programs including those of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, and the Smithsonian. (Department of Energy programs were not in his purview.)
Fellows received doctorate (1984), master’s (1976), and bachelor’s (1975) degrees in civil engineering from the University of Maryland.
The author of 25 publications or presentations in fields including water resources, remote sensing, geographical information systems, and science and space policy, he is a member of the American Geophysical Union, American Meteorological Society, and National Academy of Science’s Space Studies Board and Land Remote Sensing Committee.
His honors include the 1997 Edward A. Flinn III Award, bestowed by the AGU for “unselfish cooperation in research.” In 1983 and 1984 he advised members and committees of the U.S. Congress as an AGU Congressional Science Fellow. For more information, visit http://science.energy.gov.