Benjamin Friedman serves as the Deputy Under Secretary for operations at NOAA. As the agency’s chief operating officer, he is responsible for the day-to-day management of the national and international operations for oceanic and atmospheric services, research and coastal and marine stewardship.
This is Ben’s third position with NOAA, having previously served as Deputy General Counsel for the agency and Chief of the Office of General Counsel Enforcement Section. He brings more than 12 years of federal management and leadership experience.
Ben previously served as Assistant General Counsel for the Department of Commerce, where among other duties he oversaw employment, labor, litigation, and oversight matters for the Department and its bureaus. Prior to joining the Department of Commerce, he spent 16 years as a federal prosecutor with the Department of Justice, including four years in the Organized Crime and Racketeering Section and 12 years at the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia. While with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, he was responsible for managing two different trial sections and served as a Special Assistant to the U.S. Attorney. Before joining the Justice Department, he was a clerk to Judge Pierce Lively on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Ben is a 1989 graduate of Vanderbilt University with a B.S. in Molecular Biology and a 1993 graduate of Emory University Law School and the Emory School of Theology, where he earned a masters in Theological Studies. He is a native of Nashville, Tennessee, but has called Washington, DC, home for the last 22 years.