Michael Thompson Named Interim UCAR President

Dr. Michael J. Thompson Image Credit: ©UCAR/Carlye Calvin.

Dr. Michael J. Thompson Image Credit: ©UCAR/Carlye Calvin.

July 10, 2015 – The Board of Trustees of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) has announced the appointment of Michael Thompson to the position of interim UCAR president, beginning July 11.

Thompson has served as deputy director and chief operating officer of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) since October 2013. UCAR manages NCAR through a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation.

“Michael Thompson is extremely well placed to lead UCAR forward, promoting our science, strengthening our relationships with our university community and federal funding agencies, and assuring operational excellence,” said Eric Betterton, chair of the UCAR board. “He is highly knowledgeable about the organization and our university community and has gained tremendous respect for his leadership.”

Thompson will be interim president for the next 6 to 12 months while an international search takes place for a permanent president. Thompson follows Thomas Bogdan, who is departing the organization after three and a half years as UCAR president. Thompson’s selection allows NCAR Director James Hurrell to continue providing strong leadership for NCAR.

“I’m happy to see Michael step into this important interim role,” said Hurrell. “The partnership that he and I have established will serve to strengthen both UCAR and NCAR and help us continue to provide world-class research, education, and service to the atmospheric science community.”

An internationally recognized solar physicist with expertise in the structure and dynamics of the interior of the Sun, Thompson previously served as director of NCAR’s High Altitude Observatory. Prior to joining NCAR, he was head of the School of Mathematics and Statistics in the University of Sheffield, United Kingdom, and before that a professor of physics in the Space and Atmospheric Physics group at Imperial College London.

The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research is a nonprofit consortium of 105 colleges and universities providing research and education in the atmospheric and related sciences.

The Board of Trustees of UCAR recently announced that it had exercised its option to terminate Thomas Bogdan’s five-year contract as UCAR president, effective July 10.