Larry McKinney, Ph.D.

HRI Chair for Gulf Strategies
Senior Leadership
Office Number
HRI 315
Phone Number
Fax Number
Ph.D. in Biology, Texas A&M University, 1976
Smithsonian Summer Fellow, 1976
B.S. in Zoology, Texas A&M University, 1971


Dr. McKinney was a former Senior Executive Director for HRI and is now the Chair for Gulf Strategies. He effectively interacts with the many stakeholder interests in the Gulf of Mexico. Through his education and experience, he has the unique perspective to balance a healthy Gulf and a healthy economy, and through hands-on research and committed leadership, he has developed a reputation for taking on difficult and controversial environmental issues like endangered species conservation, water resource development, and habitat loss throughout the state of Texas.

Additional Activities

Dr. McKinney led the Morris Deal Commission a national effort to reform management of recreational fisheries, leading to the publication of A Vision for Managing America’s Saltwater Recreational Fisheries. The recommendations in that document provided the policy guidance for the Modern Fish Act, signed into law by President Trump, December 31, 2018. The Act modernized management of the $18+ Billion a year industry and assured continued economic and conservation benefits derived from saltwater angling for the foreseeable future. In 2019, Dr. McKinney was one of only one hundred ocean leaders (three from the Gulf of Mexico) invited to participate in the White House Ocean Summit, to set new priorities for US exploration, development and conservation. Dr. McKinney is also a member of the National Academy’s of Science Gulf Research Program’s Committee on Long Term Environmental Trends in the Gulf of Mexico, a two-year effort initiated in August of 2020, to assess effects of restoration efforts in the Gulf following Deepwater Horizon and evaluate the possible influence of natural and anthropogenic, like climate change and coastal development on those efforts.