Dr. Kuperberg’s Reinstatement Ensures Non-Partisan Continuity Across Administrations to Take Bold Action on Climate Change

Today, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) announced the return of Dr. Mike Kuperberg to the post of Executive Director of the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), underscoring the importance of non-partisan leadership in global climate change research to ensure bold action on the climate crisis. 

An accomplished scientist with deep respect from the scientific community and policy leaders on both sides of the aisle, Dr. Kuperberg has a track record of successfully working in a non-partisan fashion to deliver results. He has worked effectively and productively across Democratic and Republican administrations, serving as Executive Director of USGCRP from July 2015 through November 2020. Coordinating 13 diverse federal agencies that produce a stellar scientific foundation for understanding and action, Dr. Kuperberg oversaw the completion and release of the Fourth National Climate Assessment, as well as the commencement of the Fifth National Climate Assessment. 

Established by Congress in 1990, the USGCRP was established in the Global Change Research Act of 1990 to “assist the Nation and the world to understand, assess, predict, and respond to human-induced and natural processes of global change.”

The USGCRP will play a heightened role in the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to tackling the climate crisis by ensuring that science informs and guides strong action on the urgent threat of climate change. Dr. Kuperberg will accelerate the USGCRP’s efforts to improve accessibility to its science and to enhance research investments that address critical societal needs.

OSTP is committed to providing continuity across administrations through proven leadership that will help invigorate the federal climate change research community in ways that inform our efforts to combat climate change.

“We face urgent climate threats, but we have the knowledge needed to take bold action to combat them,” said USGCRP Executive Director Dr. Michael Kuperberg. “As a scientist, it’s been my honor to serve the American people under Democratic and Republican administrations to help deliver science to inform solutions. And as a public servant, it’s been my privilege to work with the Nation’s best scientists and policymakers, both inside and outside of government. President Biden and Vice President Harris have committed to providing the muscle we need to mitigate the causes and impacts of climate change, and I look forward to continuing to serve this nation by helping USGCRP deliver non-partisan, science-based results to guide those actions.”

“There is no doubt that the climate crisis is accelerating – and if we’re serious about tackling this crisis, we need proven scientific leadership that transcends politics,” said OSTP Policy Deputy Director for Climate and Environment Dr. Jane Lubchenco. “Having faithfully served both Republican and Democratic presidents to deliver world-class scientific results and assessments, Dr. Kuperberg has earned the trust of the science community and policymakers regardless of party stripes. I have every confidence that he will help ensure that world-class scientific information is available to enable the bold action we need to tackle climate change and deliver the economic opportunities that the American people deserve.”

“Now more than ever before, climate change poses an imminent threat to our nation and global community,” said Dr. John Holdren, who served as OSTP Director and Assistant to the President for Science and Technology from 2009-2017. “The Biden-Harris Administration has committed to an historic effort to combat this crisis effectively – and that requires tested, non-partisan leadership at the helm. For decades, Dr. Kuperberg has ensured that science is paramount in serving the American people across Democratic and Republican Administrations. I have full confidence in his ability to meet the moment in our history where our actions to fight climate change today will shape the future for years to come – and to take the U.S. Global Change Research Program to new heights so that all Americans can access its scientific products, regardless of their zip code.”

“Effectively adapting to climate change requires science in the driver’s seat,” said Admiral Tim Gallaudet, who served as National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Acting Administrator from 2017-2019. “I’ve seen firsthand Dr. Kuperberg’s ability to convene voices from across the scientific community to federal agency policymakers when he helped produce the Fourth National Climate Assessment during the Trump Administration. Reducing uncertainty in climate projections will be critical to identifying positive climate solutions, and Dr. Kuperberg’s trusted, non-partisan leadership, will make real strides to achieve this.”

“Returning Dr. Kuperberg to lead the Global Change Research Program represents so much more than just appointing a knowledgeable, experienced, respected federal scientist to spearhead this important program,” said National Academy of Sciences President Dr. Marcia McNutt. “It also represents a clear statement that politics does not belong in scientific programs or assessments.”

Serving the federal government for over 18 years in the Department of Energy and OSTP, Dr. Kuperberg has extensive experience working across the federal research enterprise. He previously served as interim Executive Director of the Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee.

A graduate of Florida A&M University, Dr. Kuperberg spent a decade conducting research to better understand the Apalachicola Bay system in north Florida. He also spent a decade focusing on the clean-up of environmental contamination in Eastern Europe following the disintegration of the Soviet Union/Warsaw Pact.


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