William Stelle is the Regional Administrator of the West Coast Region, effective October 1st, 2013. Prior to the establishment of the new region, Will was appointed as the Regional Administrator for NOAA Fisheries Northwest Region in June, 2010, and was designated as the Acting Southwest Regional Administrator in April, 2013 pending the creation of the new West Coast Region.
Before joining the Obama Administration, he was a partner at the law firm of K&L Gates. His practice concentrated on projects involving complex Federal and State environmental regulatory challenges, specializing in freshwater and marine habitat issues and endangered species, CERCLA, CWA and NEPA issues. He served as NOAA Fisheries Northwest Regional Administrator from 1994 until 2000, where he managed the listings of salmon and steelhead populations under the Endangered Species Act in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and California. He has extensive experience in state, Tribal and Congressional relations.
Before settling in the Northwest, Will held a variety of policy positions dealing with a range of environmental and natural resource programs in Washington, D.C. Within the Federal Executive Branch, he served as the Associate Director for Natural Resources with the White House Office on Environmental Policy overseeing Federal lands, endangered species and natural resource policies. Before that he was Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Interior where he helped promulgate and implement the Northwest Forest Plan, governing federal Forest Service and BLM lands in California, Oregon, Washington and Idaho.
Prior to entering the Executive Branch, Will served as Chief Counsel for the House Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries, as General Counsel for the House Fish and Wildlife Subcommittee, and as staff counsel to the Senate Select Committee on Indian Affairs.
Will received the Department of Commerce Gold Medal Award in 1997, and the NOAA Administrator's Award in 2000. His education includes: LL.M., Marine Resource Law, University of Washington School of Law, 1981; J.D., Coastal and Marine Law, University of Maine Law School, 1978; and a B.A. from Boston University, 1974 (magna cum laude). He also studied international marine resource law at Dalhousie University Law School in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Regional Administrator, West Coast Region