Lois J. Schiffer is the General Counsel for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. She serves as the chief legal officer for all NOAA activities and as a policy advisor to the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere. As General Counsel, Ms. Schiffer provides overall management and leadership to more than 116 attorneys. Legal issues at NOAA include those relating to management of the nation's marine fisheries; protection of marine mammals and threatened and endangered species; coastal zone management; mitigation and restoration of natural resource damages; operation of weather and environmental satellites; monitoring oceanic, atmospheric, and climatic data; and mapping and charting U.S. waters.
Ms. Schiffer has extensive experience in environmental law through her work in federal jobs, in private practice, and for non-profit organizations. From 1993-2001, Ms. Schiffer served as the Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources Division at the Department of Justice with responsibility for cases related to pollution, natural resources, wildlife, tribal law, and federal lands. More recently, she served as General Counsel to the National Capital Planning Commission. She has argued cases before a number of courts of appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court and has, for over 20 years, been an adjunct professor of environmental law at Georgetown University Law Center.
Ms. Schiffer is the recipient of the Charles Fahy Distinguished Adjunct Professor Award at Georgetown University Law Center, and of the Edmund J. Randolph Award for outstanding service at the Department of Justice. Ms. Schiffer received her undergraduate degree from Radcliffe College (1966) and her law degree from Harvard Law School (1969).