The NOAA Office of General Counsel Awards – 2007

NOAA's General Counsel's office recently recognized five individuals for their outstanding achievements and contributions to the agency.

MANAGER OF THE YEAR
Christopher McNulty (GCNW).

Chris McNulty's excellent management skills allowed GCNW to provide outstanding legal services to NOAA regarding protection of salmon in the Northwest. His in-depth knowledge and coordination across GC offices on broad ESA policy issues ensured consistent GC-wide resolution of ESA issues.

ATTORNEY OF THE YEAR
Debbie Ben-David (GCF)

Debbie Ben-David's outstanding leadership skills were instrumental in assisting NOAA Fisheries in issuing its proposed and final rules governing five years of take of marine mammals during the Navy's operation of its Surveillance Towed Array Sensor System Low Frequency Active (SURTASS LFA) sonar program. This rule enabled the Navy to continue its operations in a manner that minimized impacts on protected resources under NOAA Fisheries' purview.

ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORTER OF THE YEAR
Trina Heard (GCNR)

Trina Heard provided exceptional support services from critical administrative support on various cases in the Southwest Region to acting on her own initiative to organize and streamline projects that allowed her supervisor to devote time to other critical projects.

PARALEGAL OF THE YEAR
Susan Beresford (GCEL)

Susan Beresford's leadership in improving collections procedures and in guiding collection specialists has directly resulted in improvement in the enforcement collections process. She played a critical role in identifying needed improvements and in compiling essential information to ensure that the electronic case management system meets the needs of all users.

SENIOR LEADER OF THE YEAR
Patricia Kurkul (NOAA Fisheries)

Patricia Kurkul provided outstanding leadership in fisheries management in both New England and the Mid-Atlantic states. Her establishment of a Northeast Coordinating Council, which involves senior staff from the New England and Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Councils, Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, the NOAA Fisheries Northeast Regional Office and the Northeast Fisheries Science Center, provides an excellent forum to raise legal issues and solicit input from all parties who share in regional fisheries management responsibilities.