NOAA Names Jennifer Quan As New Regional Administrator For West Coast Region

Jennifer Quan is the new Regional Administrator for NOAA Fisheries West Coast Region. She will assume her new duties on April 23, 2023.

Quan is currently an advisor to U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and other members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. She began her NOAA career as a supervisory fish biologist in the West Coast Region leading the South Puget Sound Branch of the Oregon/Washington Coastal Office.

She succeeds Barry Thom, who left the agency in 2020 to lead the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission. She also follows Acting Regional Administrator Dr. Scott Rumsey, who will resume his role as Deputy Regional Administrator.

In her new role, Quan will direct NOAA Fisheries’ stewardship of marine species and habitat within the coasts and watersheds of Washington, Oregon, California, and Idaho. The region is one of the largest in the agency, covering 317,690 square miles of the eastern Pacific Ocean and more than 7,000 miles of tidal coastline. It also includes the ecological functions within the states’ vast rivers and estuaries.

As the Regional Administrator, Quan will lead more than 300 employees. The region works closely with the Pacific Fishery Management Council and the Pacific States Commission as well as state and federal partners, tribes, the fishing and seafood industries, and other stakeholders. They manage and conserve federal commercial and recreational fisheries, marine mammals, endangered and threatened species, habitat, and much more.

Later this spring, NOAA says, Quan will be meeting with a wide variety of partners and stakeholders across the region to listen and get feedback on shared priorities.

For the last 2 years, Quan worked as an advisor to the Chair, Senator Maria Cantwell on the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. There she worked with Cantwell to develop and pass legislation on NOAA’s ocean, climate, weather and atmospheric research and services. Notably, she worked on NOAA’s climate resilience provisions in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act and Inflation Reduction Act. Additionally, during her tenure, she assisted in leading passage of 13 bills into law including the historic reauthorization of the Coral Reef Conservation Act.

Before coming to NOAA, she spent 10 years at the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. As Lands Division Manager she acquired more than 114,000 acres of habitat for fish and wildlife protection and led the passage of the state “Discover Pass” legislation. It created an access pass to state recreation lands that created revenue of more than $25 million a year and secured funding for maintenance of conservation and recreation lands.

Quan is a fellow of the National Conservation Leadership Institute. She holds a Master’s degree in Marine Affairs from the University of Washington and Bachelors of Science from Evergreen State College.

Quan will be splitting her time among the West Coast Region offices, including Seattle, Portland, Sacramento, and Long Beach.

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