NOAA 99-R147
Contact: Stephanie Dorezas


National Marine Fisheries Service Director Penny Dalton announced today that Donald Knowles has been selected to lead the agency's Office of Protected Resources. The office provides program oversight, national policy direction and guidance on the conservation of marine species protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Endangered Species Act.

"Donald Knowles brings to the agency both a wide range of experience promoting conservation and recovery issues under the Endangered Species Act and a fresh perspective to help us achieve significant legislative objectives and strategies on species management and protection issues," said Dalton.

Knowles comes to NOAA Fisheries from the Northwest's Regional Ecosystem Office, a federal interagency office established to support implementation of the President's Northwest Forest Plan. As executive director, Knowles coordinated interagency priorities and provided policy and management direction on a variety of environmental issues. Under his direction, the Regional Ecosystem Office served as a focal point for scientific and technical expertise while providing the continuous intergovernmental coordination required to ensure successful implementation of a high profile Presidential initiative.

Knowles' assumes his new duties on Sept. 13, 1999.

"I am looking forward to this opportunity to use my management and leadership skills working within a team environment to improve protected resource programs," said Knowles. "Throughout my career, I have built strong coalitions for positive change and have successfully addressed key national goals, including a number of controversial and complex wildlife issues."

Knowles, currently a resident of Portland, Ore., earned his B.A. in economics and an MPA in public administration, water resources, from North Carolina State University. Prior to his current assignment, Knowles served a five-year appointment as the associate deputy secretary for the U.S. Department of the Interior, a Cabinet agency of 70,000 employees and an annual budget of more than $9 billion, and a nine-year stint as a professional staff member on the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations.

NOAA Fisheries Protected Resources Office develops and processes national regulations, issues permits, coordinates national level campaigns, and prepares and reviews recovery plans, environmental impact analyses, and other documents involving protected resources. The office develops agency positions on legislative proposals and policies regarding marine protected species and serves as principal liaison with other federal agencies on protected resource issues.

The National Marine Fisheries Service is an agency of the Commerce Department's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, dedicated to protecting and preserving the nation's ocean wildlife through scientific research, fisheries management, habitat conservation, and enforcement of federal wildlife law.