Marine Safety Expert Now Heads NOAA Response Office

David Westerholm, a former chief of the U.S. Coast Guard's Office of Response, is the new director of NOAA's Office of Response and Restoration. He oversees the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's preparation for and respond to environmental hazards caused by marine debris and oil/chemical spills in U.S. ocean and coastal waters.

"David Westerholm is an innovative and proven leader who has more than 30 years' experience heading and managing environmental, safety, security, and engineering programs," said John H. Dunnigan, NOAA assistant administrator for the National Ocean Service. "His expertise in preparing for and responding to oil spills and the release of hazardous materials will enhance NOAA's already strong response capabilities."

Before joining NOAA, Westerholm was VP and senior operations director for maritime security, policy, and communications with General Dynamics Information Technology, where he managed $17 million in contracts supporting federal and state customers in homeland security, emergency response, and strategic communications. While serving as a Coast Guard officer from 1976 to 2003, he worked in marine safety, homeland security, environmental compliance, and emergency planning and response roles. He has a master of science degree in environmental policy and planning from the University of Michigan.

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