John E. Stein, deputy director of NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Seattle and its current acting director, has been named the new permanent director of the center.
Stein will head the agency’s regional fisheries scientific arm, overseeing approximately 360 employees in more than six locations in Washington and Oregon. The organization’s research guides management of federal fisheries and endangered marine animals. The center’s work ranges from protection of West Coast salmon and killer whales to ecosystem modeling and climate impacts such as ocean acidification.
“John is a perfect fit for this challenging position,” said Sam Rauch, acting assistant administrator of NOAA’s Fisheries Service. “He’s been a leader in next-generation scientific approaches to the Northwest’s crucially important work with habitat, overfishing, climate variability and pollution. He is a widely respected scientist with broad management skills.”
Stein most recently led the agency’s national seafood-safety response following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and serves on the science panel of Puget Sound Partnership, a state agency leading efforts to protect and restore the sound. Stein also is a federal co-lead for the West Coast Governors Alliance on Ocean Health and is the US Delegate to the North Pacific Marine Sciences Organization.
Since 2005 he has been an affiliate professor at the University of Washington’s Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Services.
“John brings deep experience with the varied roles of the agency in marine stewardship here in the wonderful Pacific Northwest, and in the essential function of good science to help chart our way,” said Will Stelle, the fishery agency’s regional administrator in Seattle. “He also enjoys a well earned reputation as a thoughtful listener. We look forward to his strong and effective leadership of the center."
Stein has been with NOAA’s fisheries services since 1980 and is the author or co-author of more than 100 scientific articles. He received a bachelor of science degree in chemistry from Central Washington University in 1974 and earned his doctorate in organic chemistry from the University of Washington in 1980.
A lifetime Washington state resident, he lives in Mount Vernon.