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National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration


The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration's Office of the General Counsel (NOAA GC) provides legal advice and guidance for all NOAA activities. 

From daily weather forecasts, severe storm warnings and climate monitoring to fisheries management, coastal restoration and supporting marine commerce, NOAA’s products and services support economic vitality and affect more than one-third of America’s gross domestic product.   NOAA enriches life through science. Our reach goes from the surface of the sun to the depths of the ocean floor as we work to keep citizens informed of the changing environment around them. Employing over 12,000 people across the nation, NOAA’s mission touches the lives of every American, and we are proud of our role in protecting life and property and conserving and protecting natural resources.

NOAA provides these services through five major organizations – NOAA National Weather Service, NOAA Ocean Service, NOAA Fisheries, NOAA Satellites and Information Service, and NOAA Research. In addition, NOAA research and operational activities are supported by the NOAA Corps, a commissioned officer corps of men and women who operate NOAA ships and aircraft, and serve in scientific and administrative posts. NOAA GC plays a central role in advising and facilitating the work of each of these offices.

Office Description

The NOAA General Counsel serves as the chief legal officer for NOAA and as legal advisor to the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and other NOAA senior officials. With more than 100 lawyers in thirteen primary subdivision offices across the nation, NOAA GC supports the various offices that execute NOAA’s mission.  For more information about NOAA and its Office of the General Counsel, please visit NOAA’s and NOAA GC’s Websites.


Mission Statement

The NOAA Office of the General Counsel is a team of professionals advancing the mission and objectives of NOAA by delivering legal services of the highest quality. We are committed to providing sound judgment, thoughtful analysis, and constructive advice through effective communication. In an environment fostering innovation and professional development, we apply the rule of law with integrity, respect for people, and commitment to excellence and the public trust.


  • Integrity
  • Innovation
  • Teamwork
  • Professional Excellence
  • Effective Communication
  • Public Service