David is the Assistant Regional Administrator for Protected Resources for NOAA Fisheries Service’s Southeast Region. He oversees NOAA Fisheries Service’s conservation management activities under the Endangered Species Act and Marine Mammal Protection Act in the South Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean. Mr. Bernhart began his career with NOAA as an officer on the NOAA Ship FERREL, conducting coastal research along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. He subsequently moved to NOAA Fisheries Service where he focused on technical and regulatory approaches to reducing bycatch of sea turtles in commercial fisheries, primarily shrimp trawls, pelagic longlines, and coastal gillnets. Mr. Bernhart eventually led all the Southeast Region’s endangered species programs, before assuming his current position in 2004. He holds a BA in biology from Williams College.