Who is Sam Rauch?

As we reported last week, Sam Rauch is taking over as the "acting" head of the National Marine Fisheries Service.

So who is Sam Rauch?

Well, he's currently the agency's deputy assistant administrator for regulatory programs. By training, he's a lawyer.

Rauch's bio indicates he previously supervised a NMFS legal team. And prior to joining the agency, he defended NMFS as a trial attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice.

He has a law degree from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Ore., a master's from the University of Georgia and a bachelor's from the University of Virginia.

Now, one might normally expect to see a biologist at the helm of NMFS, not a lawyer.

But I don't believe this is unprecedented. If memory serves, Terry Leitzell, who headed the agency from 1978 to 1981, was a lawyer.

Here's the list of folks who have headed NMFS. Deckboss doesn't know the backgrounds of all of them, but maybe you see more than one barrister in the bunch?

NMFS administrators, 1970 to present

Philip M. Roedel, 1970-1973
Robert W. Schoning, 1973-1977
Terry L. Leitzell, 1978-1981
William H. Stevenson (acting), 1981
William G. Gordon, 1981-1986
William E. Evans, 1987
James W. Brennan, 1988-1989
William W. Fox, 1989-1992
Nancy Foster (acting), 1993
Rolland A. Schmitten, 1993-1999
Penelope E. Dalton, 1999-2000
William T. Hogarth, 2000-2007
John Oliver (acting), 2008
James W. Balsiger (acting), 2008-2010
Eric Schwaab, February 2010 to present