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Jim Landon Appointed Head of NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement




“We are thrilled to have Jim leading the NOAA Office of Law Enforcement. His rich knowledge of fisheries and marine resource issues, his experience helping our agents and officers promote compliance with fisheries laws, and his knowledge of investigative techniques will serve us well going forward."
--Eileen Sobeck, NOAA’s Assistant Administrator for Fisheries

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NOAA's Office of Law Enforcement
 

NOAA’s Chief Enforcement Attorney Brings Array of Skills, Experience to the Role

July 30, 2015

Jim Landon has been all about the mission since he was commissioned as an officer in the Marine Corps almost 30 years ago and took his first assignment leading marines in an overseas operation. This time around, his mission will be to lead the men and women who work to promote compliance with federal laws that support sustainable fisheries and that protect marine mammals, endangered species, and National Marine Sanctuaries.

As the newly-appointed head of NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement (OLE), Landon brings a unique combination of skills to an office that is responsible for enforcing more than 35 federal statutes over more than 3 million nautical miles of open ocean, 95,000 miles of U.S. coastline, 13 National Marine Sanctuaries, and Marine National Monuments. OLE is also responsible for enforcing the laws that implement U.S. treaties and international law, supporting state and territorial cooperation through joint enforcement agreements with 27 coastal states and U.S. territories, and partnering with other agencies, such as the U.S. Coast Guard.

“We are thrilled to have Jim leading the NOAA Office of Law Enforcement. His rich knowledge of fisheries and marine resource issues, his experience helping our agents and officers promote compliance with fisheries laws, and his knowledge of investigative techniques will serve us well going forward,” said Eileen Sobeck, NOAA’s Assistant Administrator for Fisheries.

Landon will officially begin this job on August 23. He succeeds Bruce Buckson who served as OLE Director from 2010 to 2014.

“My emphasis will be on ensuring that the special agents and enforcement officers who are on the front lines of our compliance and enforcement efforts every day have the training, equipment, and support they need to do their job the best they can,” said Landon.

Prior to accepting his new position, Landon served as the Chief of the Enforcement Section in NOAA’s Office of General Counsel since 2012. There he supervised and managed the team responsible for the enforcement and civil prosecution of violations of laws and implementing regulations under NOAA’s purview, such as the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act, Lacey Act, and Endangered Species Act. In that role, he also provided legal advice to OLE on the development and implementation of enforcement policies and operational guidance.

He also established national law enforcement policy and procedures in consultation with OLE, which resulted in systemic improvements. Those improvements included spearheading revisions to NOAA’s “Policy for the Assessment of Civil Administrative Penalties and Permit Sanctions,” eliminating a backlog of hundreds of enforcement cases, reducing case processing times, initiating revisions to NOAA’s Summary Settlement policy and schedules (including the establishment of an overarching national schedule), and instituting closer supervisory case management within the Section.

“I have learned first-hand that NOAA’s special agents and enforcement officers are among the most committed people in this organization, and I am honored to have this opportunity to work with them in this role. I will continue to promote the culture of cooperation, collaboration, transparency, and fairness that guided my actions when I was in the Office of General Counsel,” he said.

Prior to coming to NOAA, Landon spent 15 years in leadership positions at the FBI.  As a Deputy General Counsel from 2011 to 2012, he supported 12 operational and administrative divisions of the bureau and was responsible for providing legal counsel to the FBI Director and other bureau leadership on issues ranging from constitutional law to contracting and procurement. From 2008 to2011, he was an Associate General Counsel and head of the FBI’s Investigative Law Unit, responsible for developing, training, and implementing investigative and law enforcement guidelines throughout the FBI.

Landon is also a military veteran having served as a U.S. Marine Corps officer from 1988 through 1993. Deployed to overseas conflicts during much of this time period, he served as the Intelligence Collection Manager for the First Marine Division during Operation Restore Hope in Somalia, and commanded a Special Operations Capable Marine Infantry Rifle Platoon during Operation Desert Shield and Storm in the Persian Gulf.

He holds a law degree from George Washington University and a Certificate in International Law from Oxford University. He also has a Master of Arts degree in International Affairs from George Washington University, a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science from the U.S. Naval Academy, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Oceanography from the University of West Florida.