Witherell joined the council in 1992, first as a plan coordinator, then in 2002 became deputy director. Prior to being hired by the council, he was a marine biologist for the state of Massachusetts, working on resource surveys and stock assessments. He earned a master’s degree in fisheries biology from the University of Massachusetts.
Council chairman Dan Hull said that Witherell “brings a long history of council experience and proven leadership skills as deputy director. We’re very pleased and fortunate that he has accepted the executive director position.”
Oliver was named on June 19 as the new assistant administrator for NOAA Fisheries, taking the helm from acting assistant administrator Samuel Rauch, who then returned to his post as deputy assistant administrator for regulatory programs.