In September 2020, the acting chief scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Craig McLean, was reassigned after requesting that the agency's chief of staff and other political appointees acknowledge its scientific integrity policy. According to a report in the New York Times, Mr. McLean emailed the policy to several new political appointees, including the new chief of staff, Erik Noble. Mr. Noble responded: "Respectfully, by what authority are you sending this to me?" Mr. McLean explained that as NOAA's acting chief scientist he was responsible for ensuring compliance with the agency's scientific integrity policy. The following day, Mr. McLean received an email from Mr. Noble, stating: "You no longer serve as the acting chief scientist for NOAA." Mr. McLean was reportedly assigned to a new role within NOAA.
Biden Administration Response:
As of April 2021, Craig McLean was again serving as NOAA's Acting Chief Scientist, and Assistant Administrator for Oceanic and Atmospheric Research.