Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency
District of Columbia
Regina “Gina” McCarthy is an American public administrator and an environmental health and air quality expert, currently administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. She is known for her dedication to “common-sense strategies to protect public health and the environment”. On March 4, 2013, President Barack Obama nominated McCarthy to replace Lisa Jackson as head of the EPA. Confirmation hearings started April 11, 2013. On July 18, 2013 she was confirmed after a record 136-day confirmation fight, becoming the face of Obama’s global warming/climate change initiative.
A Boston native, McCarthy has worked on environmental issues at the state and local levels and has developed policies on economic growth, energy, transportation and the environment. In her twenty-five years in public administration, she has been an environmental advisor to five Massachusetts governors, including former Governor Mitt Romney. From 2004 to 2009 she was commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection. In this capacity she implemented a regional policy to trade carbon credits to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.
According to some observers, Obama’s selection of McCarthy confirms that he is serious about battling climate change. Daniel Fiorino, director of the Center for Environmental Policy at American University, says: “Her nomination signals that the president really wants to deliver on his State of the Union objectives to take serious action on climate change.” Despite speculation that this will affect Obama’s decision on the Keystone XL Pipeline, Fiorino believes that this doesn’t affect the dynamics of the Keystone decision significantly as other considerations are paramount, but adds: “… she knows air and climate issues very well and she’s a very strong environmentalist.” The EPA is one of the federal agencies that will advise the Obama administration on the proposed pipeline, “a project that would carry millions of barrels of bitumen a week from Alberta’s carbon-intensive oilsands to the U.S. Gulf Coast”.