Kelly Samek, JD, LL.M, MFAS
Gulf Regional Lead & Federal Program Officer
Based in the Mobile Bay area of Alabama, Kelly Samek is the Gulf Regional Lead and Federal Program Officer for Florida Sea Grant, Louisiana Sea Grant, the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium, the National Sea Grant Law Center, and Texas Sea Grant. Having grown up in coastal Southwest Florida, her work is driven by the vision of a vibrant, healthy Gulf of Mexico that’s accessible for all—today and tomorrow—to enjoy.
Kelly holds a J.D. from the University of Florida and an LL.M. in Environmental Law and Policy from Florida State University, and she practiced law for the State of Florida for several years before entering program administration. This professional background informs her present role supporting the Sea Grant Legal Network.
Prior to joining NOAA in 2016, she served as the Coastal Program Administrator at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and as the Gulf Restoration Coordinator at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Before attending law school, she began her career in those same agencies in sea turtle research and management. As a “double Gator,” Kelly also holds a Master’s in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences and a graduate certificate in Ecological Restoration from UF.
Outside of work, Kelly enjoys baking, painting, glass fusing, and volunteering as a rescue pet transporter.