The NOAA Office of General Counsel Awards – 2005

The Office of General Counsel recently recognized six individuals for their outstanding and significant contributions to the NOAA Office of the General Counsel. The individuals recognized at the awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., in March, 2006, are listed below.

picture of award winners

James Walpole, NOAA's General Counsel, is in the center.
From left to right: Captain Craig McLean, Bonnie Jessee, 
Patricia Kraniotis, Regina Jackson, Mark Eames, and Julia Caracoza.

Manager of the Year - Patricia Kraniotis, Office of General Counsel for International Law (GCIL)

Patricia Kraniotis is being recognized for taking on the role of Acting Senior Counselor for International Law with enthusiasm, and providing exemplary leadership and management for the NOAA General Counsel Office for International Law. She carried out the extra duties of managing the office with grace and skill, ensuring that provision of excellent legal advice to NOAA on international law matters continued without disruption. She also led her office in organizing and carrying out an excellent two-day international law training conference that highlighted the impact of the Law of the Sea Convention on programs throughout NOAA.

Attorney of the Year – Mark Eames, Office of the Northwest Regional Counsel (GCNW)

As NOAA lead attorney over the past several years, Mark Eames provided expert guidance and advice to NOAA on the Biological Opinion and related litigation regarding the effect of the Columbia River Hydropower System on threatened and endangered salmon. Mark is highly respected by NOAA, DOJ and other affected federal agencies for his wise counsel and selfless dedication to this important matter.

Paralegal of the Year – Bonnie Jessee, Office of the Southeast Regional Counsel (GCSE)

Bonnie Jessee provided exceptional support to the NOAA General Counsel Southeast Regional Office and Southeast Enforcement Attorneys. She assisted with the planning and execution of an office relocation and took the lead support role in the Regional Counsel's efforts to renovate the office law library. Bonnie covered the workload usually handled by a contract employee for an extended timeframe, which greatly enhanced the smooth operation of the office during an otherwise disruptive period.

Administrator of the Year – Regina Jackson, Office of General Counsel-Headquarters (GCHQ)

Regina Jackson designed and implemented numerous administrative improvements, as well as a major reconfiguration of the NOAA General Counsel Headquarters office space. She undertook the difficult and extremely important job of updating the NOAA General Counsel’s personnel matrix and provided excellent support for the 2005 NOAA General Counsel attorneys training conference. Gina demonstrated exceptional attention to detail and responsibility for accomplishment of projects assigned to her, ensuring the effective and efficient operation of the Headquarters office.

Secretary of the Year – Julia Caracoza, Office of the Southwest Regional Counsel (GCSW)

Julia Caracoza reorganized the NOAA General Counsel Southwest Regional Office’s file system by reviewing and culling many old documents. She coordinated the transfer to Honolulu of all Western Pacific-related files, books, and litigation materials. Julia also conducted a complex time-and-attendance audit; managed the legal library; and completed more than 100 travel arrangements with a myriad of complications, changes, and special requests.

Senior Leader of the Year – Captain Craig McLean, National Ocean Service, NOAA Marine and Aviation Operations (NOS/NMAO)

Captain Craig McLean successfully led the National Ocean Service during a recent transition to new leadership, including NOAA’s efforts to address regulation of fishing in three national marine sanctuaries off the coast of California and, most recently, within the soon-to-be proposed Northwestern Hawaiian Islands National Marine Sanctuary.