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Scott Rayder

'92 MPA
Senior Advisor to the President
University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR)

Scott Rayder currently serves as Senior Advisor to the President at University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) and Vice-President of UCAR Foundation in Boulder, Colorado. He received his BA from Hamilton College in 1990 and his MPA from the Maxwell School in 1992.

In his current position, Scott provides strategic direction on policy issues for UCAR and for the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), which UCAR manages. He has also focused on developing new national and international partnerships for the institution and its consortium of 77 member universities. 

Scott has experience in building relationships and opportunities with the private and public sector, including longstanding relationships with federal funders, such as the U.S. Department of Energy, National Science Foundation, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Geological Survey, and National Institute of Standards and Technology. Before coming to UCAR, Scott was the director of business development for civil sector programs at ITT Exelis. There Scott worked with officials in the federal executive branch as well as Congress, focusing on Exelis programs supporting weather forecasting, climate monitoring, and environmental analysis. 

Scott was the first chief of staff of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), from 2001 to 2008. He worked with NOAA’s partner organizations and played a key role in communicating NOAA priorities to the Department of Commerce, White House Office of Management and Budget, and Congress. Scott served as lead on the Hurricane Forecast Improvement Program at NOAA and was instrumental in introducing new technologies and unique observational platforms, such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and the Integrated Ocean Observing System, to support research and operations related to climate, oceans, and high-impact weather. His work there also supported the needs of operational and research organizations for critical assets and infrastructure. The mission of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is to "Understand and predict changes in Earth's environment and conserve and manage coastal and marine resources to meet our Nation's economic, social, and environmental needs." The study of dwindling marine life is an integral part of this endeavor.

The Alaska Sea Life Center, a non-profit organization based in Seward, Alaska, was thus permitted by the NOAA to tag and monitor Stellar Sea Lions. Stellar Sea Lions are experiencing major population losses in the region, so hopefully this project will shed light on the causes of this disturbing trend. Scott took part in the release of several Sea Lions that had been tagged for the study.