In a ceremony at the White House on Monday, President Barack Obama nominated U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officer Gina McCarthy to be the agency’s next administrator, filling a vacancy left by the December resignation of former head Lisa Jackson.
McCarthy must be confirmed by the Senate before assuming the position.
“As assistant EPA administrator, Gina has focused on practical, cost-effective ways to keep our air clean and our economy growing,” Obama said. “She’s earned a reputation as a straight shooter. She welcomes different points of views.”
Since 2009, McCarthy has headed the agency’s clean-air division, and has served for more than 25 years on environmental issues for the U.S. government. She has worked for five U.S. governors, including for former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.
The nomination denotes a move toward an active EPA over the next four years — and beyond. In June, McCarthy spoke at a hearing on the agency’s regulation of greenhouse gases, summarizing its efforts to reduce carbon pollution.
In his State of the Union address Obama set goals during his second term to address climate change, including one to “cut in half the energy wasted by our homes and businesses over the next 20 years.”