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Alumnus Dr. Terence Lynch promoted to director of NOAA’s Office of Science Support

Alcornites are making strides at the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), as one of its alumni recently received a promotion at one of the agency’s newest offices.

Dr. Terence Lynch ’98 is the first director of Science Support within NOAA’s Office of Oceanic Atmospheric Research (OAR).

Lynch received a bachelor’s degree in general agriculture and a master’s degree in agricultural education from Alcorn. He earned a Doctor of Philosophy in agricultural and extension education services from Virginia Tech in 2001.

OAR supports the administration and management of research and development across NOAA. At its core, the Office works to support policies and services that maintain public trust in OAR and NOAA’s science.

Before his promotion, Lynch served NOAA’s Office of Ocean Exploration Research, where he was the acting deputy director. Lynch also served the agency’s Office of Coast Survey for 14 years in roles such as budget formulation execution, legislative engagement, and strategic planning. He’s also an advocate for diversity and inclusion within the agency.

The promotion is a significant step in Lynch’s career with the agency.

“I feel blessed to be afforded the opportunity to lead this newly established office as its first director,” said Lynch.

Becoming one of the agency’s few minority leaders allows Lynch to set a precedent for minorities that desire to pursue leadership roles at the agency. It also gives him a voice in advocating for more leadership roles for minorities.

“I see the greater need to promote more diversity within the senior leadership levels. This opportunity allows me to change the narrative and dispel the notion that there is a lack of qualified minorities in the talent pipeline to serve in leadership roles. Mahatma Gandhi once said, ‘We must be the change we wish to see in the world.’ My goal is to make that happen.”

Lynch plans to use his position to empower and encourage others to help break barriers within the company.

“My goal is to help transcend the Office of Science Support to the next level by empowering staff to engage in honest conversation about promoting the need for diversity and inclusion in everything that we do. When people interact with us, they will know they are working with dedicated professionals who embrace the importance of what we do and how it impacts others.”

As Lynch reflected on his journey to his promotion, he was grateful for the learning experiences. He also praised his alma mater for preparing him for the journey.

“I have had to prove myself to be noticed. My journey has always been to advocate for minorities and encourage the majority to be open to extending opportunities to individuals who don’t look like or agree with them to strengthen the organization. Alcorn played a significant role in helping to prepare me for this journey. As Alcorn alumni, we should never discount our purpose nor despise the process. I have had a positive experience working for the NOAA and have benefited from those experiences where I can now help others.”