Brendan Kelly, PhD
Brendan Kelly, PhD

The Science Steering Committee (SSC) of the Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH) program announced today the selection of Brendan Kelly, PhD as its new Executive Director. Dr. Kelly will assume the duties of his new role on 21 September 2015.

SEARCH is a U.S. program with a mission to provide a foundation of Arctic change science through collaboration with the research community, funding agencies, and other stakeholders.

As SEARCH Executive Director, Dr. Kelly will work with the SEARCH SSC to provide leadership and strategic direction to the SEARCH program and to forge strong cooperative relationships between academia, agencies, and stakeholders.

"Dr. Kelly has long been at the heart of U.S. efforts to strengthen the role of science in understanding and responding to Arctic change," says Uma Bhatt, chair of the SSC Executive Director search committee. "His vision, research experience and well-established stakeholder relationships have distinguished him as an important leader for the Arctic research community. We are so pleased that he has agreed to continue his Arctic leadership service as the new Executive Director of SEARCH."

Dr. Kelly's career in Arctic research and policy includes serving on the faculty and administration of the University of Alaska, as a research scientist with NOAA's National Marine Mammal Laboratory, Deputy Director of Arctic Sciences at the National Science Foundation, Chief Scientist of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and Assistant Director for Polar Science in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Currently, he serves on the National Academy of Sciences' Polar Research Board and as a Senior Fellow at the Center for the Blue Economy, Middlebury Institute of International Studies.

Kelly earned his PhD from Purdue University, a Master of Science degree from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, all in biology. He lives on his boat in Monterey, California where he will continue to reside upon assuming his new duties with SEARCH.

"I am excited to be returning to the important work of Arctic research and policy," Dr. Kelly said. "SEARCH continues to provide remarkable leadership in bringing the best science to bear on critical issues in the rapidly changing Arctic. It will be an honor to serve the many scientists contributing to SEARCH's work."

SEARCH activities are supported by a collaborative grant from the National Science Foundation Division of Polar Programs, Arctic Sciences Section to the International Arctic Research Center (IARC; PLR-1331100 ) and the Arctic Research Consortium of the US (ARCUS; PLR-1331083). Learn more about SEARCH at