General Counsel, Walker B. Smith
Walker B. Smith became NOAA's General Counsel in February, 2021, with responsibility for all legal matters arising in the conduct of NOAA's mission. Walker began her environmental career as a Trial Attorney in the Environmental Enforcement Section of the Environment and Natural Resources Division, U.S. Department of Justice, litigating complex federal civil cases under numerous environmental statutes on behalf of EPA, NOAA, and other federal agencies. She then held the positions of Senior Attorney, Assistant Chief, Deputy Chief, and Principal Deputy Chief of the Section. In 2002, Walker transferred to the Environmental Protection Agency as Director of the Office of Civil Enforcement, responsible for civil and administrative enforcement actions for all statutes and regulations under EPA's jurisdiction. Following her tenure as Director of Civil Enforcement, she became the Director of EPA's Office of Global Affairs and Policy, responsible for EPA's international multilateral portfolio, including negotiations and engagement with the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Maritime Organization (IMO), and the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). She is a recipient of Presidential Rank Awards in 2007 and 2017, and a 2013 finalist (no awards given). She received her J.D. from the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law.