As NOAA's acting administrator since February, Sullivan is involved in everything from weather forecasts and climate monitoring to coastal restoration and fisheries management. "NOAA provides the environmental intelligence that helps citizens, businesses, and governments make smart choices," she said. "NOAA and its employees work each day to maximize U.S. competitiveness, enable economic growth, foster science and technological leadership, and promote environmental stewardship." Sullivan, 61, is a distinguished scientist on her second tour of duty at the agency. In 1993, President Clinton appointed her as NOAA's chief scientist. A retired captain in the Naval Reserve, she served as chief of the Naval Operations Executive Panel. But the former astronaut is probably best known as the first American woman to walk in space. A California native, Sullivan graduated from the University of California (Santa Cruz) with a B.S. in earth sciences; she earned her doctorate in geology from Dalhousie University in Canada.