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NOAA Environmental Leadership Seminar Series: Past Presentations

Empowered to Lead: Inspiring the Next Generation of Leaders

by Katie Poser on 2020-09-09T13:38:00-04:00 | 0 Comments

Slides: Spencer.pdf

Date: September 8, 2020

Speaker: Albert (Benjie) Spencer, Chief Engineer, Director, Engineering Standards, NOAA's National Weather Service

Abstract:  NOAA’s mission is vital and empowering our future leaders is paramount, especially in these uncertain times. How do we embrace and prepare ourselves as a virtual leader? What are the questions that we need to ask as we evolve into a new normalcy in the midst of a pandemic? How do I ensure fairness and equality? How do I empower myself to be a leader and ensure NOAA’s mission?

Bio: Mr. Albert (Benjie) Spencer serves as the Chief Engineer, and Director of Engineering Standards Division, for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Weather Service within the Office of Planning and Programming for Service Delivery. Mr. Spencer is responsible for implementing policy, providing end-to-end system engineering oversight, assessing risks, and ensuring consistent engineering processes and standards are applied throughout the organization. 

Mr. Spencer has over 40 years of civil service with NOAA, with over 25 years of systems engineering and major acquisition experience, having served in various engineering positions for some of NOAA’s major acquisitions of the NEXRAD (Next Generation Weather RADAR), NOAA Aircraft Acquisition for a Gulfstream G4 business class aircraft modified for meteorological and atmospheric measurements, AWIPS (Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System) and NPOESS (National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System), which are critical to providing timely climate and weather information to the public. Mr. Spencer was highlighted in the Spring 2015 issue of the magazine, Minority Engineer, sharing his story in helping NWS to build a Weather-Ready Nation, and the challenges to get minorities interested in science and engineering careers at NOAA. Mr. Spencer is also the recipient of the 2017 Black Engineer of the Year Award (BEYA) for Career Achievement in the Federal Government. Mr. Spencer served on the Reimbursable Projects Program Standing Review Board (SRB) and currently serves on the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES) and Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) SRB. He also serves on the Executive Advisory Board (EAB) for the Systems Engineering Research Center (SERC) and the External Advisory Board of the NOAA Cooperative Science Center for Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology (NCAS-M).

Mr. Spencer obtained his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering degree from Howard University in Washington, D.C. and received his Graduate Certificate in Systems Engineering and Architecting from Stevens Institute of Technology. Mr. Spencer is the recipient of The U.S. Department of Commerce Gold and Silver Medals, the highest two honor awards that can be granted by the Secretary of Commerce, and two Bronze Medal awards, NOAA’s highest honor award. Mr. Spencer is a member of the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE), American Meteorological Society (AMS) and the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). Mr. Spencer is also a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. Mr. Spencer has been married for 36 years to his wife Margo, and he is a native of Washington, D.C., raised in Portsmouth, Va. 

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