Council Staff

The Council staff supports the Council by providing information for management decisions, informing the public about Council activities, helping the public participate in the process, coordinating the process and meetings, creating fishery management documents, and assisting advisory groups.


Dr. Christopher M. Moore

Executive Director

Chris Moore has been the Executive Director of the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council since July, 2010. Before he became the Executive Director, he was the Chief of the Partnerships and Communications Division in the Office of Sustainable Fisheries at NOAA Fisheries Headquarters.  Prior to NOAA, Chris worked for the Mid-Atlantic Council for over 17 years in various roles including as the Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Plan Coordinator, Senior Fishery Management Specialist, and Deputy Director. He has also served as the Acting Director of the Northeast Cooperative Research Partners Program and worked for the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission as a Bluefish Plan Writer.  Chris received his Ph.D. from Virginia Tech, a Master's from the University of Florida, and has over 25 years of experience related to fishery management and science issues. 

Contact: (302) 526-5255 / Email


Rich Seagraves

Senior Scientist

Rich Seagraves is the Council staff's Senior Scientist. His primary duty is to act as the liaison with the Scientific and Statistical Committee and he is also responsible for the Research Set Aside Program and Protected Resource issues. A new project in his portfolio is the development of an Ecosystems Based Fishery Management Plan Advisory Document which will allow the Council to transition from traditional single species management to a more ecosystem based approach.

Contact: (302) 526-5259 / Email


Clay Heaton

Information Systems Manager

Clay Heaton has been with the Council since 1985, and is currently focused on managing and supporting the Council's IT infrastructure.  His diverse background includes a Bachelor's degree in Fisheries Biology from the University of Massachusetts and a Master’s in Marine Resource Economics from the University of Rhode Island.  Prior to joining the Council staff he worked with the Marine Policy Center of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.  Little known fact: Clay was in Chile for two years on a marine fisheries assignment with the Peace Corps.

Contact: (302) 526-5256 / Email

Dr. José L. Montañez

Fishery Management Specialist

José Montañez has worked at the Council for 20 years. He holds an undergraduate degree in Marine Biology and graduate degrees in Agricultural Economics.  He is the staff member responsible for the bluefish and tilefish management plans.  In addition, he also provides staff support for surfclam, ocean quahog, summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass. 

Contact: (302) 526-5258 / Email

Jessica M. Coakley

Fishery Management Specialist

Jessica Coakley is the staff member responsible for the Atlantic surfclam and ocean quahog fishery management plan. In addition, Jessica is the staff lead for the Ecosystem and Ocean Planning Committee and lead for the Council’s habitat activities and initiatives. Jessica grew up in New Jersey and graduated with a BS from Rutgers University before completing a MS at University of Maryland. Before working with the Council, Jessica was previously employed as a biometrician with the State of Delaware and as a research biologist with the State of Maryland. There she focused on oyster and blue crab growth and population dynamics.

Contact: (302) 526-5252 / Email

Jason T. Didden

Fishery Management Specialist

Jason Didden has worked for the Council since 2007. Jason’s primary responsibilities include coordination of the Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Fishery Management Plan, and the Spiny Dogfish Plan.  Jason also is the staff point of contact for River Herring/Shad, the Omnibus Observer Amendment to improve observer coverage, and the Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP), which is implementing improvements to recreational data collection and catch estimates.  Jason is also the MAFMC point of contact for Atlantic Herring, Whiting, Monkfish, Scallops, and Groundfish (all primarily managed by the NEFMC), Highly Migratory Species (managed by NMFS HMS), and Blueline Tilefish.  Prior to working for the Council he taught English in Japan, taught high school science, worked as a consultant for hazardous material remediation projects, and spent one year in a fellowship with NMFS’ Office of Policy.  Jason has a BA in Political Science and Biology from Tufts University and a Masters of Marine Policy from the University of Delaware. 

Contact: (302) 526-5254 / Email

Kiley Dancy

Fishery Management Specialist

Kiley Dancy joined the Council staff in June of 2012 as the Assistant Plan Coordinator for summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass. She is also providing staff support to the Council in their actions to protect deep sea corals in the Mid-Atlantic. Kiley holds a BS in Biology from the University of Michigan, and a Masters of Environmental Management from the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University. 

Contact: (302) 526-5257 / Email

Julia Beaty

Fishery Management Specialist

Julia Beaty joined the Council in February 2015 as an Assistant Fishery Plan Coordinator. She is assisting with the Council’s unmanaged forage fish initiatives as part of the Council’s transition towards an ecosystems based approach to fisheries management. She is also assisting Kiley Dancy with the summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass fishery management plan. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Smith College, a MS in Marine Policy, and a MS in Marine Biology, both from the University of Maine. Prior to joining the Council she worked as a contractor for the National Marine Fisheries Service. She also spent two years in Anchorage, Alaska where she worked for the Alaska Marine Conservation Council. 

Contact: (302) 526-5250 / Email

Brandon Muffley

Fishery Management Specialist

Prior to joining the Council, Brandon served as the Administrator for the New Jersey Marine Fisheries Administration within the Division of Fish and Wildlife where he oversaw New Jersey’s marine, shellfish and science programs including operations, budgets, personnel, regulation development, and fisheries research and management programs . During his 13 years with the Division he also served as the Bureau Chief for the Bureau of Marine Fisheries and started out as a Research Scientist conducting statistical analysis and stock assessments for striped bass, bluefish, menhaden and blue crabs. He has a Bachelor’s degree from Rider University in Marine Science and a Master’s degree in Fisheries Science from the University of Maryland.

Contact: (302) 526-5260 / Email

Matthew Seeley

Fishery Management Specialist

Matthew Seeley joined the Council staff in March 2017. Matt is the staff member responsible for blueline tilefish and is the staff point of contact for highly migratory species (HMS) (managed by NMFS HMS). He is also staff lead for the Council’s Collaborative Research Program. Matt received a BS from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a Masters of Marine Science from the University of Texas Marine Science Institute.

Contact: (302) 526-5262 / Email

Mary Clark Sabo

Communication and Outreach Coordinator

Mary Clark Sabo is the staff member responsible for communication and outreach, strategic planning, and collaborative research. Her day-to-day activities include managing the Council's website, developing press releases and outreach materials, interacting with the media, tracking legislative activities, and working to enhance the Council's involvement in collaborative research. After joining the staff in 2011, Mary served as the staff lead on the Visioning and Strategic Planning Project, which culminated with the completion of the Council's first strategic plan in October 2013. She continues to manage execution of the strategic plan through the development of annual implementation plans.

Mary received a BS in Ecology and Biodiversity from Sewanee: The University of the South and a Master of Environmental Management degree from the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University. 

Contact: (302) 518-1143 / Email

Kathy Collins

Operations Officer

Kathy Collins is the Operations Officer for the Council.  She is responsible for the financial management of the Council, including budget development and monitoring, accounting and cash management, financial reporting, maintaining Council benefits programs, audits, managing contracts, and other administrative operations.

Contact: (302) 526-5253 / Email

Jan Saunders

Executive Assistant

Jan Saunders is the Executive Assistant for the Council.  She coordinates meeting logistics, provides technical assistance at Council meetings, and handles many other administrative tasks.  She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management. 

Contact: (302) 526-5251 / Email

Staff Contact Information

Name (Click on a name to send an email) Title Phone
Chris MooreExecutive Director (302) 526-5255
Rich Seagraves Fishery Management Specialist (302) 526-5259
Clay HeatonInformation Systems Manager (302) 526-5256
Dr. José L. MontañezFishery Management Specialist (302) 526-5258
Jessica M. Coakley Fishery Management Specialist (302) 526-5252
Jason T. Didden Fishery Management Specialist (302) 526-5254
Kiley Dancy Fishery Management Specialist (302) 526-5257
Julia Beaty Fishery Management Specialist (302) 526-5250
Brandon Muffley Fishery Management Specialist (302) 526-5260
Matthew Seeley Fishery Management Specialist (302) 526-5262
Mary Sabo Communication and Outreach Coordinator (302) 518-1143
Kathy Collins Operations Officer (302) 526-5253
Jan Saunders Executive Assistant (302) 526-5251

For information on specific fisheries, projects, or committees, contact the following staff member:

Fishery/Project Primary Contact Secondary
Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, Butterfish Jason Didden Rich Seagraves
Summer Flounder, Scup and Black Sea Bass:
Summer Flounder Kiley Dancy Julia Beaty
Scup Julia Beaty Kiley Dancy
Black Sea Bass Brandon Muffley Kiley Dancy
Surfclams and Ocean Quahogs Jessica Coakley José Montañez
Bluefish José Montañez Matthew Seeley
Spiny Dogfish Jason Didden
Golden Tilefish José Montañez Jessica Coakley
Blueline Tilefish Jason Didden Matthew Seeley
Monkfish Jason Didden
Ecosystem Approaches to Fisheries Management Rich Seagraves
Ecosystems and Ocean Planning Jessica Coakley
Unmanaged Forage Julia Beaty
Protected Resources Rich Seagraves
Scientific and Statistical Committee Rich Seagraves
Law Enforcement Jose Montanez
Collaborative Research Matthew Seeley Mary Sabo
Strategic Planning Mary Sabo
Deep Sea Corals Kiley Dancy