Michael S. Regan was sworn in as the 16th administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Thursday, March 11. Regan said he was committed to working closely with and supporting the EPA’s dedicated career public servants, restoring the role of science and transparency, addressing climate change, and prioritizing environmental justice. Regan is the first Black man and the second person of color to lead the EPA.
“I’m grateful to President Biden for entrusting me to lead the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency at this critical moment in our country’s history,” Regan said. “EPA’s career officials are the backbone of this agency, and I am humbled to work alongside them as we confront climate change, stand up for justice and equity, and ensure science is at the heart of our decision-making. We will prove that environmental protection and economic prosperity go hand in hand, and we will seize this opportunity to create a healthier, more just future for all.”
Regan returns to the EPA after starting his career at the agency, rising to the role of national program manager responsible for designing strategic solutions with industry and corporate stakeholders to reduce air pollution, improve energy efficiency and address climate change.
Prior to his nomination, Regan served as the secretary of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).
As secretary, he spearheaded the development and implementation of North Carolina’s seminal plan to address climate change and transition the state to a clean energy economy. Under his leadership, he secured the largest coal ash clean-up in United States history. He led complex negotiations regarding the clean-up of the Cape Fear River. In addition, he established North Carolina’s first-of-its-kind Environmental Justice and Equity Advisory board to better align social inequities, environmental protection, and community empowerment.
Regan is a native of Goldsboro, North Carolina. He is a graduate of the North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University. He earned a master’s degree in public administration from The George Washington University.