Jon Kurland named head of NOAA Fisheries / Alaska

NOAA Fisheries/Alaska has a new boss with background in habitat conservation, fisheries sustainability and protected resources.

by | March 24, 2022

Filed Under Management

Career spans three decades of leadership in Habitat Conservation, Protected Resources

NOAA Fisheries has announced that Mr. Jon Kurland is the new Regional Administrator for NOAA Fisheries’ Alaska Region.

He will assume his new duties on March 27, 2022. Mr. Kurland has been with the agency since 1990, serving in two Regional Offices and headquarters, including three senior leadership roles in the Alaska Region: Assistant Regional Administrator for Habitat Conservation, Acting Deputy Regional Administrator, and, since 2012, Assistant Regional Administrator for Protected Resources. He succeeds retiring Regional Administrator Dr. Jim Balsiger who had been in the position for 21 years.

Jon Kurland of Juneau is new head of NOAA Fisheries/Alaska

In his most recent role as the Assistant Regional Administrator for Protected Resources with the Alaska Region, Mr. Kurland oversaw the development and implementation of conservation and recovery programs under the Marine Mammal Protection Act and Endangered Species Act. In that role he managed numerous high-profile and controversial analyses and rulemakings related to marine mammal conservation.

Steller Sea Lion Research | NOAA Fisheries
Steller sea lions in Alaska Credit: NOAA Fisheries

Previously, Mr. Kurland served for two years as acting Deputy Regional Administrator, and eight years as Assistant Regional Administrator for Habitat Conservation. Before moving to Alaska in 2002 Mr. Kurland was the national Essential Fish Habitat Coordinator for the agency in the headquarters office in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Mr. Kurland began his career in the Habitat Conservation program in NOAA Fisheries’ Northeast Region (now the Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office) in Gloucester, Massachusetts, where he worked for nine years. He completed NOAA’s Leadership Competencies Development Program in 2002, during which he served in rotational assignments as the Deputy Director of the agency’s Office of Sustainable Fisheries and as lead analyst for portions of an Endangered Species Act biological opinion concerning the effects of the Alaska groundfish fisheries on endangered Steller sea lions.

About Laine

Laine Welch has covered the Alaska fish beat for print and radio since 1988. She also has worked “behind the counter” at retail and wholesale seafood companies in Kodiak and on Cape Cod.


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