International Section

The International Section provides legal advice and assistance to NOAA and other U.S. Government agencies on the development, negotiation, interpretation, and application of customary and conventional international law, as well as domestic law relating to:

The Section’s legal services help assure that NOAA’s policy development and programmatic activities with respect to the marine environment are consistent with, and take into account, the Law of the Sea Convention and other applicable rules of international law. The International Section further helps NOAA pursue and protect the agency’s interests in the context of interagency and international processes. Finally, the Section is often called upon to review and help develop or amend domestic legislation.

The Section Chief is Peter Oppenheimer. The Section has two attorney-advisors, Derek Campbell, and Rebecca Reese, and a third attorney-advisor position shared with the NOAA GC Southeast Section held by Iris Lowery.

The Section Organization Chart provides additional information as to the office's structure. The Section has created two matrices that identify the issues covered by the office: one lists in alphabetical order the issues covered by the office and the other groups the issues by the attorney who covers them.  The Section benefits from the volunteer services of law school students and law school graduates who serve as interns or fellows, respectively, for a spring, summer, or fall term. Under the NOAA General Counsel’s Attorney Honors Program, the Section also hosts law school graduates and judicial law clerks who have been hired as full-time employees. Honors Attorneys typically serve for three six-month rotations in different sections of the General Counsel’s Office.

The International Section program and staff office clients include:

Information about internship opportunities in the Section can be found on the Internships page. Information about former Section attorneys and others who worked in the International Section may be found on the Alumni page.


Contact Information

International Section
Office of General Counsel
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Herbert C. Hoover Building, Room 48026
14th Street and Constitution Avenue N.W.
Washington D.C. 20230-0001
Telephone: 202/482-1400
Fax: 202/371-0926 
Office email account

Last updated July 19, 2022