NOAA names Dr. Rebecca Holyoke as deputy director of Office of National Marine Sanctuaries; Matt Brookhart as acting regional director

December 2017

NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries has selected Rebecca Holyoke, Ph.D. as deputy director, replacing Matt Brookhart, who has been serving in that position in an acting capacity. Mr. Brookhart has been selected as acting regional director for the office’s northeast and southeast regions.

dr. rebecca holyoke
Dr. Rebecca Holyoke has been selected as deputy director for NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries. Photo: Kate Thompson/NOAA

Dr. Holyoke began her career with NOAA in 2009 as a John A. Knauss marine policy fellow in the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries and has been a program analyst with the office since 2010. She currently serves as the national advisory council coordinator, ensuring the effective management, operation, and engagement of 15 advisory councils, and as the office’s strategic planning coordinator. She has worked closely with the deputy director, providing technical assistance for budget formulation, planning, program strategies, and human resources management.

Prior to her career with NOAA, Dr. Holyoke conducted research on chemical speciation in hydrothermal vents, salt lakes, and freshwater iron seeps; studied the influence of eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginia) biodeposits on sediment nutrient dynamics in the Chesapeake Bay; and worked as a wetlands biologist and environmental consultant. She earned a B.S. in biology with a minor in chemistry from Brescia University and a Ph.D. in environmental chemistry from the University of Maryland, Marine-Estuarine Environmental Science Program. Dr. Holyoke conducted her postdoctoral research at the University of Delaware, College of Marine and Earth Studies in Lewes, Delaware.

Matt Brookhart will become acting regional director for the National Marine Sanctuary System's northeast and southeast regions, following the retirement of Reed Bohne at the end of the year. Mr. Brookhart has been with ONMS since 1999, working at both headquarters and in the field.

matt brookhart
Matt Brookhart has been named acting regional director for the National Marine Sanctuary System's northeast and southeast regions. Photo: Kate Thompson/NOAA

He has served as acting deputy director since 2015, overseeing much of the program’s operational and administrative functions. Prior to that, he served as the ONMS chief for policy and planning, leading the program’s efforts to establish the Sanctuary Nomination Process and a number of long-term strategic planning and regulatory initiatives. Mr. Brookhart also spent nearly five years in the ONMS West Coast Regional Office, working with field sites in California and Washington on policy, planning, and budget priorities.

Prior to coming to NOAA, Mr. Brookhart worked in northern Japan on fisheries and forestry policy, after earning an M.A. in Asian studies from the University of Oregon. He also has an M.A. in environmental policy from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies and a B.A. in Asian history from Seattle University.

Mr. Bohne has served the nation in the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries over the last four decades in many positions including sanctuary superintendent and regional director. He was honored earlier this year with a NOAA Distinguished Career Award.

Dr. Holyoke and Mr. Brookhart will assume these new positions in December 2017.