Rear Admiral (Upper Half) Evelyn Fields was the Director of NOAA Marine and Aviation Operations and Director of the NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps from May 1999 until December 2003. Her appointment was approved by President Clinton and confirmed by the Senate on May 6, 1999. Admiral Fields was the first woman and the first African American to serve in this position. After retiring from the NOAA Commissioned Corps, RADM Fields joined Evidence Based Research, Inc (EBR) a small research firm from January 2003 until April 2006. Admiral Fields is currently a member of the Florida Institute of Oceanography Board of Visitors.
RADM Fields began her career with NOAA in 1972 as a civilian cartographer at NOAA's Atlantic Marine Center in Norfolk, Va. She was commissioned an ensign in the NOAA Corps in 1973, shortly after NOAA began recruiting women, and was the first African-American woman to join the Corps. After being commissioned, she served on board theNOAA Ship Mt. MITCHELL as junior officer. Her later ship tours included the NOAA Ship PEIRCE as Operations Officer, NOAA Ship RAINIER as Executive Officer, and the NOAA Ship McARTHUR as Commanding Officer. Admiral Fields was the first female to serve as commanding officer of a NOAA ship and a U.S. government oceangoing vessel. Deployments included both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean, and Alaskan waters.Her sea experience covers hydrographic survey operations, fisheries research, and oceanographic research.
During her 30 years of commissioned service, in addition to the operational assignments, RADM Fields served in variety staff assignment. Following Admiral Fields' command at sea tour, she was selected as a fellow to the U.S. Department of Commerce Science and Technology Fellowship Program. Her follow-on land assignments included tours as the Deputy of NOAA's National Geodetic Survey and Chief of Coast Survey's Hydrographic Surveys Division, followed by her tenure as Director of the NOAA Corps' Commissioned Personnel Center. Prior to her confirmation as Director of the NOAA Corps, she served as Deputy Assistant Administrator for NOAA's National Ocean Service.