Meet the NPFMC Council Members
Back row, L to R: John Seabourne, LCDR Jed Raskie, Bill Tweit, Anne Vanderhoeven, Jon Kurland, Nicole Kimball, Angel Drobnica
Front row: Rachel Baker, Chris Oliver, Karla Bush, Kenny Down, Molly Watson, Andy Mezirow
Not Pictured: RADM Megan Dean, Pete Fasbender, John Jensen, Rudy Tsukada, Dimitri Varmazis, Steve Williams,
IMPORTANT NOTE: The following information is provided as a public service and is intended for general communication purposes. If you wish to submit comments on an Agenda item to be made available to the Council family as part of the record, they must be submitted to meetings.npfmc.org and must be received by the deadline date noticed in that meeting’s agenda. Related Documents
NPFMC Council Members
Mr. Bill Tweit has been the Washington State representative on the North Pacific Fishery Management Council since 2005, and the vice-chair since April 2015. He is a Special Assistant to the Director of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. His other duties include management of harvest and hydropower impacts in the Columbia River basin in conjunction with the Treaty Indian Tribes of the basin and the states of Oregon, Idaho and Montana; coordination of Invasive Species issues for the Department; and development of mitigation agreements for the impacts of Columbia Basin development on fish and wildlife. His newest task is serving on the regional team developing the framework for potential alterations to the US/Canada treaty on Columbia River water supply, hydropower and flood control.
Alternate: Karla Bush
Ms. Rachel Baker represents the State of Alaska’s interests in federal fisheries management issues, including participation on the North Pacific Fishery Management Council on behalf of the Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Ms. Baker has over 15 years of experience working to develop and implement fisheries policy and management programs for commercial, recreational, and subsistence fisheries off Alaska. Prior to joining the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in early 2019, she worked for the National Marine Fisheries Service in Juneau, Alaska, as an analyst and regulatory specialist for Alaska’s federal halibut, groundfish, and crab fisheries. Ms. Baker began her fisheries career as an economist with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and later worked as an analyst and fishery manager for the New Zealand Ministry of Fisheries and for the National Marine Fisheries Service headquarters office in Washington, DC area.
Ms. Karla Bush is the Extended Jurisdiction Program Manager and serves as an alternate on behalf of the Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G). She has worked for the Division of Commercial Fisheries since 2001, serving as a shellfish fishery manager in the BSAI and Southeast Alaska areas, as a Fishery Biologist in the Extended Jurisdiction Section, and as the Southeast Alaska shellfish/groundfish program coordinator. Ms. Bush was a member and vice-chair of the Council’s BSAI Crab Plan Team from 2010-2016, serves as an alternate on the Pacific Fishery Management Council, and is the Alaska coordinator for the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission. Ms. Bush has a MS degree in fisheries from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and resides in Juneau, Alaska.
CAPT Jason Brennell Email
Rear Admiral Dean is responsible for Coast Guard operations throughout Alaska, the North Pacific Ocean, the Arctic Ocean, and the Bering Sea. These operations include protecting life and property, ensuring marine safety, enforcing federal laws and treaties, protecting the marine environment, preserving living marine resources, and promoting national security.
Mr. Kenny Down owns Seaquest Ventures, a small maritime contract and investment advisory company in Seattle. He worked from 2012-2018 as the President and CEO for one of the largest participants in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands hook-and-line catcher processor sector. Kenny has served as a Board member with the Freezer Longline Coalition and spent more than four years lobbying, organizing and, most importantly, leading national policy in support of low-impact fishing efforts. Before his political work, Mr. Down spent nearly 20 years in the Alaska longline fishing industry. He has worked as general manager for an Alaska cod longline company and has broad experience as a port engineer, USCG licensed chief engineer and a fisherman at sea. In 2015 Mr. Down was appointed to the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council. Mr. Down was reappointed in 2017.
Angel Drobnica is Director of Fisheries and Government Affairs for Aleutian-Pribilof Island Community Development Association, or APICDA. The group represents six communities: Akutan, Atka, False Pass, Nelson Lagoon, Nikolski and St. George Island. Angel has served on the Council’s Advisory Panel for 7 years, 2 of them as Chair.
Peter Fasbender is one of the four non-voting members. He is the Assistant Regional Director, Fisheries and Ecological Services, and will represent the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and serve as an alternate for Sara Boario, the Alaska Regional Director.
Mr. John Jensen is a commercial fisherman and owner of Jensen’s Boat Rentals, a company specializing in self-guided, recreational boating adventures, based in his hometown of Petersburg, Alaska. His career in commercial fishing began in 1966, fishing for halibut in the Gulf of Alaska and king crab in the Bering Sea; and since that time, has participated in numerous fisheries as a vessel and permit owner in all coastal regions of Alaska. Locally he has served as a member of the Petersburg City Council and is a past board member of the Southeast Alaska Power Agency, 2008-18. Since 2001, Mr. Jensen has been a member of the Alaska Board of Fisheries and is an advisory member to the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission and a member of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council.
Ms. Kimball has 20 years of experience in Alaska fisheries management and policy and currently works for the Pacific Seafood Processors Association, a non-profit trade association comprised of motherships and shore-based seafood processors across Alaska. Prior to this, she served as Federal Fisheries Coordinator for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, where she represented the state in regional, national, and international fisheries venues, and served as the alternate to the Commissioner on the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (2012-2016). Before this Nicole worked as a fisheries analyst for the Council for 12 years. Nicole received a BS in natural resource management at the University of Maine, and a master’s in environmental policy and renewable resource management from Tufts University. Nicole currently serves on the board of the Alaska SeaLife Center, the Maritime Works Leadership Council, the Alaska Sea Grant Advisory Committee, and as Vice-Chair of the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute’s Communications Committee. Born in Ketchikan, she currently resides in Anchorage.
Alicia Miller Email
Mr. Jon Kurland became NOAA Fisheries’ Alaska Regional Administrator in March 2022. He previously served in three other senior leadership roles in the agency’s Alaska Region: Assistant Regional Administrator for Habitat Conservation, Acting Deputy Regional Administrator, and Assistant Regional Administrator for Protected Resources. Before moving to Alaska in 2002 he was the national Essential Fish Habitat Coordinator based at NOAA Fisheries’ headquarters office, and prior to that he worked in the habitat program in NOAA Fisheries’ Northeast Region (now called the Greater Atlantic Region).
Alicia Miller Email
Gretchen is the head of the Sustainable Fisheries Division in the Alaska Region. She has been with the Alaska Region since 1998 and had worked as the head of the Habitat Division and in the Sustainable Fisheries Division as a Fishery Management Plan Coordinator. She also served as the Alaska Region National Environmental Policy Act Coordinator. Gretchen received her Master’s from the School of Marine Affairs at the University of Washington and her Bachelor’s from Rutgers University.
Mr. Andy Mezirow has been a professional mariner, fisherman, and educator his entire adult life. He financed his college education at the Evergreen State College by commercial fishing for Swordfish, Tuna, Atlantic Cod, and Pacific Halibut. He spent years working as a captain and crew on Oceanographic Research Vessels that sailed all over the world from Borneo to Siberia. In 1994, Mr. Mezirow moved north to take the position of chief officer on the University Alaska Research Vessel Alpha Helix. He came ashore and split his career between owning and operating Gray Light Sportfishing Charters and in the offseason, working as the United States Coast Guard approved instructor teaching mariners and young fishermen at the State of Alaska Maritime Training Center. Along the way, he became the regional representative for the International Gamefish Association, served on the board of directors of the Alaska Marine Safety Education Association, the National Association of Charterboat Operators, and served four years on the NPFMC Advisory Panel, before being twice appointed as the recreational fishing representative on the North Pacific Fishery Management Council and to the Board of Directors of the North Pacific Research Board. In his spare time, you will find him and his wife trolling the blue waters of Kona in search of blue marlin.
Chris Oliver, a 33 year resident of Alaska, works as Council liaison for the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission, beginning in June 2023. Chris most recently served as Government Affairs Advisor for American Seafoods Co., from May 2021 through May 2023. Prior to that he was the NOAA Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, based in Washington, D.C., leading all aspects of the National Marine Fisheries Service mission. This was a Presidential appointment where he served from June of 2017 to January 2021. Prior to that Chris worked for 27 years for the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, where he served as Executive Director from 2000 to 2017. Chris hails from Texas where he obtained a BBA in Business Administration and a Master’s degree in Fisheries Science from Texas A&M University. Hobbies include hunting, fishing, or pretty much anything outdoors.
John Seabourne has 27 years working with the Oregon commercial fishing industry for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. He had served as the South Coast Port Biologist in the Charleston office for the Marine program where he sampled commercial landings and conducted at-sea research on commercial fishing vessels. He moved to headquarters in 2003 to oversee the collection and dissemination of commercial landing data and worked with Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission PacFIN program. He currently serves as the Fish Division’s Operation Manager where he develops the Divisions biennial budget and oversees the Fisheries Information Systems program, Rule Coordination section, and the daily operations of the Division. John received his Bachelor of Science in Marine Fisheries from Texas A&M University at Galveston.
Mr. Ryuichi Rudy Tsukada is the Chief Operating Officer since 2020 for Coastal Villages Region Fund (CVRF), a community development quota group that serves 20 communities in western Alaska. This is his second time with CVRF, having managed the in-region fisheries program from 2002- 2005. His previous experience includes his work as CEO for the Quinault Nation Enterprise Board overseeing the business enterprises of the Quinault Indian Nation and President of Aleut Enterprise, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Aleut Corporation, a regional Native Corporation in Alaska. He is an avid saltwater kayak angler producing numerous videos and has been a brand ambassador for Hobie Kayaks, Kokatat, and Alaska Raft and Kayak. He grew up (K-12) in Kenai, Alaska and has a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and an MBA, both from Cornell University.
With more than 20 years of experience, Ms. Anne Vanderhoeven has worked with nearly every fishing fleet in Alaska. She started her fishery experience as a groundfish observer before expanding into crab and later program management. She has also worked for one of the Community Development Quota groups and she currently works as the Director of Government Affairs for Arctic Storm Management Group. In addition to having served on several Council committees and the Advisory Panel, Ms. Vanderhoeven is an active member of various fishing related organizations such as At-Sea Processors Association, United Catcher Boats, Midwater Trawlers Cooperative, High Seas Catcher Cooperative, and Marine Conservation Alliance amongst others. Having grown up all over California, she now calls Washington state her home.
Most recently retired from Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission where he served as a Senior Program Manager responsible for program coordination with the states of Oregon, Washington and California on marine recreational fishery sampling, habitat development and other commercial and recreational fishery projects. Served for over 39 years with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife in various biological and policy/leadership roles including Deputy Director and Asst. Chief of both the Fish and Wildlife Divisions. While with ODFW he was also responsible for oversight and coordination of the Columbia River and Marine Programs and served as the Director’s designee to the Pacific Fishery Management Council, the Columbia River Compact and the US v Oregon Policy Committee. Graduate of Oregon State University (Go Beavs!) with a BS in Fisheries
- Minutes from the Council meetings
- A listing of Council Terms of Office
- Statement of Organization Practices and Procedures (Council SOPPs, Approved April 2023)
- Regional Operating Agreement (Revised October 2016)