2005 Distinguished Alumnus

Richard Ohlemacher

B.A. Environmental Studies & Planning, 1992
School of Social Sciences
Manager, Environmental Systems,
Northrop Grumman Corporation

From grassroots efforts of the international development community in the African Sahel, to conducting diplomatic protocols for multilateral environmental agreements at the US Embassy in South Africa; from negotiating with foreign nations for the exchange and application of advanced technology to monitor the natural cycles of the Earth's systems to the commercial applications of that environmental information, Mr. Ohlemacher's career has continued to build upon his early studies and influences at SSU.

After graduation in 1992, Mr. Ohlemacher was selected to join the US Peace Corps and was sent to Senegal, West Africa, where he initiated an environmental education program that later served as a model country-wide. His efforts brought together community experts in the region, and harnessed the knowledge of village leaders, farmers, teachers, and officials in education, hygiene, agriculture, forests and water management to solve problems relating to the degradation and use of their scarce, natural resources.

After receiving his master's degree in International Affairs from Columbia
University, Mr. Ohlemacher was selected as a Presidential Management Fellow for the federal government.

During this time he worked on international and interagency science and technology policy, as well as specific applications for implementing international, Earth-monitoring and environmental agreements at the Department of Commerce in Washington D.C. with the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration.

His last two years at NOAA were spent with a small cadre of staff reporting directly to the NOAA Administrator and Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, Vice Admiral Conrad C. Lautenbacher, USN (Ret.).

His principal focus centered on implementation and communication of the first-ever Earth Observation Summit, a high-level political initiative spearheaded by Lautenbacher and the Secretary of Commerce that garnered G8 endorsement. Hosted by Secretary of State Colin Powell, Secretary of Commerce Donald Evans, and Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham, over 30 nations and 20 international organizations participated at the highest levels.

Mr. Ohlemacher and his team were recognized for their achievement with the Gold Medal for Leadership, the highest from of honorary recognition the Department of Commerce bestows for distinguished contributions to the nation.

Mr. Ohlemacher has since left public service to join Northrop Grumman Corporation in Los Angeles as Manager of Environmental Systems. He provides private sector analysis, outreach, and business development to advance broad efforts to integrate technology and its civilian applications for monitoring and understanding the Earth and its natural systems.