FACTBOX-Obama’s oil spill commission to probe disaster

(For full spill coverage http://link.reuters.com/hed87k)

WASHINGTON, July 12 (BestGrowthStock) – A commission appointed by
President Barack Obama to investigate the Gulf of Mexico oil
spill gives academics and environmentalists a prominent role in
making recommendations about the future of offshore drilling in
the United States.

The seven-member panel will seek to determine what caused
the explosion on BP Plc’s (BP.L: )(BP.N: ) Deepwater Horizon rig in
late April and what should be done to prevent future spills.

Its first public meeting is on Monday in New Orleans, where
it will hear from residents affected by the spill.

The panel is co-chaired by Bob Graham, a former Florida
governor and long-time Democratic senator, and William Reilly,
a former head of the Environmental Protection Agency who now
runs an investment group for water projects and companies.

Reilly, a Republican, has taken leave as a member of the
board of directors of oil major ConocoPhillips (COP.N: ) for the
duration of the commission’s investigation.

Following are Obama’s other appointees:

DONALD BOESCH

Boesch, a biological oceanographer and Louisiana native, is
a pioneer in the study of the long-term impact of offshore oil
and gas development and its environmental implications for the
Gulf of Mexico. He has served as a science advisor to many U.S.
government agencies and international programs.

Boesch is president of the University of Maryland Center
for Environmental Science.

In an online opinion piece for the Washington Post, Boesch
criticized “the political jockeying in Congress” that he says
has held up passage of a comprehensive energy bill to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions.

TERRY GARCIA

Garcia is executive vice president for mission programs at
the National Geographic Society, the world’s largest scientific
and educational institution. His responsibilities include
managing the Committee for Research and Exploration, which
funded the work of Jacques Cousteau and Jane Goodall.

As general counsel for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration (NOAA), Garcia was in charge of implementing the
Exxon Valdez oil spill restoration plan to bring resources and
services back to Prince William Sound and the Gulf of Alaska
after the 1989 oil spill.

He later became deputy administrator of NOAA and assistant
secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere at the Commerce
Department. During his tenure, he coordinated programs to
protect endangered species, conserve wildlife habitats and
develop the national marine sanctuary system.

CHERRY MURRAY

Murray was named dean of Harvard University’s School of
Engineering and Applied Sciences last year after leading some
of the nation’s top scientists and engineers in previous roles
at Bell Laboratories and the Energy Department’s Lawrence
Livermore National Laboratory.

She is an expert in condensed matter and materials physics,
phase transitions, light scattering and surface physics,
including the study of soft condensed matter and complex
fluids. Her expertise has landed her positions on more than 80
national and international scientific advisory committees,
governing boards and National Research Council panels.

Murray was named one of the “50 Most Important Women in
Science” by Discover Magazine in 2002.

FRANCES ULMER

Ulmer has spent more than 30 years in public service,
shaping public and environmental policy — 18 of them as an
elected official. She became mayor of Juneau, Alaska, in 1983,
has served as a state representative and was the first female
lieutenant governor of Alaska.

Ulmer served as Alaska’s director of policy development,
during when she directed coastal management.

Ulmer is chancellor of the University of Alaska Anchorage,
the state’s largest public university, is a member of the Aspen
Institute’s Commission on Arctic Climate Change and sits on the
board of the Alaska Nature Conservancy, the National Parks
Conservation Association and the Union of Concerned
Scientists.

Ulmer, who has a law degree, has also been a fellow at the
Institute of Politics at the Kennedy School of Government.

FRANCES BEINECKE

For 35 years, Beinecke has worked with the Natural
Resources Defense Council, a nonprofit aimed at protecting
wildlife and the environment. After becoming NDRC’s president
in 2006, Beinecke focused its resources on curbing climate
change, reducing U.S. dependence on oil and protecting oceans.

With a rare books library named after her family on Yale’s
campus, Beinecke was among the first graduating class at Yale
that included women.

Beinecke co-founded the New York League of Conservation
Voters with her husband, Paul Elston. The couple’s three
daughters are all activists for the NRDC.
(Compiled by Jasmin Melvin; editing by Todd Eastham)

FACTBOX-Obama’s oil spill commission to probe disaster