Gina McCarthy is Professor of the Practice of Public Health in the Department of Environmental Health and Chair of the Board of Advisors at the Harvard Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (Harvard Chan C-CHANGE). She has been a leading advocate for smart, successful strategies to protect public health and the environment for more than 30 years.
McCarthy became the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Natural Resources Defense Council in January 2020. She served as the 13th Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and as Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation during the Obama Administration. Her leadership led to significant federal, state, and local actions on critical issues related to the environment, economy, energy, and transportation. McCarthy ushered in a paradigm shift in national environmental policy, which expressly linked it to global public health. She led initiatives that cut air pollution, protected water resources, strengthened chemical safety, and reduced greenhouse gases to protect more communities from negative health impacts. McCarthy signed the Clean Power Plan, which set the first national standards for reducing carbon emissions from existing power plants, underscoring the country’s commitment to domestic climate action and spurring international efforts that helped secure the Paris Agreement.
At the state level, McCarthy served as Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, Deputy Secretary of the Massachusetts Office of Commonwealth Development, and Undersecretary of Policy for the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs. In Connecticut, she was instrumental in developing the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a multistate effort to reduce emissions contributing to global warming, which has spurred economic growth, improved public health, decreased energy demand and helped mitigate electricity price increases across the region. In Massachusetts, McCarthy advised five governors on environmental affairs, worked at the state and local levels on critical environmental issues, and coordinated policies on economic growth, energy, transportation, and the environment.
McCarthy serves as a Member of the Board of the Energy Foundation and CERES. She holds a Master of Science in Environmental Health Engineering and Planning and Policy from Tufts University and a Bachelor of Arts in Social Anthropology from University of Massachusetts at Boston.
Pruitt unveils controversial ‘transparency’ rule limiting what research EPA can use
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt moved to limit what science can be used in writing agency regulations, a change long sought by conservatives.
Former EPA Administrator Discusses Climate Policies
Gina McCarthy reflects on Earth Day and the EPA after she left
Gina McCarthy Discusses Climate Policy
Ex-EPA Chief: We got the rules right in 2012
Business and health implications of rolling back Obama auto emission standards
EPA to roll back Obama-era car fuel, emissions standards
How the natural products industry is building a climate movement
Scott Pruitt’s Attack on Science Would Paralyze the E.P.A.
Op-Ed on the importance of science to inform policy, co-authored by Gina and Janet McCabe, who served as acting assistant administrator of EPA's Office of Air and Radiation from 2013-2017.
Climate Science in a Time of Political Disruption