The NOAA Office of General Counsel Awards – 2009

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

MANAGER OF THE YEAR
Peter Oppenheimer (GCIL)

Provided exceptional leadership and management as head of NOAA's Office of the General Counsel for International Law. Through his tireless efforts in 2009, Peter made significant contributions to NOAA GC's support of NOAA's mission, goals, and objectives, as exemplified by his work as Chair of the Law of the Sea Working Group; as "champion" of the GC Communication Change Initiative; and through his leadership on numerous significant, cross-cutting legal issues; his innovative approaches to effective management with limited resources; and his success in strengthening NOAA GCIL working relationships with clients and other federal agencies.

ATTORNEY OF THE YEAR
Mark A. Eames (GCNW)

Provided outstanding contributions to NOAA's handling of the 2008 Federal Columbia River Power System biological opinion and related FCRPS litigation. In particular, Mark is recognized for his tireless efforts in assisting Dr. Lubchenco in her review of the litigation and 2008 biological opinion, which culminated in NOAA and the FCRPS action agencies adopting an Adaptive Management Implementation Plan, providing enhanced monitoring provisions and extensive contingency actions should the benefits anticipated in the 2008 biological opinion not materialize. Mark was instrumental in all aspects of the review process and subsequent AMIP, which has taken place in the face of court-imposed deadlines and intense scrutiny both within and outside the government.

ADMINISTRATIVE PROFESSIONAL OF THE YEAR
Nancy Berube (GCNR)

Provided significant contributions to the Office of General Counsel by providing critical budget-related assistance to GC Headquarters during a three month detail until a new budget officer was hired.

PARALEGAL OF THE YEAR
Bonnie Jessee (GCSE)

Provided exceptional support to the Office of General Counsel for Enforcement and Litigation in every facet of case management from initial receipt through final disposition. Her individual efforts in handling well over 150 cases in 2009 directly contributed to the Agency's enforcement mission and benefitted the health of the Nation's natural resources.

SENIOR LEADER OF THE YEAR
Rebecca Lent (NMFS)

Provided exceptional international leadership in support of NOAA objectives for the sustainable management of tuna and tuna-like species, in particular as head of U.S. delegations during 2009 to meetings of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas and the Second Joint Meeting of Tuna Regional Fisheries Management Organizations.