HRI Selects Kristina Alexander as Chair for Marine Policy and Law Program

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – The Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies (HRI) at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi (TAMU-CC) is proud to announce the selection of Kristina Alexander, J.D. as the new chair for HRI’s Marine Policy and Law program. Alexander will replace Dr. Richard McLaughlin who retired from HRI in January 2021. Her official start date is Dec. 1.

HRI’s Marine Policy and Law program studies how human behavior affects coastal and ocean ecosystems. The program examines topics such as planning for resilient coastal communities, more effectively managing offshore energy resources, working with partners in Mexico and Cuba to address transboundary environmental issues, and more.

“We are thrilled to have Ms. Alexander joining the HRI team,” said Dr. Greg Stunz, Interim Executive Director of HRI. “Her experience will mesh perfectly with the overall goals of HRI and the HRI model as we seek to advance the long-term sustainable use and conservation of the Gulf of Mexico.”

Alexander comes to HRI from the University of Mississippi School of Law where she has served as the Senior Research Counsel for the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium since 2017. In this position she focused her efforts on legal issues relating to a sustainable Gulf of Mexico, such as fisheries management, aquaculture, coastal resilience, marine debris, aquatic invasive species, and green stormwater infrastructure. Her digital publication, “Guide to Fishery Management,” is used as a trusted source by Congressional staff and members of fisheries management councils.

“Having a Chair in the law and policy realm, and someone who is familiar with the human dimension of natural resource management, is a defining characteristic that makes HRI a unique research hub,” Stunz said. 

Originally from Michigan, Alexander spent most of her life in Georgia. Fresh out of law school, she started her own law practice which helped hone her passion for writing and research. This provided her the opportunity to work as a journalist for both CNN and ABC News. She has edited and updated environmental law reference books such as “The Environmental Law Practice Guide” and has worked for the Congressional Research Service as a Legislative Attorney, advising members of Congress and their staff on natural resource issues involving wildlife law, the National Environmental Policy Act, and federal lands management. She has testified before Congress on issues such as the Lacey Act, and her reports have been quoted and cited by publications such as Bloomberg News and the Washington Post.