Katie Westfall has joined NOAA Fisheries as a Senior Advisor focused on offshore wind. Ms. Westfall will focus on improving the efficiency of offshore wind permitting at NOAA and on enhancing external coordination and engagement with other agencies, senior officials, and external groups.
“I am thrilled to welcome Katie to Fisheries. Her experience and perspective will add strength to our team as we work to responsibly develop offshore wind as part of the Biden-Harris Administration's strategy to combat climate change,” said NOAA Fisheries Administrator Janet Coit.
NOAA plays a key regulatory and science role in offshore energy development, acting in close partnership with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and other state and federal agencies and stakeholders. The agency is committed to facilitating offshore wind development and ensuring that the U.S. meets the President’s goal of deploying 30 GW of offshore wind energy by 2030 while protecting biodiversity and promoting ocean co-use.
“When it comes to offshore wind development, NOAA Fisheries is actively engaged in an all-of-government strategy. Katie will work with developers, the fishing industry, states, Tribes and others to develop and deepen partnerships at the regional and national goals,” said Coit.
Ms. Westfall has 15 years of natural resource conservation experience focused on the intersection of environmental policy, politics, science, and communications. Before joining NOAA Fisheries, she spent 7 years at the Environmental Defense Fund where she served most recently as the Senior Director of Resilient Fisheries. She worked with fishermen, industry representatives, supply chain actors, technology providers, conservation groups, policymakers, and researchers to improve the sustainability, economic performance, and resilience of wild capture fisheries through policy, science, and technology solutions.
Prior to joining EDF, Ms. Westfall was a NOAA Sea Grant Knauss Fellow in the Office of Congressman Jared Huffman of California. In this role, she advised on natural resource policy, including on fisheries and oceans issues. Prior to that, she led domestic and international conservation campaigns as Environmental & Program Director for Save The Waves Coalition and Program Manager for WILDCOAST.
“I am very pleased to be joining the NOAA team. It’s an exciting time to be advancing offshore wind energy capacity, while maintaining the health of marine ecosystems, ensuring the vitality of our fishing sectors, and improving the resilience of coastal communities,” said Westfall. “In taking on this new role I will remain dedicated to fostering durable, science-based, and inclusive policy solutions for combating climate change and conserving and managing marine resources.”
Ms. Westfall received a Master of Environmental Science and Management from the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management at U.C. Santa Barbara, and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California San Diego.