Janet Coit was named the new assistant administrator for NOAA Fisheries in June 2021. She has worked on environmental issues, natural resource management, and stewardship for more than 30 years. She directed the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) for more than 10 years, where she focused on improving natural resource conservation, promoting locally grown food, including seafood, and addressing the climate crisis. Coit also chaired Rhode Island’s Seafood Marketing Collaborative and worked with stakeholders to promote supplying seafood locally and abroad.
At DEM, Coit streamlined the permitting process to support environmental and economic interests in the state. Additionally, she provided more opportunities for families and tourists to connect with nature while enhancing the Department’s customer service for all clients, including businesses and the public. Among her top achievements were improving morale at the agency, championing the need for more funding in support of parks and open space, clean water, brownfields remediation, and addressing climate change.
Before joining Rhode Island DEM in 2011, Coit was the state director for The Nature Conservancy in Rhode Island for 10 years. Prior to that, she was counsel and environmental coordinator in the Providence office of the late Senator John Chafee and, subsequently, then-Senator Lincoln Chafee. Coit also served as counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works, where she advised on national environmental policy.
Coit is a magna cum laude graduate of Dartmouth College. She holds a law degree from Stanford Law School, where she was president of the Environmental Law Society and a member of the Environmental Law Journal.