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Justice, Fairness, Inclusion, and Performance.

U.S. National Science Foundation Office of Polar Programs Organizational Assessment (In Progress)



The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) was established in 1950 by Congress with the mission “to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; and to secure the national defense; and for other purposes.” As part of that mission, the Office of Polar Programs (OPP), housed in the NSF Directorate for Geosciences (GEO), works with NSF entities, academic institutions, native communities, federal agencies, the military, international partners, and others to advance scientific research, engineering, and education by catalyzing fundamental discovery and understanding of polar systems and their global interactions.


This assessment will review OPP’s organizational and management structure and explore opportunities to improve mission delivery. The Academy will

  • Analyze the effectiveness of OPP’s current internal organizational structure and governance model;
  • Examine the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary for OPP’s senior leadership team to effectively manage the program;
  • Evaluate OPP’s existing organizational culture and employee engagement in the organization;
  • Examine OPP’s alignment within NSF, GEO, and with externally facing stakeholders; and
  • Develop recommendations to optimize OPP’s organizational structure.

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Project Overview

Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act, Title 5, Appendix 2, § 15, NAPA is required to provide public notice of the names and brief biographies of appointed study panel members and provide a reasonable opportunity for the public to comment on such appointments. Any concerns about the prospective Panel members should be directed to Brenna Isman, Director of Academy Studies (

View the language of the Act.

Study Fellows