NOAA Announces Two Additions to National Marine Sanctuary System Leadership
NOAA’s Office of Marine Sanctuaries this week announced two additions to its leadership team.
Kristina Kekuewa has been named Pacific Islands Regional Director, located in Honolulu, Hawaii. She has been acting regional director since July of 2019.
Paul (Sammy) Orlando has been selected as the first superintendent of Mallows Bay-Potomac River National Marine Sanctuary.
As regional director, Kekuewa will oversee the co-management of Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, and National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa.
Kekuewa has been with NOAA since 2003, serving as the Pacific Service Center’s Deputy Director and then Director where she has provided management and oversight to assure effective regional operations for the Office for Coastal Management including such activities as planning, budget execution, evaluation and communication. Kekuewa holds a bachelors in Communications from the University of Hawaii, a Masters in Communication from George Washington University and a JD with Communications Certificate from Catholic University of America.
Mallows Bay is the newest national marine sanctuary in the National Marine Sanctuary System. NOAA designated the 18-square mile stretch of Maryland’s Potomac River last year, the first national marine sanctuary designated since 2000. The sanctuary protects the remains of 118 World War I-era wooden steamships and vessels as well as other significant maritime heritage resources. NOAA co-manages the sanctuary with the State of Maryland and Charles County, Maryland.
Orlando has been with NOAA since 1983 and with NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries since 2002. For the past six years, he has worked with community coalitions throughout the Chesapeake region in support of NOAA programs. Prior to relocating to Annapolis, Orlando was Chief of the Technical Programs and Support Division within NOAA Sanctuaries, responsible for partnerships to enable system-wide research and monitoring, social science and economics, and application of dive operations and advanced technologies. He holds a master’s degree in marine, estuarine, and environmental sciences from the University of Maryland.