OLIA Staff Directory

Main Office Telephone: 202-482-4981

For general inquiries, please contact OLIA's Director or Deputy Director. 

For inquires related to Tribal Relations or one of NOAA's Line Offices, see
below for contact information and portfolio summaries. 


Makeda Okolo

Tanya Dobrzynski [Away on Detail Assignment]
Deputy Director

Meredith Cameron
Acting Chief of Staff 
Portfolio includes SASH 

Intergovernmental Affairs & Tribal Relations

Linda Belton
Senior Policy Advisor & NOAA Tribal Liaison
Tel: 202-482-5447

  • Tribal Relations - consultations, communication, and outreach.
  • Intergovernmental Affairs - state, county, tribal, and community-level outreach.

Marine and Aviation Operations

Becky Lizama
Congressional Affairs Specialist
Tel: 202-482-0809


Atmospheric Team

Matthew Borgia
Congressional Affairs Specialist
Tel: 202-482-4981

  • National Weather Service (NWS) – all weather-related issues, including: hurricanes & tropical storms; tornadoes & severe storms; winter storms; fire weather; space weather; tsunamis; and forecasts, warnings, alerts, and outlooks.

Christopher (Topher) Holmes
Congressional Affairs Specialist 
Tel: 202-482-2272

  • National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS) – satellite issues and data, including GOES, POES and the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS); Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO), including NOAA-wide data and information issues.

Alec Pelton 
Congressional Affairs Specialist  (On Detail from OCFO)
Tel: 202-482-2497

  • Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) – including climate science, ocean exploration and research, ocean acidification, air quality research, invasive species, and drought research, including NIDIS.

Mackenzie Solomon [Away on Detail Assignment]
Congressional Affairs Specialist


Fisheries Team

Katherine (Katie) Dziedzic
Congressional Affairs Specialist
Tel: 202-482-7937

  • National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) – West Coast and Pacific Islands Regions. Protected Species and International fisheries.

Amber Fandel

  • National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) – South Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean, and Alaska Regions. Aquaculture; Sustainable Fisheries; and Enforcement.

Kate Thompson
2022 NOAA Leadership Competencies Development Program (LCDP) Fellow (On Detail from NOS)
Tel: 202-482-7937

  • National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) – Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Great Lakes Regions. Habitat and Science & Technology.

Erin Schnettler [Away on Detail Assignment]
Congressional Affairs Specialist

Oceans Team

Melanie Jackson
Congressional Affairs Specialist
Tel: 202-482-5111

  • National Ocean Service (NOS) -  including National Marine Sanctuaries, National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS), Digital Coast, coastal zone management, coral reef conservation, coastal and estuarine land conservation, and marine protected areas. 

Michael Jarvis
Congressional Affairs Specialist
Tel: 202-482-3595

  • National Ocean Service (NOS) – including mapping and charting, geodesy, oil spill response, natural resource damage assessment and restoration, marine debris, harmful algal blooms, hypoxia, operational oceanographic products and services, and integrated ocean observing system. 

Legislative Team

Velna L. Bullock
Legislative Affairs Analyst
Tel: 202-482-5833

  • Congressional Events Report, mandated Congressional Reports, Legislative Referral Memorandums (LRMs), NOAA's Membership Outreach Database (MOD), NOAA grants, Records Liaison Officer, and special legislative projects.

Chris Hayes [Away on Detail Assignment]
Legislative Affairs Specialist


Administrative Team

Jenell Wildgoose
Administrative Support Assistant
Tel: 202-482-4981

  • Executive correspondence, procurement, and administrative support for Legislative Affairs.

Fellows and Scholars

Jessica Eason
2023 Knauss Sea Grant Fellow

  • Office of Education, NOAA in the Caribbean, Arctic, and NOAA's Regional Collaboration Network.

Kate Thompson
2022 NOAA Leadership Competencies Development Program (LCDP) Fellow (On Detail from NOS)
Tel: 202-482-7937