On Wednesday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration appointed Eileen Sobeck as assistant administrator for NOAA Fisheries.

Sobeck begins her new position 27 January, replacing Samuel Rauch, who has served as acting assistant administrator since 212. Raunch will return to his previous position as deputy assistant administrator for regulatory programs.

Sobeck will oversee the management and conservation of recreational and commercial fisheries, and the protection of marine mammals, marine protected species and coastal fisheries habitat with the U.S. exclusive economic zone.

“Since the beginning of her career, Eileen has sought to strike a balance in management of natural resources to ensure sustainable uses while protecting and preserving our marine ecosystems for future generations,” said Kathryn Sullivan, acting NOAA administrator. “Her background and expertise will be an asset at NOAA Fisheries as they work to continue turning the corner on overfishing, protect endangered marine species, and promote smart management approaches to build sustainable fisheries, and vibrant coastal communities.”

Early in her career, Sobeck worked in the NOAA Office of General Counsel from 1979-1984. She then served at the U.S. Department of Justice, Environment and Natural Resources Division from 1984 to 2009.

Sobeck currently serves as acting assistant secretary of the Department of Interior's Office of Insular Affairs. She has served as deputy assistant secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks at the Department of the Interior since 2009.

“I am honored to be returning to NOAA in this very important role,” said Sobeck. “From managing our nation's fisheries to protecting endangered marine species and ecosystems to promoting commercial and recreational fishing, the work of NOAA fisheries is critically important to the nation. I look forward to joining the team and working with the talented men and women within the organization to fulfill its mission.”

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