Peter B. de Menocal is the eleventh president and director of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, effective Oct. 1, 2020. A marine geologist and paleoclimatologist, de Menocal’s research uses deep-sea ocean sediments as archives of how and why Earth’s ocean and climate have changed in the past in order to predict how they may change in the future.
Prior to assuming leadership of WHOI, de Menocal was the Thomas Alva Edison/Con Edison Professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. In 2015, he became the founding director of Columbia’s Center for Climate & Life, a research accelerator of 120 scientists and other experts dedicated to understanding how climate affects life’s essentials—the security of food, water, and shelter—and exploring sustainable energy solutions in partnership with industry, finance, and government.
From 2016 to 2019, De Menocal served as Columbia’s Dean of Science for the Faculty of Arts & Sciences, overseeing 240 faculty across the university’s nine scientific departments. During his tenure as dean, de Menocal developed and carried out a strategic plan that helped to double philanthropic support for the sciences at Columbia, significantly increase success in winning large center and institute awards, and increase faculty hiring rates for women and under-represented minorities in the natural sciences.
De Menocal has published more than 150 scientific papers over his decades-long career in oceanography. He has received numerous awards and distinctions, including Fellow of the American Geophysical Union, AGU Emiliani lecturer, a Lenfest Columbia Distinguished Faculty award, and a Distinguished Brooksian award. He earned a doctorate in geology from Columbia University and a master’s degree in oceanography from the University of Rhode Island, and was awarded an honorary doctorate from St. Lawrence University.
News & Insights
For WHOI President and Director Peter de Menocal and Deputy Director of Research Rick Murray, growing crises from climate change to COVID-19 demand a renewed faith in objective science
Dr. Peter de Menocal, President and Director of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution of has been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).
Help WHOI’s new president. Dr. Peter de Menocal, quickly build momentum and propel WHOI towards a future as a driving force in innovation. Give today.
Reports & Statements
WHOI’s fundamental methods and scientific standards do not change based on funding. Researchers are free to propose and pursue investigations guided by their interests and expertise.
A call to action by American industry, higher education, science, and engineering leaders urging Congress to enact policies and make investments that ensure the United States remains the global innovation leader.
For the Subcommittee on Defense, Committee on Appropriations, U.S. Senate Defense Basic Research and Science & Technology (S&T) Funding for Fiscal Year 2019.
Testimony in Support of the NSF and its Investment in Geoscience Research, Infrastructure, and Education (pdf)
Written testimony before the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and Science Committee on Appropriations, April 27, 2018.
Members of the Coalition for National Science Funding (CNSF) urge leadership of the Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Committee on Appropriations, in the wake of new discretionary budget caps included in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, to fund NSF at $8 billion for FY2018 to help the United States remain globally competitive.
Letter dated 2/6/2018 from the Task Force on American Innovation (TFAI) signed by 95 businesses, scientific and engineering societies, and universities (including WHOI) urging Congressional leaders to reach a bipartisan budget deal that raises the sequestration level budget caps for both defense and non-defense programs.