Janet Coit is the Assistant Administrator for NOAA Fisheries, the nation’s federal agency responsible for stewardship of living marine resources. She leads the agency in its mission to ensure the sustainability of U.S. fisheries, restore coastal and marine habitats, and recover protected marine species. Since being appointed in June 2021, Janet has spent much of her time connecting with people to better understand how NOAA Fisheries can support habitat conservation and the resilience of coastal communities and the seafood sector. From the Aleutian and Pacific Islands to New England, Puerto Rico, and the Gulf of Mexico, she has engaged with partners and stakeholders to address challenges related to predicting and preparing for the impacts of climate change. Ultimately, Janet’s goals are to grow and modernize the surveys and science that underpin management of fisheries and marine mammals and to learn from the diverse perspectives across the nation to support climate ready fisheries and a strong seafood sector.
Throughout Janet’s 35-year career in natural resource management, a common thread has been the connections among policy, science, and people. Prior to her current position, Janet directed the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management for more than ten years, where she worked to improve natural resource conservation, promote locally grown food—including seafood—and address the climate crisis. She also served as state director for The Nature Conservancy of Rhode Island and as counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works, where she advised on national and environmental policy.
Janet 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.